Tammy Abraham gave Frank Lampard a first Premier League win in charge of Chelsea as the striker’s two goals helped to secure a 3-2 triumph at Norwich City.
The recalled striker bookended the scoring at Carrow Road, lighting the fuse for a pulsating contest with a third-minute opener and later deciding the match with his 68th-minute finish.
Todd Cantwell’s response 156 seconds after Abraham’s first added to a theme of defensive instability which Mason Mount and Teemu Pukki capitalised upon in a four-goal first half.
Chelsea addressed their insecurities after the break and Lampard’s faith in youth was well and truly rewarded by the end as his side avoided a fourth match without victory.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 24, 2019
Abraham replaced Olivier Giroud in Chelsea’s starting XI and quickly gained the goal he craved, meeting Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross with a measured half-volley.
The lead lasted less than three minutes though.
Emiliano Buendia weaved away from markers and connected with Pukki, who squared for Cantwell to convert at close range.
Abraham had celebrated his opener with Lampard and there was further satisfaction for the Chelsea boss when midfielder Mount sliced through a suspect defence to score for the second straight match.
But the visitors were no less vulnerable, Pukki’s intelligent finish from a narrow angle punishing Andreas Christensen’s failure to hold the line 15 minutes before half-time.
The Blues began to assert greater authority after the interval and might have been rewarded had Emerson Palmieri shot either side of Tim Krul.
It was ultimately left to an academy product to provide all three points, though, as Abraham escaped on a counter-attack and held his nerve when confronted by two defenders.
Ben Godfrey gave the 21-year-old too much space for the match-winning strike but almost made amends with a header that crashed against the crossbar, Norwich going agonisingly close to a fourth point of the campaign.
What does it mean?
Norwich were on a high after brushing aside Newcastle United last weekend and will trouble plenty of strong sides this season.
While his team were unconvincing defensively, Lampard and Chelsea simply needed victory anyway they could get it and there were two homegrown talents to thank.
In Abraham and Mount, it is plain to see why the club legend is so willing to work with young players.
21 – This is the first time two English players aged 21 or under have scored in a Premier League match for @ChelseaFC since 22nd August 1992, when Eddie Newton and Graham Stuart scored against Sheffield Wednesday. Throwback. #NORCHE pic.twitter.com/fUQ9T5ksUs
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 24, 2019
Abraham seals starting berth with crucial brace
Abraham’s well-taken double made him the third youngest player to score twice in a Premier League game for Chelsea.
He can now look forward to an extended run at the point of attack.
Blues must rush back Rudiger
Chelsea’s capacity to score goals was a matter of contention leading into this match but it is evident that an unsteady defence is of greater concern.
Cantwell and Pukki all too easily found space in the box for their goals, an issue the impending return of Antonio Rudiger might resolve.
Norwich visit fourth-tier Crawley Town in the second round of the EFL Cup on Tuesday ahead of a weekend trip to London to face West Ham.
Chelsea’s next game is against another promoted side, Sheffield United, at Stamford Bridge in a week’s time.
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