FULL TIME: Chelsea lose.
90+8min: A couple late corners and desperation crosses, but nothing doing.
90+5min: Wolves counter, then Chelsea counter, then Wolves counter, and Neto scores, beating Zouma 1-v-1 and Mendy low into the far corner. 2-1, Wolves.
90+4min: Semedo finally booked after his latest foul on Pulisic. Chelsea’s free kick is defended well enough by the hobbling Boly.
90+3min: Mendy catches a cross.
90min: 5 minutes added on, but Boly’s down for Wolves.
89min: Chilwell gets a rare cross wrong, at the worst time.
88min: Thiago Silva gives the ball away with a telegraphed pass, but fortunately is able to win the ball back immediately after.
87min: Werner having a rough couple minutes, giving the ball away and giving up on the tracking back. But Chelsea win the ball back and attack through Chilwell. His cross towards Abraham looks good, but Wolves half-clear and no Chelsea man is there at the top of the box to take advantage of it.
85min: Neto gets past his man but is hauled down by Kante to stop the counter. Kante booked, deservedly, but Wolves get the free kick delivery all wrong.
83min: Attwell, to his credit, overturns his own decision after review. Neto somehow doesn’t get a yellow for his massive dive. Chelsea quickly work into attack from the drop ball, eventually finding Kovacic for a first-time shot. Again it deflects, and the goalkeeper grabs it before Abraham could get to it.
81min: Neto drives the box against Kante and James, then takes a tumble. Referee buys it and gives the penalty, but VAR calls him over to the touchline monitor.
79min: Kovacic tries his luck from 20. Deflection takes the power out of it and the goalkeeper collects.
77min: Scramble in front of the goal, but Chelsea survive after some desperate defending. Meanwhile, a flashpoint between Chilwell and Podence gets raises emotions. Chilwell’s hand dangerously close to Podence’s throat on replay, but it looks like no further repercussions coming from that. Podence is booked for his reaction afterwards.
76min: Chelsea win a free kick some ways out, from which James tries his luck, but that’s never going to trouble Patricio.
73min: Ben Chilwell pushed over in the area on a loose ball, but neither referee sees anything untoward. Then Werner goes down in the area in trying to get past his man, but no dice.
72min: James with a great cross from the right finds Werner, who had smartly pulled off the back of his defender. But his touch is poor and the ball goes out for a goal kick.
71min: Werner fouled near the left touchline, but it’s Podence who’s down behind the ball. Meanwhile, Kovacic on for Havertz and Abraham on for Giroud.
66min: Goal. Wolves. From the corner that shouldn’t have been, Wolves get into the area, with Podence making fools of Chilwell and James. His shot deflects off the trailing leg of James and Mendy can only get a fingertip to it. Not enough to stop it. 1-1.
65min: From the free kick, Havertz needlessly heads out for a corner, which he then heads out in a much better fashion. But Wolves quickly turn back into attack and the cross needs a strong intervention from Thiago Silva. It looked like the ball came off Boly, but the corner’s given anyway.
64min: Chelsea pass up a chance to counter, with Havertz not releasing Pulisic. But Chelsea give the ball away in midfield and Wolves have a chance to build. Giroud comes back to put a body on Adama, who picks up an injury in the process.
62min: Chilwell and Semedo collide in a 50-50 and stay down briefly. They both look okay to continue.
61min: Adama Traore has emerged, replacing Fabio Silva.
60min: Chelsea creating from the right for a change, but Havertz’s low cross is cleared and Pulisic’s follow-up effort is just over the head of Giroud and out the reach of Werner. Wolves try to counter from the play, but Mount takes one for the team to stop that and collect a yellow.
55min: Wolves counter thanks to a great pass from Podence, which finds Neves. He drives the box and mishits a shot that turns into a great pass to Fabio Silva, who finishes past Mendy. But the flag is up for offside, and it was an easy decision.
49min: GOALLLLL GIROUDDDDD!!! Chelsea again come down the left, switching to Werner. He plays through to Chilwell, who puts in a nice cross. Giroud gets a foot to it and turns it on goal. Patricio makes the save, but the ball squirms over the line just by an inch. The referee checks his watch and confirms the goal! VAR briefly reviews any offside in buildup, and while Werner looked close, VAR stays silent. 1-0, CHELSEA!
48min: Havertz called for a harsh foul in midfield. Zouma defends the cross well. Fabio Silva tries to put it back in from the other flank, but gets his cross all wrong.
47min: Chelsea’s next attack down the left is through Werner. He gets all the way to the byline, but his cutback towards Mount is intercepted.
46min: Chelsea resume attacking on the left. Chilwell’s cross is cleared but only as far as Reece James. He goes for the first-time piledriver, but it’s well over the bar.
SECOND HALF: Wolves make a change, taking off Dendoncker and putting on young American teenager Owen Otasowie, who’s mostly a defender but slots in at defensive midfield.
HALF-TIME: Scoreless. Plenty of enterprising play. And a couple great chances from set pieces.
45min: Chilwell’s cross finds a leaping Zouma, but his header off the crossbar! The rebound hits Giroud, but he can’t quite guide it on goal either, finding the stanchion behind the goal instead. So close!
44min: Chelsea find some open space between the lines and Havertz plays wide to Pulisic in acres of space. His ball back across is behind both Havertz and Werner however. Chelsea collect and cross back in towards Giroud. Wolves head clear for a corner.
43min: Chilwell intercepts a switch and springs forward on the counter. Goes for the early cross towards Giroud instead of playing in Werner down the channel. Coady gets enough of a head to it to prevent the danger.
41min: Pulisic twisting and turning on the right, wins a corner against four defenders. Chilwell swings it in, but doesn’t get it past the near post.
38min: Kante with a loose touch in midfield gifts the ball to Neves. He bears down on goal and shapes to shoot from just outside the penalty area, but Kante recovers and nips the ball away just in time. Amazing.
37min: James with an opportunity to cross as Pulisic and Werner switch wings. It’s behind both Giroud and Havertz and Wolves can clear.
36min: Pulisic wins another foul off Semedo on the left, just outside the corner of the penalty area. Chilwell with the chip in, Havertz beaten to it. Silva collects on the far side and goes for the overhead kick to get it back in, but gets it wrong and Wolves have a goal kick.
32min: Pulisic wins a foul near the left touchline, in a good crossing position. Chilwell swings it in, Giroud and Coady go up; Werner finds the loose ball and smashes it towards goal. Blocked. VAR checks for a possible handball somewhere in all that, finds none.
30min: Kante called for a harsh foul as Fabio Silva falls to the ground. Zouma clears the free kick, then Havertz clears the follow-up cross. But Wolves retain possession and win a corner. They take it short and play around for a long shot from Semedo. Not close.
28min: It’s attack vs. defense at the moment, but Wolves easily containing Chelsea to non-dangerous areas. A midfield giveaway gives the home side an opportunity to come forward, but Chelsea recover well to win the ball back.
25min: Chelsea’s turn, with crosses from the left from Mount and Chilwell. The latter is repelled well by a flying Patricio’s fists.
24min: A cross from the left from Wolves finds Fabio Silva, but his touch is not tight and Kante nips in to clear. Kante then across to cover on the other side after Chilwell’s effort to keep the ball in just gives the ball to Wolves.
22min: Wolves with a bit of pressure, their front three combining to create a shot for Neto. Mendy pushes it wide for a corner, which Chelsea clear at the second attempt. Chelsea then repel another cross before Neves goes for goal from 35 yards. Easy catch for Mendy.
20min: Chilwell with the inswinger finds Giroud flying through the air. You’d put money on him to score, but he puts it over the bar. Chance, that.
19min: Once again. Chelsea push down the left, Pulisic and Mount combining. The ball eventually runs to Zouma, who fires a shot from 35. Blocked. Chelsea retain possession and Mount’s cross is headed out for a corner.
15min: Chelsea again down the left, Pulisic bursting past his man to put a cross in from the left. It’s a bit ahead of Werner, who can’t quite make the connection. Havertz picks up the loose ball, but his cross is blocked for a corner. Mount’s corner is deep, Thiago Silva heads back across but Wolves can counter from it. Chelsea recover just in time, with Kante and Zouma clearing wide.
12min: Giroud’s fouled by Dendoncker, left of center but a fair ways out. James, Mount, Chilwell conference over the ball before Chilwell chips into the area. Wolves head clear ahead of Zouma.
10min: Chelsea make some inroads down the left, with Mount looking for Giroud, but Wolves head clear. Chelsea come again on the left, playing in Giroud in the channel, but his cutback from the byline is cut out by the goalkeeper.
7min: James chips in from deep right. Patricio out to claim strongly ahead of Pulisic, bowling over his own man in the process. He seems okay to continue.
6min: Coady wins a physical 50-50 against Giroud, steps up and goes for goal from 30 yards. Not close.
4min: Semedo comes forward and cuts in from the right. His left-footed shot is deflected for a corner by Thiago. Neto’s outswinger finds Saiss’ head, but his effort is well over the bar.
3min: Thiago Silva’s pass is intercepted and Wolves counter down the left, but Silva’s back quickly to cover and block the cross.
1min: It’s Werner on the right and Pulisic on the left, but Wolves with the early possession.
KICK-OFF: The teams are out, Chelsea in all blue with white socks, Wolves in their usual black-n-yellow, black-n-yellow, black-n-yellow. The players take a knee, and we’re off. Chelsea get the ball rolling.
Chelsea begin this midweek round of matches in the Premier League with a chance to start a new unbeaten run and, even though we’re fifth coming in, a chance to go top once again for at least a night with a win.
Well, what are we waiting for?
Not unexpectedly, Wolves go with a three-man defense. Lampard sticking with his 4-3-3, also not unexpectedly and, hopefully, wisely — with the on-paper ideal trio restored in midfield and (a fit?) Pulisic getting the nod on the wing.
Here we go!
Wolves starting lineup (3-4-3):
R.Patricio | Saiss, Coady, Boly | Marcal, Neves, Dendoncker, N.Semedo | Podence, Fabio Silva, Neto
Substitutes from: Ruddy, Hoever, Ait-Nouri, Vitinha, Traore, Kilman, Otasowie
Chelsea starting lineup (4-3-3):
Mendy | Chilwell, Thiago Silva (c), Zouma, James | Mount, Kante, Havertz | Werner, Giroud, Pulisic
Substitutes from: Arrizabalaga, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Gilmour, Jorginho, Kovacic, Abraham
Date / Time: Tuesday, December 15, 2020, 18.00 GMT; 1pm EST; 11:30pm IST
Venue: Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, England
Referee: Stuart Attwell (on pitch); Michael Oliver (VAR)
On TV: none (UK); NBCSN (USA); Star Sports HD1 (India); SuperSport Premier League, Canal+ Sport 3 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Amazon Prime (UK); NBC Sports Live (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.