Four-star Blues crush Canaries

Fernando Torres, right, scored Chelsea's equaliser against Norwich

Fernando Torres, right, scored Chelsea's equaliser against Norwich

First published in National Sport News © by

Chelsea kept their hold on top spot in the Barclays Premier League with a resounding comeback that saw them beat Norwich 4-1 at Stamford Bridge.

The away side threatened a shock when Grant Holt justified his recall by putting the Canaries in front after 11 minutes, but Fernando Torres ensured parity for the Blues soon enough, setting the tone for a comfortable afternoon for Roberto Di Matteo's side.

Frank Lampard and Eden Hazard racked up a two-goal advantage for the hosts before the half-time whistle, while Branislav Ivanovic completed the rout after 76 minutes.

It was the perfect way for Chelsea to go into the international break but the hosts were left stunned as Norwich took the lead in the 11th minute when Wes Hoolahan was allowed to cross to Leon Barnett, whose knockdown was crashed home by Holt.

Torres made amends for an earlier miss by timing his run to perfection to head home Ivanovic's cross and the visitors then pressed the self-destruct button.

They failed to clear their lines in the 22nd minute and were horribly deep as Torres' overhead kick rebounded to Lampard to arrow home first time from 18 yards.

The poor defending continued when Ashley Cole headed wide and hit a new low in the 31st minute as John Terry cleared a corner, Juan Mata evaded a lame tackle and was allowed to run unchallenged for 60 yards before threading in Hazard to slot home.

The visitors looked happy simply to avoid a drubbing after the interval and they held out for most of the half.

But goalkeeper John Ruddy was beaten again 14 minutes from time when Ivanovic smashed home a superb near-post volley from Mata's lay-off, yet another assist for the red-hot winger.

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