Chelsea hosted Wolves this afternoon in dire need of a commanding performance and certainly rose to the occasion. Andre Villas-Boas raised some eyebrows with his squad selection, starting Didier Drogba for the third time in seven days and handing Oriol Romeu his first ever Premier League start. The squad seemed to rise to the occasion, turning in the best looking performance we've seen in quite some time en route to the 3-0 victory.
Chelsea had their foot on the gas from the opening whistle, and in just the second minute of play had an attempt from Raul Meireles narrowly miss wide. Chelsea had the defensive pressure turned up early, and Ramires made a sneaky little move to nick the ball off the Wolves midfield which forced a very nice save from Wayne Hennesey to force a corner. They'd get their reward seconds later as Juan Mata delivered a beautiful corner into the box which was calmly headed home by John Terry. All of a sudden Chelsea had a lead at the Bridge and a chance to bury some of the demons from midweek.
Chelsea would continue to dominate possession after the goal with both Juan Mata and Didier Drogba getting free to shoot in the 18 yard box. The more direct than usual Chelsea attack paid off yet again in the 29th minute as Juan Mata powered through a foul to allow him to cross to the streaking Daniel Sturridge who ran in behind the near post run of Drogba. That's now 6 times Didier Drogba and Daniel Sturridge have started together and in 5 of those games Sturridge has found the back of the net (the exception was the QPR game where Sturridge was removed very early after the Bosingwa red card). While some may argue against the inclusion of Drogba in the side, Daniel Sturridge really seems to benefit when he's in there.
The game slowed down a bit at that point, with Drogba missing a free kick by about 10 meters over the bar and Sturridge cracking a rocket that went more or less straight to Hennesey in the next ten minutes. Ashley Cole then started to make an impact on the game, missing just wide before delivering a perfect knee high cross to Juan Mata who coolly vollied home to send Chelsea into the dressing room with a comfortable 3-0 lead.
Chelsea were content to run the same 11 out for the second half and comfortably controlled the possession while allowing Wolves very little in the way of chances. There were a few worrying chances for Wolves off of set pieces, an area that Chelsea continue to struggle with in all competitions. Frank Lampard, Fernando Torres, and Jose Bosingwa all came on for cameos of 20 minutes or less (at the expense of Meireles, Drogba, and Ivanovic respectively). The only real moment of note in the second half was John Terry picking up a late booking for time wasting which would appear to be intentional due to the fact that he never takes the throw ins. He'll now serve his ban in Tuesday's Carling Cup tie, a fixture where he was unlikely to be involved in anyway, as it appears some of the teachings of Mourinho are still rubbing off on Villas-Boas planning. Regardless of the Terry situation though, Chelsea finished out the 3-0 lead and kept their first Premier League clean sheet at the Bridge this season.
Some fans seem upset that there were no youth on the bench for this one, but with a Carling Cup tie upcoming on Tuesday I'd guess AVB has a plan to continue to give the youth a run in the league cup. It will be awful nice to see Josh get out of the basket, and I always love a good chance to see Mt. Lukaku on the pitch. This one was certainly the best I've felt about a Chelsea performance in quite some time, and for a rare change someone will likely get beat out in the MotM poll that had a truly excellent game. With Arsenal, United, and Newcastle all dropping points today and one of City or Liverpool guaranteed to as well this could be a great weekend for Chelsea indeed. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below, and let's all enjoy the comfortable win.