Chelsea put their off-field troubles aside as they emphatically beat struggling Norwich to continue to set the Premier League pace.

John Terry and Ashley Cole started for the home side but they went behind when Grant Holt drove in a 15-yard shot.

Chelsea hit back with a Fernando Torres header and Frank Lampard drilled in an 18-yard shot to extend the Blues lead.

Terry and Cole focus pleases Di Matteo

Juan Mata set up Eden Hazard to slot in a third before Branislav Ivanovic powered in Chelsea's fourth.

The playmaking trio of Mata, Hazard and Oscar buzzed around with an incisiveness and invention that Norwich could not handle with the former particularly prominent.

Mata has four goals and five assists in the last five games and the stylish Spaniard was the main orchestrator as his side secured a sixth top-flight win in seven.

Norwich were left still searching for a first league victory of the season and manager Chris Hughton will be concerned at the leaking of 17 goals so far this campaign.

The victory for Chelsea will also be a relief for the Stamford Bridge side after the previous day's troubles.

The club had first learned of the Football Association's ruling that John Terry's evidence was "improbable, implausible and contrived" in the hearing over whether the defender racially abused QPR's Anton Ferdinand.

A tweet from Blues left-back Cole criticising the FA over comments about his role in the case caused more turmoil.

Analysis

"A turbulent time at Chelsea but they were worth winners against Norwich as they won with room to spare. They stay firmly at the top of the Premier League going into the international break."

Both players were selected to play by boss Roberto Di Matteo but, after Torres missed an early chance, they failed to stop the visitors taking the lead.

Wes Hoolahan chipped a cross to the far post where Leon Barnett nodded the ball down for Holt to drive in a shot from just inside the area for his second league goal of the season.

The lead did not last long as Ivanovic crossed for Torres to head in from eight yards as the Canaries defence stood and watched.

Norwich have let in five goals twice already this season and, despite playing with a five-man midfield to be more defensively stable, they could not stop Chelsea, playing with vibrancy and verve, surging into a two-goal advantage.

An acrobatic Torres shot was blocked by Russell Martin but the effort was only cleared to Lampard, who thumped in a shot from the edge of the area.

Soon afterwards, the exemplary Mata ran unchallenged for half of the pitch before sliding through a pass which Hazard coolly tucked past keeper John Ruddy.

Chelsea joy and Norwich misery

  • Frank Lampard has scored in each of his three Premier League appearances against Norwich at Stamford Bridge
  • Chelsea are the only team in the Premier League yet to concede a goal in the second half
  • Norwich have won just one and lost seven of their last 10 Premier League away games

Norwich were playing on the counter-attack and had they had more of a cutting edge in the final third they might have caused Chelsea more concern.

Holt headed just wide from a Hoolahan cross in a promising chance for the visitors.

But Chelsea were in no mood to allow any sort of comeback and the manner with which they stroked the ball about with style and panache after their summer upheavals is a credit to the job Di Matteo is doing.

Ivanovic completed the victory with a drilled fourth, with Chelsea now holding a four-point lead at the Premier League summit.

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo:

"We're pleased that we're going into this international break at the top of the Premier League.

"We have so many more games to play but we're in a good position and have a lot of confidence.

"As long as we don't have many injuries, we'll keep chipping away and try to win as many games and points as we can.

Defence not good enough - Hughton

"I still think Manchester City - if you look at their squad - and Manchester United will be up there."

Norwich boss Chris Hughton:

"I was probably more annoyed and disappointed at half-time than I was at the end of the game because, after taking the lead, we certainly needed to be in the game for longer.

"When you come here, particularly with the quality that they have got - the offensive quality they've got now - you know it's going to be a tough ask. But, when you score so early, you need to stay in the game longer.

"At the moment, as a team, we're not defending well enough."

Lineup, Bookings (0) & Substitutions (6)

Chelsea

  • 01 Cech
  • 02 Ivanovic (Azpilicueta - 78' )
  • 03 Cole
  • 04 Luiz
  • 26 Terry
  • 08 Lampard (Ramires - 67' )
  • 10 Mata
  • 11 Oscar
  • 12 Mikel (Romeu - 82' )
  • 17 Hazard
  • 09 Torres

Substitutes

  • 22 Turnbull
  • 24 Cahill
  • 28 Azpilicueta
  • 34 Bertrand
  • 06 Romeu
  • 07 Ramires
  • 13 Moses

Norwich

  • 01 Ruddy
  • 02 R Martin
  • 05 Bassong (R Bennett - 78' )
  • 18 Garrido
  • 20 Barnett
  • 04 Johnson (Pilkington - 68' )
  • 08 Howson
  • 14 Hoolahan
  • 17 E Bennett
  • 27 Tettey
  • 09 Holt (Morison - 77' )

Substitutes

  • 28 Bunn
  • 06 Turner
  • 24 R Bennett
  • 12 Pilkington
  • 07 Snodgrass
  • 10 Jackson
  • 16 Morison
Ref: Taylor
Att: 41,784

Match Stats

Shots

20 7

On target

13 4

Corners

10 2

Fouls

7 1

Live Text Commentary

91:57 Full time

Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.

90:00 +1:26

Shot from just outside the box by Oriol Romeu goes over the bar.

90:00 +0:09

Short corner worked by Juan Mata.

89:17

Corner taken short by Eden Hazard.

87:05

Steve Morison is penalised for a handball. John Terry takes the direct free kick.

86:41

Free kick awarded for a foul by Eden Hazard on Jonathan Howson. Free kick taken by John Ruddy.

85:58

Shot by Oriol Romeu from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.

85:09

Corner taken by Eden Hazard from the right by-line, clearance by Russell Martin.

84:09

Shot from just outside the box by Oriol Romeu misses to the right of the target.

81:30

Juan Mata crosses the ball, Header from close in by John Terry misses to the left of the target.

81:30 Substitution

Substitution Oriol Romeu replaces Mikel.

81:30

Unfair challenge on Eden Hazard by Ryan Bennett results in a free kick.

77:41 Substitution

Substitution Cesar Azpilicueta replaces Branislav Ivanovic.

77:13 Substitution

Substitution Ryan Bennett is brought on as a substitute for Sebastien Bassong.

76:50 Substitution

Substitution (Norwich) makes a substitution, with Steve Morison coming on for Grant Holt.

75:43

The assist for the goal came from Juan Mata.

75:43 Goal scored

Goal! - Branislav Ivanovic - Chelsea 4 - 1 Norwich Branislav Ivanovic finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Chelsea 4-1 Norwich.

74:50

Juan Mata takes the inswinging corner, Jonathan Howson manages to make a clearance.

74:35

Fernando Torres takes a shot. John Ruddy makes a save.

72:45

Corner taken by Eden Hazard, save by John Ruddy.

71:37

Nascimento Ramires challenges Grant Holt unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Wesley Hoolahan.

71:23

Juan Mata takes a shot. Sebastien Bassong gets a block in.

67:41 Substitution

Substitution Anthony Pilkington replaces Bradley Johnson.

66:18 Substitution

Substitution (Chelsea) makes a substitution, with Nascimento Ramires coming on for Frank Lampard.

65:26

Jonathan Howson takes a shot. Blocked by John Terry.

61:01

Fernando Torres is ruled offside. John Ruddy takes the free kick.

59:38

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Juan Mata from the right by-line.

59:12

Frank Lampard takes a shot. Blocked by Javier Garrido.

57:08

Juan Mata takes a shot. John Ruddy makes a save.

55:32

Emboaba Oscar takes a shot. Save by John Ruddy.

53:34

Shot from long range by Alexander Tettey goes wide of the left-hand post.

49:14

Fernando Torres is flagged offside by the assistant referee. John Ruddy takes the free kick.

47:48

Ashley Cole takes a shot. Sebastien Bassong gets a block in.

46:35

Headed effort on goal by Grant Holt from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.

45:01

The match restarts for the second half.

45:00 +1:06 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.

42:56

Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Grant Holt goes harmlessly over the crossbar.

39:28

Emboaba Oscar takes a shot. Save made by John Ruddy.

36:28

Short corner taken by Eden Hazard, Mikel produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target.

35:16

The assistant referee signals for offside against Wesley Hoolahan. John Terry takes the free kick.

34:25

Elliott Bennett decides to take a short corner.

33:12

Juan Mata takes the inswinging corner, Sebastien Bassong manages to make a clearance.

31:45

Short corner worked by Frank Lampard.

31:31

Ashley Cole takes a shot. Blocked by Sebastien Bassong.

30:14

Juan Mata provided the assist for the goal.

30:14 Goal scored

Goal! - Eden Hazard - Chelsea 3 - 1 Norwich Eden Hazard grabs a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Chelsea 3-1 Norwich.

29:30

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Elliott Bennett, John Terry manages to make a clearance.

24:32

Header from close in by Ashley Cole misses to the left of the goal.

21:26

Fernando Torres takes a shot. Save by John Ruddy.

21:20

Assist by Fernando Torres.

21:20 Goal scored

Goal! - Frank Lampard - Chelsea 2 - 1 Norwich Frank Lampard fires in a goal from just outside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Chelsea 2-1 Norwich.

18:47

Bradley Johnson takes a shot from 12 yards. Save made by Petr Cech.

17:53

Corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard from the left by-line, save by John Ruddy.

17:17

Grant Holt takes a shot. Save made by Petr Cech.

16:42

Free kick awarded for a foul by Branislav Ivanovic on Alexander Tettey. Javier Garrido restarts play with the free kick.

15:53

Eden Hazard takes a shot. Save made by John Ruddy.

13:36

Assist by Branislav Ivanovic.

13:36 Goal scored

Goal! - Fernando Torres - Chelsea 1 - 1 Norwich Fernando Torres grabs a headed goal from inside the penalty box. Chelsea 1-1 Norwich.

10:05

Assist on the goal came from Leon Barnett.

10:05 Goal scored

Goal! - Grant Holt - Chelsea 0 - 1 Norwich Grant Holt finds the net with a goal from inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Chelsea 0-1 Norwich.

9:13

Free kick awarded for a foul by Mikel on Elliott Bennett. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Elliott Bennett from right wing, David Luiz manages to make a clearance.

8:29

Foul by Frank Lampard on Grant Holt, free kick awarded. Grant Holt restarts play with the free kick.

6:09

Foul by Mikel on Alexander Tettey, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed right-footed by Elliott Bennett from right channel, clearance by Mikel.

3:58

John Terry challenges Sebastien Bassong unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Leon Barnett.

0:00

The match has kicked off.

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