Chelsea manager Antonio Conte admits that Championship side Norwich City deserve their 0-0 draw in their FA Cup third round clash at Carrow Road. There is lots of Premier League experience in this group of players though, mixed with some youthful exuberance.
The Championship outfit held the Premier League champions to a stalemate at Carrow Road, earning a replay at Stamford Bridge for a second chance to make it into the fourth round of the competition.
A second-half revival by Chelsea after a lethargic first half by one of the most expensively assembled teams in the land - even if it was essentially the second string - was not enough to deny Norwich City a replay back at Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool Star Mohamed Salah crowned 2017 CAF player of the year
Egypt was named National Team of the Year , alongside its Argentinian manager, Hector Cuper , who was voted Coach of the Year . He also made an African record move to Liverpool and scored 23 goals in all competitions for the Premier League club in 2017.
The last time City went beyond the third round was five seasons ago but there was no sign of an inferiority complex as Murphy exposed the Chelsea backline but fired harmlessly across the face of the goal and another chance went begging. "When you play this trophy, especially away, it's very hard". For us it's not simple to add another game in the schedule. We knew very well before we played tonight the game would be very tough. We found a bit of difficulty we tried to win the game.
Willian continues to blow hot and cold and Cesc Fabregas, forced by injuries elsewhere in Conte's squad to abandon his best role as devastating substitute, has four assists and one goal to his name in 19 appearances. They defended very well. Chelsea's 3-4-3 formation no longer catches opponents by surprise in the manner that it did during the 13-game Premier League win streak that virtually secured the title last season, and the more conservative 3-5-2 system Conte now favours in bigger matches is a slight tweak rather than a marked shift in approach.