Chelsea spent all evening in search of penalties – and even had two players sent off in demanding them – so it was bitterly ironic that they eventually did prevail, in one of the most extraordinary FA Cup ties of modern-times, from the spot, after extra-time and from a shoot-out.
And this was a very modern cup-tie. The spotlight will fall heavily on the VAR – Video Assistant Referee – system.
It comes into use for “clear and obvious” errors but that was the only thing clear and obvious in a raucous, chaotic third round replay that was eventually cruel on Norwich City, 13th in the Championship.
How and when was the ‘VAR’ system used? No-one could accuse referee Graham Scott of not being decisive as he waved away a series of desperate appeals.
He booked Pedro for a ‘dive’. He also booked substitute Alvaro Morata for going over too easily, and he then gave the furious striker a second yellow card for his vehement protests.
By then Pedro had also received a second booking and was off, for a foul, chopping down Norwich substitute Wes Hoolahan.
Scott certainly consulted with the VAR – he was often seen with his finger pressed to his ear – but he also stood his ground.
In the technical area Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte was apoplectic – he even drew an imaginary ‘TV’ screen in the air, demanding a referral after one incident (something he is not supposed to do). As did Morata out on the pitch.
There were four dramatic appeals in extra-time alone but whether any of them should have been given was debatable. And was debated, intensely. Morata said he was pulled to the ground twice, Chelsea appealed for handball against Timm Klose and also argued, perhaps with the greatest justification, although even that was not conclusive, that Willian had been fouled by the same defender.
For the record this was actually Chelsea’s fifth draw in a row – after the 2-2 in the Premier League against Arsenal, then three goalless draws, including the fixture away at Carrow Road that forced this replay.
It is the first time Chelsea have recorded such a sequence since 1969 even if that was forgotten as substitute Eden Hazard – who had come on as a fourth substitute, permitted in extra-time, rolled in the decisive spot-kick to win 5-3.
Norwich missed just one of theirs, with Chelsea’s reserve goalkeeper Willy Caballero, saving well from striker Nelson Oliveira, who had played so well, and while the home side created a host of chances then so to did the visitors who showed huge reserves of belief to come back into this tie.
They even struck the frame of the goal twice – with Oliveira’s smart shot, with the outside of his boot, clipping the top of the cross-bar in the first-half and then Josh Murphy hugely unfortunate when his half-volley, from a half-clearance, crashed back off the post.
It had seemed the story would be about Michy Batshuayi who made a rare start, and played poorly. But on his 50th appearance, he claimed his 17th goal for Chelsea as he side-footed high into the net from close-range, connecting with Kenedy’s precise cross.
It may be his last for Chelsea, also, for this season at least. There is an expectation that Batshuayi will leave this month – probably on loan, possibly permanently.
One potential destination is West Ham United with Chelsea keen on their striker Andy Carroll and it was interesting to see their manager, David Moyes, among the crowd not least because his side do not play at Stamford Bridge until April.
So Moyes was on a scouting mission. It may have been for Batshuayi but he will have been more impressed by a host of Norwich players, especially youngsters James Maddison, who was denied by Caballero with a fine save, Harrison Reed – on loan from Southampton – and Murphy.
There was another, 19-year-old defender Jamal Lewis, who struck Norwich’s late, late equalising goal as he ghosted between David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta – who appeared strangely vulnerable – to flick on a header from Klose’s cross and guide the ball past Caballero and into the goal. Incredibly it came in the 94th minute. It was Lewis’ first senior goal.
Norwich also had a chance with the final action of the 120 minutes but Caballero clutched on to Klose’s header. If Chelsea had lost it then, the scenes would have been dramatic given one fan had already ran on to the pitch to try and remonstrate with Scott when he waved away Morata’s second penalty appeal after the Spaniard went down after Klose had put his hands on him.
In fairness to Chelsea they had also created chances. In the first 10 minutes alone, which seemed a long time ago by the end of this tie, they could have struck three times before Norwich goalkeeper Angus Gunn saved superbly from Danny Drinkwater, diverting his sweeping 30-yard shot onto the cross-bar.
Antonio Conte says VAR has to improve if it is to be used. He highlights the decision not to give Willian a penalty and to quickly book him. He questions why no check first before booking. #CHENOR— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 17, 2018
Gunn, on loan from Manchester City, excelled in extra-time with three more outstanding saves, although Chelsea will class them as misses. Fortunately for the nine-men they made no mistake in the shoot-out, scoring all five of their kicks.
Well done Chelsea, hard lines Norwich, who played a full part in one of the most enjoyable matches of the season. Jason Burt's match report will be up presently. From me, Alan Tyers, goodnight.
Comedy colossus commiserates
Literary legend with an arm round the shoulder
Bad luck. But great tenacity and spirit. Very well done.— Philip Pullman (@PhilipPullman) January 17, 2018
He was sensational. A bravura performance.
Hero of Sydney speaks
I have just seen the second red in the Chelsea match. About time a ref took action against a player for mouthing. We tell kids not to question referees. Great to see it in the top flight. More please— Dean Headley (@deanheadley585) January 17, 2018
Chelsea win 5-3 on penalties
Well played, Norwich
Gutted for them, but they should be proud. Enjoyed the benefit of some proper comedy refereeing.
Plenty to debate with the VAR
Football is the best. All these billions, all this obsession, all these household names, and nobody really seems to know the actual rules. It's not quantum physics, is it? Anyway. We will enjoy the reaction to this.
I’d dish out automatic bookings for making an imaginary television with your fingers to ask for VAR. Less of this.— Kristian Walsh (@Kristian_Walsh) January 17, 2018
Sympathies with Oliveira
It was not a terrible pen, although it was an inviting height.
Hazard doing the post match interview
"We have a lot of chances. FA Cup, it is not easy to win a game. We had two red cards. This was not our best game of the season but we gave everything and we finished 9 against 11.
"We are happy but also sad because we lost two players today."
Chelsea win 5-3 on penalties
That is hard lines for Norwich, they gave their all but Chelsea were ruthless with those pens.
Hazard steps up.... He's done it
It's another super spot kick, low and into the corner, Gunn has no chance.
Murphy scores: 4-3 to Chelsea
Nicely done, lad. High into the corner. Class.
Kante scores: 4-2 to Chelsea
It's N'Golo Kante next, another magnificent spot kick, no saving that.
Murphy has to score to keep this alive....
Vrancic scores: 3-2 to Chelsea
Short run up, just a little lofted wedge. Nicely done.
Azpilicueta scores: 3-1 to Chelsea
He's smashed that hard. Unstoppable. Three great pens for Chelsea.
Maddison scores: 2-1 to Chelsea
nicely done by the boy Maddison, slotted low.
Luiz scores: 2-0 to Chelsea
David Luiz has absolutely battered that. No chance Gunn.
Oliveira's effort is saved! Still 1-0 Chelsea
Great save, wasn't a bad pen, huge leap
Oliveira steps up
Willian scores: 1-0 to Chelsea
Jitter in the run up, sends him the wrong way. Classy pen from a class player.
Willian is the man to start us off
Come on Angus Gunn, son of Bryan Gunn. This is your moment.
It's the original recipe penalties
to me, to you etc. Not that ABBA rubbish.
Penalties coming up
Conte is shouting at the fourth official. Never mind about that mate, focus on preparing your team for the shootout, no?
Full time: Chelsea 1 Norwich 1
That's it! We will go to penalties.
With time all-but up
He has given Norwich a freekick, Chelsea thought they should have had the kick themselves, who knows the truth of it by this stage... the ball is lofted in, Klose with the header... straight at the keeper.
Chelsea are down to nine men
Graham Scott CBE, as he should be. is producing a magnificent display of refereeing.
A THIRD CHELSEA PLAYER IS BOOKED FOR DIVING
Oh my God this game is too enjoyable. Morata races into the area, Zimmermann has put his hands on the Chelsea players back, but the referee isn't bothered about that. He books Morata for diving! Morata absolutely loses his mind, and either yells at or puts his hands on the ref. The referee has given him the second yellow and Morata is off too!
2nd half of extra time: 14 mins
Frustration showing for Chelsea. Morata falls over and grabs the ball. Er, no, says the ref. I'll do the refereeing, you just worry about not constantly heading it at the keeper from five feet. I speculate. Anyway, the freekick goes against Chelsea.
2nd half of extra time: 13 mins
Pedro sent off!He's gone in late on Hoolihoolihoolihan and, while it was not a vicious challenge, it is a definite yellow. Adios, Pedro! The Spanish international is trudging off with his second yellow, the first for diving.
2nd half of extra time: 11 mins
Pinto is coming off, not exactly at the double. Tettey is the man who will replace him. Hug from Das Gaffer. I make it about four minutes plus change.
2nd half of extra time: 11 mins
Zappacosta has time to pick out his cross, he finds Morata, who is totally unmarked, Zimmers has had a shocker and totally misjudged the flight of it. But Morata heads it straight at the keeper! What has happened to Morata this season? Eight in the first nine games, for a total of 13 in 31
Logan is correct
as well as not being a night owl, on this evidence. It's not yet half ten, Gabby!
2nd half of extra time: 8 mins
Norwich have a man down, Pinto the skipper, looks like cramp. These Norwich backs have given their last drop.
2nd half of extra time: 6 mins
Rare moment of relief for Norwich who break and have a chance to play the ball into the box, but it's young Cantwell who cannot quite get there.
2nd half of extra time: 6 mins
Jamal Lewis is having a stormer, I reckon a few PL teams might fancy this lad. Pacy, fearless, tricky, skillful. He bursts down the left and it takes several to stop him.
2nd half of extra time: 3 mins
Horrible inswinging corner nearly beats Gunn, that would have been cruel. He flaps it away.
Constant Chelsea pressure.... ball into the NCFC box... they're claiming handball. Klose slides in, the ball hits him in the hip, by the looks of things. Anyhow no pen.
Conte going radio rental on the sideline.
2nd half of extra time: 2 mins
Morata is given it by Willian, spins, shoots - Norwich have to shut these guys down quicker than that. Corner.
2nd half of extra time: 1 mins
Chelsea continue to to pour on the pressure. The wronged Willian feeds Zappa, who tries a low cross. Blocked by the admirable Zimmermann.
Half time in extra time: Chelsea 1 Norwich City 1
That'll do it. Just to clarify, the VAR folks didn't feel it was a bad enough decision to overturn.
Shearer: "a shambles. Slowed down, he still doesn't think that is a penalty?!!"
Lineker: "a clear and obvious penalty"
Zola: "big time"
This appealing for VAR with the TV screen gesture will become very, very annoying.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) January 17, 2018
Morata has a chance from close range, parries it and ice-cool Zimmermann heads it back to the keeper. Young Gunn has had a really good match. I used to watch his dad Bryan at Hibs. Yeah, I feel old.
Willian! Lashes it at the keeper and it's a smart save.
Norwich are on the front foot for a change, it's Hoolahan who is causing all the problems for the Chelsea backs. Rabona cross, no less! Cleared.
ET 9 mins
Some bloke called Eden Hazard coming on. I fear for Norwich here. Drinkers is the man coming off. He's been very moderate.
A rare attack from NCFC, who have been getting a roasting. It's the kid on debut, Cantwell, pacing it down the left and if he can get a good cross in, there are numbers in the.... ah, shame, Luiz has intercepted the cross.
Extra time 6 mins
Maddison, with his extra D, chops down Kante. Yellow.
Extra time 3 min
Klose is sailing klose to the wind here, now he's put his arms around Morata and that player too has gone down in the area. "I've seen them given," says Jermaine Jenas. Interesting hot take.
Extra time 1 min
He's Pedro, he's slipped the ball to Willian, who is down in the area under challenge from Klose.
The ref blows. It's got to be a penalty, right? No1 He's booked Willian for diving. This is glorious stuff. Totally unfair, poor Willian, that is so out of order. If only there was some system by which they could check if it was a foul or not????? Doesn't seem like they are using VAR. So it stands!
Clarification: they used VAR, the ref in the studio or truck or whatever they have told his on-field colleague that there was NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO OVERTURN THE DECISION or words to that effect.
An umpire's call, you might say. I think poor Willian should have his yellow overturned at the least.
Extra time coming up, 30 minutes thereof, Chelsea must have thought they were home and hosed. But then came Jamal Lewis!! A left wingback by trade, he decided to go and have a go as centre forward, and it paid off.
The true magic of the FA Cup ensuring the nation can enjoy this sight live on BBC1 as they tune in for the 10 o’clock news pic.twitter.com/MjdcRFg9XD— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) January 17, 2018
End of 90 minute: Chelsea 1 Norwich 1
That's just fantastic for Norwich. They have fought like, erm, canaries covered in mustard? Like Delia Smith given a Gordon Ramsay saucepan set? I don't know. Like something anyway. Lovely stuff, Chelsea had numerous opportunities to put them away but they failed, and Norwich have snuck in at the death.
GOAL! GOAL! GOAL! NORWICH CITY HAVE DONE IT
It's in the last seconds of extra time! It's out on the left, it's a very good cross from big Klose and it's a simply magnificent header from Jamal Lewis, a glorious flicked, arcing header into the corner. Incredible scenes. "Chelsea have only got themselves to blame," says Jermaine Jenas.
Norwich not going gently into that good night. They battle to win a corner. Comes back out. Maddison drives it in. Repelled again.
Chelsea really should have wrapped this up. The ball whistles across the area, Morata only has to touch it in but his timing is off. Zappacosta behind him also cannot do the necessary.
Lovely skills from Pedro, who earlier attempted to cheat a penalty at the expense of a club in the division below, as he drives forward and slides a pass... superbly cut out, in the nick of time, by Klose.
N'Golo Kante comes on for the last few minutes. Not a bad man to have on the bench, eh? Football is so unfair.
Norwich, meanwhile, bring on a fresh-faced kid by the name of T Cantwell, who is making his debut. See previous remark.
Morata's nearly settled this. Drinkwater crosses, the sub heads wide.
Double Chelsea change on 80 minutes: Batshuayi and Ampadu are replaced by Morata and Christensen. #CHENOR— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 17, 2018
Alas he cannot beat the last man. Or the first man. Wasted free.
The game was really good for about 15 minutes after Chelsea scored but it's been dull fare for the last ten or so. Norwich still carrying a puncher's chance. They have a freekick here out on the right. Maddison to take.
Drinkwater is basically a semi-mobile cannon: wheeled into position to launch 30 yard howitzers at the goal. Hasn't done anything else to speak of. Another one blocked.
That was a harum-scarum few minutes. Willian, one of my favourites in recent seasons, with an electric run down the left, he's a sight in full flow that fellow. He stops on a dime, cuts it back, and there's Danny Drinkwater to rifle a shot over the bar.
Chelsea are a ropy old unit right now seeing that they cost about £9802398032234 to assemble. Drinkwater gives it away sloppily, Maddison has a crack and Caballero has to look lively for a good save.
... at the other end, Pedro goes down and he absolutely does make a meal of it! A blatant dive, cheating little article, and the ref rightly gives a yellow for diving.
Jamal Lewis with a strong run into the area, down under challenge of Zappa but does not make a meal of it. It was not a penalty...
Norwich are bloody but unbowed, though. Strong response for them. Comedy keeper Caballero dives and is beaten, lucky for him it strikes the post! Ooooh, Josh Murphy.
GOAL! Chelsea have done it!
Kenedy given too much time down the left wing, he's got an age to pick out his cross, and Norwich (having worked hard) have completely stopped playing here. Very poor. There's my pal Batshuayi to tap it in, really don't know what happened with Norwich there but they went to sleep.
Chelsea 1 Norwich 0 (Batshuayi 55)
And sure enough, Metal Michy has just shoved Zimmermann to the floor. Ref keeps the cards dry. Perhaps he is seduced by Michy's hair, which is pretty.
Batshuayi looks a candidate for a card to me, losing the rag a bit as he fails to win the ball.
Norwich are allowed to play the ball around among themselves for a minute or more. They are not going anywhere.
Okay then. Here we go.
Dion Dublin's tribute to Cyrille Regis from earlier
"Cyrille Regis was my hero"— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 17, 2018
Pure emotion from Dion Dublin �� pic.twitter.com/D1aYorEydm
Half time: Chelsea 0 Norwich 0
Not a great half. Chelsea were all over the visitors for the first 15 or so and it looked like they would score two or three without any problem. But Norwich defended pretty well, Chelsea looked like what they are: a team of power, smarts and class who lack a proper striker. Norwich had their moments on the break, as well.
Overall you'd still strongly fancy Chelsea, of course, but you never know.
Kenedy with an incredible bit of skill, kills the dropping ball on the touchline, switches it to his other foot and nutmegs Pinto. Norwich aren't having that, and Reed shoulder barges him to the ground.
Kenedy produces an outrageous piece of skill to get past Pinto before Reed unceremoniously brought him down. #CHENOR— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 17, 2018
Kenedy has a shot a few seconds later, but it is pants. That's him: a frustrating talent.
Kenedy shoots over.
Bit of argy and arguably an element of bargy too. Oliveira hauled down Kenedy, who slapped out at him in the least scary way you can imagine. Eubank-Benn it was not.
Run down the left wing on the break. Norwich are starting to have a say in this game! Murphy rakes his cross across the area. Oliveira needed to be attacking that more.
Oliveira is beginning to "have a bigger impact" in the words of Jenas, and here is the solid Norwich striking receiving the ball, spinning, and shooting.
SO CLOSE! Batshuayi has given the ball away in the comedy style. A no-look pass towards his own penalty area. Oliveira toe-pokes a clever snap shot at goal and it flicks the bar as it goes over!
Chelsea have a freekick. Willian has won the debate about who should take it.
Everyone wishes they hadn't listened to him. Not least of all Willian. Awful set piece floats into row Z.
Drinkwater! Spanks a shot from distance, Gunn leaps and tips it onto the crossbar.
Batshuayi gets the ball and tries to spin away, runs into Hanley. Looks for, but does not get, a penalty.
Ball looped to Zappacosta, who controls deliciously and fires a shot deflected behind for a corner. Got a sore crack on the foot as he played the ball.
Batshuayi onto the ball but he is a bit short on confidence and lays it off ineffectually rather than driving at goal.
Chelsea in near-total control here, feels like it is only a matter of time.
Luiz has a freekick, central, that he gets over the wall but Gunn is there. Norwich make a quick break - sadly the BBC cameras don't show it, they are instead replaying the Luiz free - Caballero comes racing out of the area, ill-advisedly, and has to tackle Murphy with his feet.
Lovely pass forward again, perfectly timed ball over the top, Willian is onto it in a flash and he gets his shot away. Wide.
Get the feeling that Gunn is going to need a nice lie down after this. He's had to pull off a low save at the near post.
That leads to another corner. Kenedy's delivery is good again, Luiz muffs the headser but Chelsea get the break of the ball and stabs it not far wide.
Norwich getting a seeing-to so far...
Batshuayi with an excellent run, tees up Kenedy, shot goes for a corner.
Nice from Willian as he holds it up, slips it to Drinkwater, but Reed has done well to shepherd the Chelsea player, whose shooting angle is always going wide.
Murphy with a nice run for NCFC and it just needed a tiny bit more composure and clinical eye at the key moment.
"As you go down the leagues that's what you miss," says J Jenas.
Norwich are full of beans, they have got some pace down that right, looking to push Chelsea back.
Luiz plays it to his Mini Me.
We are off and running here at Stamford B.
Nine changes for Chelsea
Documentary on later tonight about racism in football
Tonight on @BBCTwo 11.15pm watch the Cyrille Regis tribute screening: 'Whites v Blacks: How Football Changed a Nation'. There's been an outpouring of tributes for the football legend after his sad passing. Thoughts are with his family & friends. #RIP#CyrilleRegis@sugarfilmsukpic.twitter.com/m3JcP1BDgO— Clear Cut Pictures (@ClearCutPics) January 17, 2018
Lovely tribute to Cyrille Regis
There was something about Cyrille. We looked at those kind of players and said I want to be like you. He was my hero. I used to try to play like him, hold the ball up like him, score goals. He is the reason I became a footballer.
Dion starts tearing up. Poor guy. I've gone a bit as well. Dion seems such a decent bloke. Wor Sir Alan Shearer gives him a sympathetic slap on the thigh.
Devastated,Sad,Gutted and totally Shocked by the news that Cyrille Regis has died.— Dion Dublin (@DionDublinsDube) January 15, 2018
He was my ALL TIME footballing hero and idol...... and the main reason why I wanted to be a Centre Forward,just like him! #LEGEND
I’m gonna miss you my FRIEND!
RIP Big C pic.twitter.com/9VBJ9EcDGs
VAR VAR VAR
enemy of the poor decision
VAR VAR VAR
corrector of injustice
VAR VAR VAR
harbinger of boring and confusing interlude while it all gets figured out
Those teams again
Chelsea: Caballero, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Ampadu, Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Bakayoko, Kenedy, Willian, Batshuayi, Pedro. Subs: Kante, Morata, Hazard, Musonda, Christensen, Eduardo, Sterling.
Norwich: Gunn, Hanley, Zimmermann, Klose, Ivo Pinto, Reed, Vrancic, Lewis, Maddison, Oliveira, Murphy. Subs: Husband, Hoolahan, Stiepermann, Raggett, Tettey, McGovern, Cantwell.
Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire)
with some lovely football-ese "if you had 11 Azpilicuetas you would win every league in the world to be fair".
One of the great lost double acts
Big Dion Dublin and Ickle Gianfranco Zola. Zola says that Conte is very highly rated and everyone wants him to come to the national side.
Talking about Chelsea's struggles, Dion: "you hear whisperings, training ground bust-ups, bad feeling"
"I think VAR is a good option for football, useful to solve some strange situations, if the referee has made some big mistakes."
Norwich might play like this
What's Mr Gary Lineker got to say for himself?
Tell you what
I hope they don't extend The One Show to fill the airtime. It's a dry old do, The One Show. Just been an interminable segment with some old giffer in a garden.
The match is delayed by 15 minutes due to a defective train on the District Line. Non-Londoners: that's the line that goes to near Stamford Bridge.
By the way, the match is on BBC1.
What is a VAR?
And can it hurt me?
Learn more here.
Chelsea subs: Eduardo, Christensen, Sterling, Kante, Musonda, Hazard, Morata. #CHENOR— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 17, 2018
Here be the teams
On the ball, City.
Live blog coming up
Hi everyone, Tyers here, It's just gone 6pm and the match is due to start at 7.45pm. So roll up, roll up for the fixture that literally nobody is calling The Chris Sutton Derby. Norwich gamely held the wealthy West Londoners to a 0-0 draw over in Carrow Road ten days or so ago. Can they go again in this visit to the capital?
It's been a while since Norwich had any sort of Cup run: they have fallen at this third round stage for four seasons in a row. The Canaries don't tend to let in many goals - only 31 in the Championship this season - and they have four clean sheets out of the last five appearances. They have won four out of the last five: last time out, they travelled to Bristol City and defeated the conquerors of mighty Manchester United. Obviously quite a task on their hands this evening, but who knows?
Searching just now on news wires for advance team news via the search term "Norwich", I came up empty, bar THIS from the South West News Service
A motorist who was clocked driving at 90mph with his one-year-old child in the back claimed he was in a hurry - as he needed to change his baby's nappy.
The driver was spotted by a traffic cop who recorded him travelling at more than 20mph over the speed limit on the A47 near Norwich.
You have to go back to 1993 for the last time Norwich beat Chelsea, thanks to goals from the aforementioned Chris Sutton and the legend that is Cruel Fox.
Be great if Norwich could pull something like that off tonight. Team news as to the men who might pull off such a heist coming up soon.