FULL TIME: Scoreless.
90+3min: Pulisic wins a late corner, which Mount puts in, outswinging. Havertz wins the header and it looks goal-bound, but hits a Wolves’ head and deflects over, and so it ends, 0-0.
90+2min: Hudson-Odoi tries to make something happen, but instead runs the ball out of bounds. And that’s about that.
89min: Wolves counter and find an open man, but Hudson-Odoi recovers excellently to prevent the danger.
88min: Mount with an excellent turn in the area, puts a great ball across, but Boly gets to it first and clears for a corner. That’s less excellent from Mount and is headed clear.
86min: Hudson-Odoi cuts inside a couple and goes for goal. The shot is deflected a bit, but Patricio still makes the save. Mount’s corner is cleared.
83min: Mount wins a corner, which he himself takes, outswinging. Patricio catches.
82min: Pulisic bursts past Semedo, but opts to check back to Ziyech. He lays it across just outside the area, with Kovacic arriving and putting his shot just inches wide of the top corner. Chance. Mount on for Ziyech in the wake of that.
80min: Ziyech long shot blocked for a corner, which then causes a scramble but eventually results in a free kick given Wolves’ way.
79min: Azpi with a teasing ball in, but the goalkeeper grabs it before Abraham could get to it.
78min: Hudson-Odoi goes on a run, cuts inside and takes a shot, but it’s blocked.
76min: Pulisic on for Chilwell; Abraham on for Giroud. Going for it then. CHO at left wing-back, Pulisic on the right.
75min: Havertz tries to turn in midfield, beats one but not the other. He then tackles Kovacic in his effort to win the ball back. Wolves eventually stopped by a foul on Adama, which gives Neto a chance to cross into the box. Chelsea head clear, needlessly, but Neto opts for a shot from distance, which is not close.
71min: Mendy’s pass doesn’t reach a Blue shirt and Wolves can counter from deep. Neto plays a 1-2 with Podence, who may have been offside, then gets past Ziyech and Jorginho before lifting a shot over Mendy. Fortunately, it hits the top of the crossbar and goes over.
70min: Chelsea’s latest corner is headed clear at the far post.
67min: Havertz tackled (cleanly?) at the top of the box and Wolves try to counter through Neto again, but he can’t keep the ball in.
66min: At the other end, Neto goes around Rudiger with pace, but Silva’s there to cut out the cross.
65min: Ziyech this time goes left, finding Chilwell in space. His cross doesn’t quite reach Giroud, but here comes Havertz. His shot however is blocked by a sliding defender and loops over. Getting closer.
64min: Ziyech pulling the strings on the right and eventually plays a ball in towards Giroud. He can’t quite get his touches right, and his finish on the turn lacks any power to beat the goalkeeper.
61min: Great interplay between Havertz, Kovacic, and Chilwell leads to a great shooting chance for the latter, but he puts it well over the bar.
59min: Ziyech’s cross is headed clear, and collected by Jorginho. He passes up the chance to shoot. Chelsea eventually put it back into the area, with Giroud again collecting wide, but his short cross back in is straight into the arms of the goalkeeper.
58min: Kilman fouls Ziyech, in the right channel, 35 yards out. Hudson-Odoi swings in the free kick, finding Giroud at the far post, but his pass back in is blocked and cleared for a throw. Chelsea pass it back around and Azpi resurrects his classic cross from the deep right. Coady heads clear just ahead of Giroud.
56min: Kovacic tries to play through to Havertz, but he can’t quite control the ball and Wolves can try to counter with Adama. Chilwell wins the ball, but is called for a foul. Gets the job done.
54min: Podence down after a Kovacic foul. Chelsea continue to press but can’t find any openings.
50min: Random flashpoint off the ball sees Jorginho hit the ground theatrically. Neto gets a yellow for his push. Jorginho a yellow for the initial tackle. Wolves’ free kick is easily cleared.
49min: Wolves win the ball deep and counter by passing through the midfield where someone misses an interception. Fortunately, the pass wide to Adama is poor and Chelsea can recover.
46min: Chelsea straight into the attack, with CHO again creating the danger. His ball in half-cleared and as Havertz chases the looping ball, he’s taken out by a defender. No call from the referee or VAR, much to Chelsea players’ displeasure.
SECOND HALF: No changes for either side.
HALF-TIME: Scoreless. A bright start for Chelsea, but the initial effort petered out into something far more familiar. Wolves always a threat on the counter.
45+3min: Ziyech with the classic inswinging cross from the right to the left, but Wolves win the ball against Havertz.
45min: Great through ball from Ziyech finds Hudson-Odoi, but Wolves recover well to block the cross for a corner. CHO takes, outswinging. A Wolves player goes to ground and the referee awards them a free kick.
42min: A couple long balls from Silva. The first finds Havertz, who brings it down expertly, but Wolves quickly crowd him out. The second finds Chilwell, but he’s called offside.
40min: Wolves counter down the left. Silva does well to slow it down initially, but Wolves have numbers. Neto crosses to a wide open Dendoncker, but his header is over the bar. Alarm bells.
39min: Ziyech wins the ball well in the final third, and gets support from Havertz. Chelsea can’t make inroads however and have to pass it around. Chilwell wins a free kick on the other side, which Ziyech takes, outswinging. Rudiger wins the header at the far post, but Patricio makes a good save down low.
37min: Jorginho with the first-time ball over the top, looking for Giroud. He can’t win the aerial battle however.
34min: Wolves corner, played short, then in. Silva heads clear once, then twice.
31min: Hudson-Odoi released once again, crossing to the far post. The ball hangs up a bit, but Chilwell still tries the first-time volley, which he doesn’t quite get right and his shot trickles harmlessly wide of the near post.
28min: Coady has a bloody nose and is temporarily off the pitch again for Wolves.
27min: This one’s a more conventional one from Ziyech, to the far post. Chelsea win the first header, but Wolves win the second and clear.
26min: Chelsea corner, right side. Hudson-Odoi goes short, Ziyech puts it, deflected. Rudiger gathers the ball on the far side and wins another corner, on the other side.
25min: After a brief delay, we’re back underway, with all legs accounted for.
23min: Chelsea lose the ball in midfield and try to counter with Podence. Thiago Silva makes a tremendous tackle just inside the Chelsea half, and both players stay down. Silva up quickly, but Podence, having just returned early from injury, remains down.
22min: Rudiger loses the ball, then gives away a foul 20 yards from goal, central. Neves measures up the free kick, but fortunately puts it over the bar.
20min: Some nice first-touch passing through the middle releases Hudson-Odoi down the right. He gets past Ait-Nouri again and puts in a cross. It’s cleared only as far as Ziyech at the top of the box, but his first-touch is not great and his shot is easily gathered by the goalkeeper.
19min: Havertz smuggles in a low ball from the left, but Wolves get to it before Giroud can and clear. Wolves counter quickly, but can only manage a wayward cross.
17min: Chelsea with plenty of possession, but a bit too slow this time. Eventually, CHO tries something, creating space for a cross, but unable to find a Blue shirt.
15min: Jorginho wins the ball in midfield and Havertz is on his way and tries to take it all the way from halfway to the goal. But there’s no power left for his shot, with a defender in close attention, and the goalkeeper easily gathers.
14min: Looking long for Giroud, but Wolves win that aerial battle and can play out. Chelsea have possession back soon enough though.
13min: Ziyech tries to play through inside for Chilwell, but Wolves read it and cover it well.
11min: Hudson-Odoi wins a corner, which he himself takes, outswinging from the right. Wolves win the header against Havertz at the far post.
10min: Chelsea lose the ball in midfield and Kovacic can’t win the ball with a sliding tackle, but Chilwell tracks well and gets a toe in to prevent any danger. Mendy gathers the loose ball.
9min: Havertz tries a through ball for Hudson-Odoi running beyond, but Wolves stick out a leg and stop it at the last second. CHO would’ve been clear through.
7min: Good work from Kovacic and Giroud through the middle to battle and keep possession, playing wide to Chilwell. His cross is blocked for a corner, which Ziyech takes, outswinging. It doesn’t make it beyond the near post where it’s headed clear.
6min: Chilwell crosses, but Giroud jumps a bit early and can’t make good contact. Chelsea keeping up the pressure.
5min: Hudson-Odoi drives past Ait-Nouri with ease and puts in a fantastic ball across the six-yard box. Giroud just inches from making a contact at the near post.
3min: Wolves go long towards Adama, but Rudiger covers with ease and shepherds the ball out of play.
2min: Good early action down the right with Hudson-Odoi, wing-back. Ziyech’s ball in is deflected and Wolves can clear.
1min: It looks to be a 3-4-3 indeed.
KICK-OFF: The teams are out, in classic blue versus black and gold. A minute of silence is held in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day. The players take a knee, and Wolves get us underway.
FORMATION: Chelsea official announced it as a 4-2-3-1. Many expecting a 3-4-3/3-4-2-1, with Hudson-Odoi and Chilwell as the wing-backs. We’ll find out soon!
Welcome to Thomas Tuchel’s first match in charge, coming barely 24 hours after his official announcement and first training session as Chelsea head coach. This is the first match of the second half of the season, with also struggling Wolves sauntering into town.
Chelsea have won 3 of 4 in all competitions, but in the league, we’re on a run of just 2 wins from 8 and are down to 10th coming into today. Tuchel certainly has his work cut out for him, though his first lineup has a rather anti-Lampard-esque feel to it. It should be noted that Mason Mount has started ten (10!) games in a row, so a rest was certainly due. And Hudson-Odoi starts!
Wolves meanwhile go with a back-three, as expected, with a surprisingly fit Podence leading a very quick and dangerous frontline and Willian Jose on the bench after receiving his work permit and clearance.
Here we go!
Chelsea starting lineup (4-2-3-1):
Mendy | Chilwell, Silva, Rudiger, Azpilicueta (c) | Kovacic, Jorginho | Hudson-Odoi, Havertz, Ziyech | Giroud
Substitutes from: Arrizabalaga, James, Zouma, Emerson, Alonso, Mount, Pulisic, Abraham, Werner
Wolverhampton Wanderers starting lineup (3-4-3):
R.Patricio | Kilman, Coady (c), Boly | Ait-Nouri, Neves, Dendoncker, N.Semedo | Neto, Podence, Adama
Substitutes from: Ruddy, Hoever, Willian Jose, Fabio Silva, Vitinha, Cutrone, Saiss, Moutinho, Otasowie
Date / Time: Wednesday, January 27, 2021, 18.00 GMT; 1pm EST; 11:30pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Andy Madley (on pitch); Lee Mason (VAR)
On TV: BT Sport 1 (UK); none (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); SuperSport Premier League, Canal+ Sport 3 (NGA); elsewhere
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Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!