Norwich 0-0 Chelsea: Antonio Conte's side fail to fire in FA Cup third round
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 06/01/18 9:11pm
Chelsea face an FA Cup replay against Norwich after producing a largely listless display in a 0-0 draw at Carrow Road on Saturday.
The Premier League side, who reached the final of the FA Cup last season, created few chances of note after making nine changes to their starting line-up.
Their best openings came in the second half as Danny Drinkwater shot wide from near the penalty spot and Willian saw an effort turned past the post by Angus Gunn.
Norwich: Gunn (6), Pinto (7), Zimmermann (7), Hanley (7), Klose (7), Lewis (6), Tettey (6), Trybull (6), Pritchard (6), Maddison (6), Murphy (7)
Subs: Oliveira (5), Wildschut (5)
Chelsea: Caballero (6), Rudiger (6), David Luiz (6), Cahill (6), Zappacosta (7), Bakayoko (6), Drinkwater (5), Kenedy (5), Willian (7), Batshuayi (4), Pedro (5)
Subs: Morata (5), Sterling (5), Musonda (5)
Man of the match: Christoph Zimmermann
Championship side Norwich rarely threatened themselves but will be more content with the result than Chelsea, who also face Arsenal in the two-legged semi-finals of the Carabao Cup over the next few weeks, live on Sky Sports.
The replay at Stamford Bridge will take place in the week of January 15.
Chelsea set the tone for their below-par performance in the first half when they regularly gave the ball away and failed to trouble Norwich goalkeeper Gunn.
The hosts looked comfortable in defence and also created opportunities, with Josh Murphy dragging a shot wide from inside the box and James Maddison firing over the bar late in the half.
Chelsea did improve after half-time, with Willian injecting some much-needed pace and drive around the box.
The Brazilian saw a couple of shots saved by Gunn and also picked out Drinkwater with a low cross from which he fired wide.
Norwich made one change as Zimmermann replaced Oliveira. Chelsea made nine changes, with David Luiz making his first appearance since November 22 and Batshuayi, Caballero and Kenedy starting.
But Norwich managed to stem the tide and Alex Pritchard shot over in a rare second-half opening for the hosts.
Chelsea pressed late on but the closest they came to a winner was when Davide Zappacosta shot narrowly wide in injury-time.
Daniel Farke: "Perhaps they had some advantages but we still had our chances. A draw is a totally fair result. We are a bit disappointed because it is not that often you are so close to beating a giant like Chelsea in the FA Cup."
Antonio Conte: "For sure there is a bit of disappointment because to have another match in a schedule so busy is not easy, is not simple, but we tried to win the game. We knew very well before we played tonight the game would be very tough. When you play this trophy, especially away, it's very difficult."
Man of the match - Christoph Zimmermann
While Willian tried to make something happen for Chelsea, he could not find a way past Norwich's defence, with Zimmermann particularly impressive in the back three.
The German came into the side in place of Nelson Oliveira and helped keep Michy Batshuayi and then Alvaro Morata quiet in a solid display.
Norwich return to Sky Bet Championship action next Saturday when they travel to Bristol City. Chelsea host Arsenal in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports, and then face Leicester in the Premier League on Saturday.