Ayala Stars as Norwich Hold Chelsea

Ayala Stars as Norwich Hold Chelsea

Norwich City kept their first clean sheet in the Premier League this season as they able to hold Chelsea to a 0-0 draw at Carrow Road in today’s lunchtime kick off at Carrow Road.

John Ruddy, who was sent off in Norwich’s 3-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge earlier this season was forced into half a dozen saves. The number would have been larger but for a mixture of poor finishing from the visitors and valiant defending from the Canaries.

Daniel Ayala put in a man of the match performance in the heart of the Norwich defence, with the ex-Liverpool centre back making a game-high, 13 clearances which included 8 headed clearances.

The Spaniard moved to England as a youth with Liverpool when Rafa Benitez was in charge but failed to hold down a place in the first team, making 5 Premier League appearances during the 2009/10 season.

Loans spells in the Championship with both Hull City and Derby County last season impressed Paul Lambert enough whom made a move for Ayala in the summer. The centre back has started all of Norwich’s last 4 league games.

Substitute Florent Malouda, who came on for the injured Frank Lampard in the first half was the most creative player for Chelsea with his team mates failing to convert any.

Jose Bosingwa was lively attacking down the right wing from full back but the Portuguese international also failed to register an assist to his name.

The highlight of the game was Fernando Torres’ close range miss after Bosingwa’s deflected cross was picked up by the misfiring striker outside the 6 yard box to toe poke wide with former Liverpool team mate Daniel Ayala closing in on him.

Torres did force a fine fingertip save in the first half when the Spaniard broke into the penalty area to bend a shot across goal only to be denied by the outstretched John Ruddy.

This is the first point Norwich City have taken a point off of the top 5 this season.

Both Chelsea and Norwich City remain unbeaten in 2012.