NORWICH, England (Reuters) - Frank Lampard celebrated his first victory as Chelsea manager with Tammy Abraham’s double inspiring a 3-2 win by his youthful side over Norwich City in a pulsating Premier League encounter at Carrow Road on Saturday.
The 21-year-old Abraham struck on the half-volley in the third minute and, after a see-saw contest in which newly-promoted Norwich twice fought back from a goal down, he proved the match-winner with another superb strike in the 68th minute.
Teemu Pukki continued his dazzling start to the season by netting a league-leading fifth goal for the Canaries but it was to prove in vain as the victory provided much-needed relief for Lampard, one of Chelsea’s greatest players.
Lampard finally got off the mark at the fourth attempt after a loss at Manchester United, defeat to Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup and a draw with Leicester City.
Chelsea, fielding a starting line-up with an average age of 24 — the club’s youngest in the Premier League since February 1994 — took the lead early when an overlapping Cesar Azpilicueta drifted a perfect cross from the right to the feet of the unmarked Abraham, who slotted the ball past goalkeeper Tim Krul.
Norwich struck back quickly, with Emiliano Buendia finding Pukki, who squared from near the left post for 21-year-old midfielder Todd Cantwell to score from close range.
Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount made it 2-1 with a fine 17th-minute goal but 13 minutes later Buendia’s fine through ball put in the prolific Finn Pukki, who beat Kepa Arrizabalaga from a tight angle despite the Chelsea keeper getting a hand to the ball.
Chelsea looked more assured after the break and their pressure told. Mateo Kovacic found Abraham, who rounded two Norwich defenders before firing home the winner from outside the box.
Abraham became the youngest player to score twice in a Premier League fixture for Chelsea since 1998.
“It is something I have always dreamed about doing, to score for my childhood club, to get into the first team and to start scoring goals,” he said. “I am just happy I can help my team.”
The win was a welcome relief for Lampard, who said: “Our performances haven’t given us what we deserved so far — but today it did.
“It was a tough test and Norwich will get a lot of points here because they are a good side. The two goals we gave away I didn’t like but there were lots of good elements to our play and I’m really pleased.
“I’m particularly pleased for Tammy and he scored two good goals and the winning goal but I want to talk about all the players today as we controlled the game on a hot day.”
Reporting by George Sargent; Editing by Ian Chadband and Clare Fallon