A somewhat subdued start from Chelsea evolved into a fairly controlled first-half performance, with plenty of enterprising play, especially down the left flank but very few chances from open play. Wolves were largely comfortable repelled attacks and looking for counters, with a few dangerous spells of possession of their own as well.
Chelsea did come close to scoring at least twice from set pieces in the first-half, with Oliver Giroud and Kurt Zouma both winning clear headers on corners but header just over and heading onto the crossbar, respectively.
Chelsea came out with good intent in the second half, and found the opening goal within five minutes. Much of our threat from open play had come from the left, and once again it was from there that Chilwell’s cross was turned home by Giroud. The ball crossed the line by maybe an inch, but that’s all it needs!
Unfortunately, Chelsea could not build on that lead and instead it was Wolves who responded strongly, eventually finding an equalizer through the skillful feet of Podence. Of course, the chance and the shot should’ve never happened since the corner from which it came should’ve never been awarded — replays showed that the ball had come off Boly rather than Thiago Silva. Why not use technology in these cases?
It got a bit emotional after that, with both sides wanting to win, resulting in a couple flashpoints and a few yellow cards as well.
And just as it looked like we’d have to settle for the 1-1, a Wolves counter gave Pedro Neto a chance to run at Zouma 1-v-1, and beat Mendy with a precise low shot into the far corner.
- Lampard rolling with the 10 of the WAGNH-preferred 11, opting to give Havertz another start, this time back as part of the midfield trio alongside Mount and Kante. Giroud gets another start up top, with Pulisic back fit and in the starting lineup for the first time in four games.
- Like-for-like changes in Kovacic for Havertz (probably a few minutes too late) and Abraham for Giroud. Lampard again not using all his substitutes.
- Chelsea scored with our first short on target in the game, and the first shot on target in over 100 minutes of play!
- Mendy concedes more than 1 goal for the first time in his Chelsea career.
- Plenty of good and bad uses of technology in this one. Good: goal-line tech; VAR review on Neto dive. Bad: never should’ve been a Wolves corner and such binary decisions is where we should be utilizing technology first and foremost.
- Chelsea miss a chance to go top and remain in 5th. Unlikely to stay there with the other games coming up in this midweek round.
- Next up: West Ham at home on Monday