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Chelsea-Norwich City Preview
Heading into the third match of his Premier League managerial tenure, Frank Lampard is still looking for that first win with his beloved Chelsea.
The Blues will try to avoid starting winless over three consecutive top-flight matches for the first time in over 20 years on Saturday when they visit Norwich City.
There was plenty of excitement associated with Lampard's appointment as Chelsea coach, and it's still too early to feel concerned with the club's 0-1-1 start. Now, the 4-0 opening loss at Manchester United was something no Blues fans expected, and last weekend's 1-1 home draw with Leicester City was a rather frustrating finish.
The latter because talented newcomer Mason Mount gave Chelsea a 1-0 lead seven minutes into the game. After that, the Blues' attack fell silent and they conceded the equaliser on 67 minutes.
"We need better game management," Lampard told Chelsea's official website. "When the game turns slightly against us, then we need to be good enough to wrestle that back and move the ball better. So, that's something for us to keep working on."
Now, the Blues move on and try to avoid going the first three games of a Premier League season without a victory since starting 0-2-1 in 1998-99.
"The season is long," Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta said. "We would like to have started in another way with different results, but the performances have been good, and now it's time to get results. We are Chelsea and we don't accept not winning. It's up to us to raise the levels and get a win (Saturday)."
Chelsea, who might not have played as well thus far as Azpilicueta believes, had no trouble garnering positive results against Norwich while going 8-2-0 over their last 10 meetings in the Premier League. Of course, they last met as members of the top-flight in March 2016.
After succumbing 4-1 at Liverpool in their return to the Premier League, Norwich (1-0-1) earned that coveted first victory last Saturday, 3-1 over visiting Newcastle United. Teemu Pukki recorded a hat trick in the first 75 minutes as the Canaries rolled to a rather easy triumph in their 2019-20 home debut.
"It's important to get those points for the mood and confidence," manager Daniel Farke told Norwich's official website. "You didn't want to be under pressure to win games or close gaps, so it's a big thing mentally to win so early in the season."
Finish forward Pukki, who scored 29 goals for Norwich in the Championship last season, has recorded all four of the club's tallies through the first two weeks of this term. According to the team, he's also the first Norwich player to register a hat trick in Premier League play since Efan Ekoku in 1994.
"They were really brilliant finishes from Teemu," Farke added. "His workload was brilliant. It's not about individual statistics and how many goals he scores. It's all about the team, and for that he is so important for us, so it was a brilliant performance from him."
Updated August 22, 2019