Norwich 1-2 Chelsea: Kenedy scores fastest Premier League goal of season
By Oliver Yew
Last Updated: 02/03/16 9:33am
Kenedy scored the fastest Premier League goal of the season to help Chelsea extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League to 12 matches following a 2-1 victory over Norwich at Carrow Road.
It took Guus Hiddink's side, who are now up to eighth, just 39 seconds to break the deadlock with Kenedy drilling a low effort past John Ruddy.
The Blues doubled their advantage in controversial fashion just before the break through Diego Costa, despite the striker appearing to be in an offside position after collecting Bertrand Traore's pass.
Norwich, who dropped into the relegation zone on goal difference, pulled a goal back in the 68th minute as Nathan Redmond fired into the roof of the net, but there was to be no comeback as Chelsea held on for a third successive Premier League win for first time since April 2015.
Hiddink promised changes and made four following his side's win at Southampton and it was one of the newcomers who made an instant impact.
Eden Hazard found Kenedy out on the left flank and the Brazilian cut inside before shifting the ball onto his left foot, striking a low shot across goal and into the bottom corner.
Norwich could have found themselves further behind just five minutes later but Traore, on his first start, could not get on the end of Hazard's cutback.
In what was an open game, Norwich did eventually respond with Redmond pulling the ball back to Jonny Howson on the edge of the Chelsea penalty area, but his goal-bound shot hit Cameron Jerome and deflected behind for a goal-kick.
Jerome was involved again in the 17th minute, rising above Branislav Ivanovic to meet Wes Hoolahan's cross but the striker could not test Thibaut Courtois.
As half-time approached, Hazard's wonderful through ball released Traore, but the 20-year-old's heavy touch allowed Ruddy to gather easily.
Alex Neil's side thought they should have had a free-kick when Courtois picked Gary Cahill's pass, but referee Lee Mason saw a slight deflection off Jerome.
The hosts were further aggrieved when Traore's pass put Costa through on goal, and the striker clipped the ball over the advancing Ruddy. Replays showed Costa was clearly offside.
Norwich started brightly after the break and they should have pulled a goal back when Jerome volleyed over from six yards after Russell Martin's knockdown.
Chelsea were looking lacklustre and Hiddink reacted by sending on Willian and John Obi Mikel for Traore and Oscar in the 62nd minute, but six minutes later Norwich had a lifeline.
Hoolahan picked out the run of Redmond, who smashed the ball past Courtois and into the roof of the net.
Kenedy was withdrawn straight after the goal by Hiddink, with Baba Rahman replacing him as Chelsea looked to hold on.
However, Norwich continued to press forward in the final 20 minutes as Jerome's flick nestled safely in the gloves of Courtois and substitute Gary O'Neil's shot deflected wide of the far post.
Redmond twice went close in the closing stages, before Martin was denied by Courtois in injury time as Chelsea held on to keep Hiddink's unbeaten domestic record intact.
Norwich: Ruddy (6), Bennett (6), Martin (7), Klose (6), Pinto (6), Tettey (6), Howson (7), Brady (7), Redmond (8), Hoolahan (8), Jerome (5).
Subs used: Mbokani (6), O'Neil (7).
Chelsea: Courtois (8), Azpilicueta (7), Cahill (7), Ivanovic (6), Kenedy (8), Fabregas (6), Matic (6), Hazard (8), Oscar (6), Traore (7), Diego Costa (7).
Subs used: Baba Rahman (5), Mikel (6), Willian (6).
Man of the Match: Eden Hazard