Chelsea’s players ignored the uncertainty surrounding the club and serious allegations against its chairman, with goals from Trevoh Chalobah, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz cementing them in third place.
Chelsea overcame the chaos of a turbulent day off the pitch to grind out a 3-1 win at Norwich and stay in the driving seat for Champions League qualification. Their hosts remain rooted to the bottom and look certainties for relegation.
Chelsea dominated possession from the off, playing with tempo and imagination, and on three minutes Chalobah headed the opener from Mount’s corner.
Then, on 14 minutes, Havertz found Mount, who finished superbly, high into the net. Teemu Pukki would give Norwich a lifeline on 68 minutes when he slotted a penalty after Chalobah handled in the area. Thomas Tuchel’s side upped the tempo thereafter though and the impressive Havertz killed off the game with a ruthless finish from just inside the box.
The Blues’ third win in a row moves them eight points clear of Arsenal and seven behind second-placed Liverpool, who have played a game less.
The announcement about Abramovich’s sanctions could barely have come at a worse time in Chelsea’s preparation ahead of Thursday’s game, but Tuchel said the familiar routine of the match day experience had helped his squad remain calm amid the “huge impact” of the news.