Although it was an emotional day on the field, it was business as usual for the club quickly becoming one of the most talked-about teams in soccer — and for all the wrong reasons.
After unprecedented British government sanctions against Roman Abramovich, Chelsea’s early goals were scored by Trevor Chalobah (first goal) and Mason Mount (second goal). These restrictions included those that prohibited the team from selling tickets or merchandise or signing new players.
Chelsea needed a special license to be allowed to play. However, the harsh sanctions — which also stopped Abramovich from selling the club — didn’t stop away fans from singing the oligarch’s name right from the start.
The turmoil did not affect Chelsea’s players. Chalobah scored in Mount’s corner in third minute. Mount then scored 11 minutes later when he received a pass from Kai Havertz.
Chelsea seemed to be on their way to victory, but Norwich was able to reduce the deficit with 21 mins remaining when Pierre Lees-Melou crossed the line and struck the arm of Chalobah. Referee Martin Atkinson reviewed the incident on the pitchside monitor and pointed out the spot.
Teemu Pukki took the initiative and sent Edouard Mendy in the wrong direction to set up a nervy final for Chelsea in Norfolk.
Chelsea won the point in injury time, when N’Golo Kante substitute dribbled into it and made it square for Havertz to sidefoot home.
Tuchel stated that there was “of course, a lot distraction”, another distraction with the sanctions, and that it was obvious to him. “The players discussed it, they were aware of it, and we accepted it. But the rhythm, excitement, and love of the game helped us. We can be proud of the team’s character, and I give them full credit. This shows us that we can trust them and that they have the right attitude, culture, and will continue to do so.
Chelsea was third in the Premier League, 13 points behind Manchester City. However, it increased its lead over Manchester United to nine.
Fight for Europe
Wolverhampton kept up its bid for a European spot with a comfortable 4-0 victory over relegation-threatened Watford.
After just 21 minutes, Wolves had jumped to a 3-0 lead thanks to a Raul Jimenez strike, a Cucho Hernandez own goal and a Daniel Podence effort. To complete a dominating display, Ruben Neves added the fourth goal in the 85th.
Wolves were eight points behind Tottenham and West Ham.
Aston Villa is now seven points behind Leeds after routing it 3-0 with goals by Philippe Coutinho and Matty Cash.
This was Leeds’ seventh loss in eight matches, and it left it with two points above the zone of relegation.
Newcastle won 2-1 against Southampton to boost its chances of avoiding relegation. Eddie Howe’s team has won six of seven games, moving 10 points clear from the relegation zone during the first season under Saudi ownership.