Chelsea produced one their limpest displays of the season, drawing 0-0 against dull Norwich City at Carrow Road this afternoon. Bereft of ideas in midfield, Fernando Torres laboured up front and must be wondering if he is ever going to score again for the Blues.
A transfusion of players is required not just a transformation of tactics. Norwich had failed to keep a clean sheet all season, until Chelsea came to town. In truth, the Canaries did not have to be at their best to deny Chelsea - such was the visitors' inept performance.
At the final whistle the home crowd cheered their players off the pitch as if they had won the Premier League. The 2,000 travelling supporters must be wondering just what the future is for the Blues under the tutelage of Andre Villas-Boas.
Norwich's, first attack on goal after five minutes saw striker Steve Morison bring out the best in Petr Cech, who dived smartly to his left to block the home side's excellent quick counter-attack.
Morison, five minutes later, then bisected the Chelsea rearguard, setting up Grant Holt. But the hit-man, with a clear run on goal, shot early from just outside the penalty area and put the ball inches wide of Cech's left post. Norwich's counter-attacks were their tactic of choice and on 20 minutes it was the turn of
Morison to race clear. Sadly for the Welsh striker, his low drive on the right hit the Chelsea side netting.
Torres, anonymous up until now, burst into life on 27 minutes. Taking a pass off Ramires, he produced a fine curler of a right foot, forcing John Ruddy to parry the ball away for a corner. From the resultant cross, Daniel Sturridge skied over a half-volley.
Frank Lampard limped off with what appeared a left calf injury on 35 minutes. He was replaced by Florent Malouda, but not before Cech made a save, preventing Bradley Johnson's deflected shot from 20 yards creeping in.
Seven minutes before the break and yet another counter-attack saw Holt, on the apex of the Chelsea area produce a fine half volley which Cech did well to punch clear to safety. Seconds later and Juan Mata forced Ruddy into a low diving save, preventing the Spain midfielder squeaking his left for drive into the net.
Right on half-time and Mata missed a golden opportunity to put the visitors ahead, weaving into the Norwich penalty area, Mata found space but proceeded to blast a right footer over Ruddy' s goal when a carefully placed shot would have been a better option.
Anthony Pilkington had the first effort of the second half within three minutes of the restart.
Skinning Terry on the right, Pilkington cut inside but arrowed a left footer high and wide over Cech's crossbar. Torres produced the miss of the season - for him on 60 minutes, when he collected the ball from Bosingwa.
Standing on the six yard box, instead of instinctively slotting the ball home, he instead, took a touch and prodded the ball wide much to his embarrassment.
Mata had another left footer blocked by Ruddy a minute later as the visitors pressurised the home side's defence.
Norwich had a fine claim for hand ball on the edge of the Chelsea penalty area, by Meireles, turned down by referee Mark Clattenberg. Chelsea's patience, some might call it laboured set-up play almost reaped dividends on 67 minutes when Bosingwa passed to Meireles who, once again, blasted the ball high and wide over Ruddy's crossbar.
Ramires it in on the edge of Lara shooting on 72 minutes. At least the Brazil midfielder's effort was on target. Sadly it had little power to trouble Ruddy.
Torres's Chelsea nightmare was put to an end by Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas when he was substituted four minutes later, replaced by Romelu Lukaku. Norwich replaced Morison and David Fox with Simeon Jackson and Andrew Crofts. Minute later.
Michael Essien entered the fray a couple of minutes later replacing ineffectual Meireles. The game petered out as the home side were content with a point and the visitors' simply were devoid of imagination to created anything worthwhile. Teams: Chelsea - Cech, Cole, Luiz, Lampard, Torres, Mata, Merieles, Bosingwa, Sturridge, Terry, Ramires Subs- Turnbull, Ivanovic, Essien, Romeu, Lukaku,Malouda, Bertrand Norwich City- Ruddy, Martin, Johnson, Morison, Whitbread, Holt, Surman, Pilkington, Fox, Naughton, Ayala subs- Steer, Drury, Crofts, Jackson, Hoolahan, Bennett, Wilbraham Referee- Mark Clattenberg