Drogba injured as Chelsea beat Norwich

Chelsea rise to the summit of league with victory as Blackburn sink to bottom after missing two penalties.

    Mata looks like a great signing for Chelsea after his debut goal sealed victory [GALLO/GETTY] 

    Chelsea beat English Premier League new boys Norwich 3-1 on Saturday however the victory came at a cost as striker Didier Drogba was stretchered off with what appeared to be a serious injury.  

    The Ivory Coast forward fell heavily following an aerial collision with Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy midway through the second half and needed lengthy treatment before he was taken for further examination.

    A rare goal from Jose Bosingwa had given Andre Villas-Boas' side the early lead but Norwich recovered to equalise through captain Grant Holt just after the hour mark following a defensive mix-up.

    Frank Lampard's penalty put Chelsea ahead once more after Ruddy had been sent off for conceding it and debutant Juan Mata scored the third in stoppage time.

    Ruddy had made a fine save to push a Ramires long-ranger round a post as early as the second minute as Chelsea started strongly.

    Leon Barnett blocked a Fernando Torres effort but Chelsea were not to be denied and Bosingwa broke the deadlock in the sixth minute with a drive from more than 20 yards out that gave Ruddy no chance as it flashed into the top corner.

    Results & fixtures

    Saturday August 27

     Aston Villa 0-0 Wolves
     Wigan 2-0 QPR
     Blackburn 0-1 Everton  Chelsea 3-1 Norwich 
     Swansea 0-0 Sunderland
     Liverpool 3-1 Bolton

    Sunday August 28

     Newcastle v Fulham
     Tottenham v Man City
     West Brom v Stoke
     Man Utd v Arsenal

    The half ended with a Drogba free-kick just clearing the bar and Florent Malouda forcing a save from Ruddy, but Norwich had improved following their nervous start and subsequent tactical reshuffle.

    Norwich's equaliser arrived in the 63rd minute - and it was a free gift from the Chelsea defence.

    Hilario and Ivanovic both went for Kyle Naughton's cross from the right and succeeded only in allowing the ball to drop perfectly for the lurking Holt, who immediately hooked it towards the empty net.

    There was more bad news almost straight away when Drogba was hurt in an aerial collision with Ruddy, which was compounded by the heavy fall that followed.

    He was replaced by Nicolas Anelka, with Mata, the $38 million new signing from Valencia, handed a debut at this point.

    The game finally shifted Chelsea's way when Ruddy brought Ramires down in the box to concede a penalty.

    The goalkeeper was also shown a red card to become the second Norwich player in as many Premier League matches to be sent off.

    Lampard despatched the penalty past substitute goalkeeper Declan Rudd and, after 11 minutes of added time, the points were Chelsea's when Mata took advantage of a loose ball in the Norwich box and slotted in the third.

    Dark day for Blackburn

    Blackburn sank to the foot of the Premier League after going down to a late penalty in their 1-0 home defeat against Everton having earlier missed two spot-kicks of their own.

    Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta kept his cool in stoppage time to earn all three points, but his Everton team should have been dead and buried after Rovers spurned two glorious opportunities to put the game out of reach.

    David Hoilett and Argentinian substitute Mauro Formica were both unsuccessful with second-half spot kicks as Everton miraculously came away with three points which move them up to 10th in the table.

    It is the first time lowly Rovers have lost their first three league games of a season since 1951.

          Howard was Everton's hero after saving a penalty and watching another hit the woodwork [GALLO/GETTY] 

    At the Liberty Stadium, Swansea were unable to put their first Premier League goal on the board after being held to a 0-0 draw by Sunderland. 

    Brendan Rodgers' side have now played three league games since their promotion from the Championship last season and have failed to scored against Manchester City, Wigan and now Sunderland.

    Record signing Danny Graham headed their best chance wide when unmarked inside the box, while the former Watford striker forced two fine saves from Simon Mignolet and Scott Sinclair stuck the bar.

    The Black Cats, also still without a league win this season, threatened through Asamoah Gyan early on but the Ghana forward fluffed their best chance when he miscontrolled a Jack Colback pass, while debutant John O'Shea hit the bar.

    Argentine striker Franco Di Santo scored either side of half-time to earn Wigan a 2-0 win over promoted Queens Park Rangers and maintain his team's unbeaten record in the Premier League this season.

    The former Chelsea forward drilled a finish into the top corner in the 41st minute for the opening goal and wrapped up victory with a deflected shot from just outside the penalty box in the 66th.

    Aston Villa and Wolves also remain unbeaten in the Premier League after the local rivals drew 0-0.

    Wolves, who just avoided relegation last season, have now taken seven points from their opening three games after surviving a second-half battering by Villa.

    Mick McCarthy's Wolves rarely threatened but captain Roger Johnson was solid in defence to repel the Villa danger.

    "A clean sheet was big for us," Johnson said.

    "I said to the boys that we would need to weather the storm and we did. We'll take seven points so far. We know we're a very good team and we'll try and finish as high as possible. We're a good side."

    SOURCE: Agencies


    Cricket World Cup 2019 Quiz: How many runs can you score?

    Cricket World Cup 2019 Quiz: How many runs can you score?

    Pick your team and answer as many correct questions in three minutes.

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Remembering Chernobyl

    Remembering Chernobyl

    The fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion remains as politicised as ever, 28 years on.