Chelsea boss André Villas-Boas pleased with point at Norwich City
PUBLISHED: 12:36 23 January 2012
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Chelsea boss André Villas-Boas was moved to say that a draw at Carrow Road was "not a bad point" - while accepting it did little for his team's fading Premier League title challenge.
The Blues became the first team this season to fail to score against the Canaries, and also missed the chance to become the first side to double them since Reading in 2008-09.
“We created enough opportunities to win the game,” said Villas-Boas. “I think in the first half it was split between the two teams with opportunities. In the second half we managed to create a lot more, managed to be dominant but couldn’t find the back of the net.”
Chelsea’s Portuguese manager made special mention of the performance of City goalkeeper John Ruddy, who had been sent off when the teams met at Stamford Bridge in August.
“Had we found the back of the net, we would have taken the three points away because we looked solid and consistent, a little bit better than in the first half,” said Villas-Boas.
“The players’ workrate was fantastic and they really fought hard to get the winning goal, but we couldn’t find this either through our lack of efficiency or also due to Ruddy’s amazing performance. Bearing in mind Norwich’s run of form, you could say it’s not a bad point, but the fact we want to be champions puts things in a different perspective. It could have been a good last opportunity for us to threaten for the title and we have to wait and see if it’s a point gained or two points dropped. It’s a very difficult place to come to but we did really well in terms of our attacking options.”
Chelsea lost England midfielder Frank Lampard before half-time with a torn calf muscle, but the post-match inquest centred mostly on another blank day for Spain’s World Cup-winning striker, £50m man Fernando Torres, who has not scored a Premier League goal since September and missed the best chance of the match when he shot wide on the hour.
“He tried really hard,” said Villas-Boas. “There was an excellent save from Ruddy in the first half. His movements again were sharp and effective. He’s trying hard to get the goals that he wants, but he has had a major impact also in our offensive game and we were happy with his display. He has persisted all these weeks. We can’t be hypocrites and not take into account what he did in the last game against Sunderland where everybody praised him for his arrival of form.”
Villas-Boas also praised defender David Luiz, who kept his place despite the arrival of £7m signing Gary Cahill, from Bolton.
“Morison and Holt, they’ve been doing magnificently well, but David has been magnificent throughout this season. He was put in question by different perspectives and opinions, which we respect, but we are happy with his performances,” he said.