Chelsea held on to a 3-1 victory at Norwich on Sunday, thanks to two late goals from substitutes Eden Hazard and Willian.
Oscar’s early opener from inside the area set the tone for Jose Mourinho’s team, but Anthony Pilkington’s header midway through the second-half leveled for the hosts.
Norwich pressed for the match winner but the duo of Hazard and £30m signing Willian were in hand to secure three points for the visitor.
The victory at Carrow Road was Chelsea’s first away from home and could go a long way to booster the London outfit’s fighting spirit as the title contest looks to intensify in the coming weeks.
Chelsea have drawn two and lost one of their away games away from home so far this season.
Demba Ba started his second match of the season for Chelsea and was soon called into action when the legendary Franck Lampard lofted a pass towards the Norwich box for the Senegalese, who controlled the ball and then clipped a pass for the onrushing Oscar to finish with the outside of his boot.
Were it not for goalkeeper John Rudy’s save in the 14th minute, the ‘Blues’ would have been 2-0 up when Juan Mata cut open the hosts’ defence and put Ba clear on the left, but the striker’s low shot was tipped wide by the goalkeeper.
Norwich almost squared up with their first sight at goal when Robert Snodgrass made his way behind the Chelsea defence and crossed for Jonny Howson, whose close-range shot was kept out by Petr Cech at his near post.
The ‘Canaries’ came into the second-half prepared to exploit more of Chelsea’s defensive tendencies and Pilkington soon had a penalty appeal waved aside by referee Neil Swarbrick, after going down in the area under a challenge by Ramires, before John Terry hooked a clearance off the chest of Ricky van Wolfswinkel.
The equaliser came 8 minutes after the hour mark when Van Wolfswinkel produced a header from a Martin Olsson cross into the path of Pilkington, who headed home from close range.
It blew the game wide open while Norwich’s substitute Nathan Redmond came with his own peculiar instructions to make things difficult for the visitors.
Redmond saw his descent drive saved by Petr Cech and as the game got into the final ten minutes, the hosts pressed for a possible winner.
Norwich were hard-donned by their desire to get a winning goal when Willian sparked a quick counter and fed a pass to Brazilian Oscar, who picked out Hazard’s run and the Belgian smuggled the ball under Ruddy’s body to get Chelsea in front again.
The victory was sealed in the next minute when Willian pounced on a loose ball before expertly curling a shot into Ruddy’s goal.