Chelsea’s scoreless draw against Wolves today at Molineux was surely one of the least surprising results of the season. Even Manchester City and Liverpool struggled to beat Bruno Lage’s side — both getting lucky 1-0 wins. Chelsea are not getting very lucky these days.
Despite two more dropped points, not to mention the latest positive COVID tests and injury concerns, there are some positives to take away from this match, including N’Golo Kanté coming up to speed quickly, Mateo Kovačić making his first appearance off the bench in a month and a half ... and even Saúl looking not completely lost! The attack keeps misfiring on clear cut chances, but at least the defense was mostly good (especially Thiago Silva).
And while it wasn’t a great performance in the first-half, the second-half response was certainly commendable, especially as many of these same players put in 90 minutes against Everton on Thursday as well.
“I am pleased with the performance, especially in the second half. The first half was a bit of a struggle for us, we had to grow into the game. Some players had to adapt to new positions. We are not lucky enough in these moments to win games but I am happy with how we played. It was nice to coach from the sideline.
“Wolves don’t concede many chances or goals. We could not expect to create an awful lot but we tried and never stopped trying. The second half was very strong and given the circumstances I am happy with the performance.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Sky via BBC
Chelsea’s next scheduled match is on Wednesday, against Brentford, who have been dealing with their own COVID outbreak. Unlike Chelsea, they have had games postponed by the league and could yet see this League Cup quarterfinal postponed as well (but probably not canceled or forfeited, which would’ve been the case last year).
Our next scheduled league game is next Sunday, away to Villa, who have been dealing with their own COVID outbreak. Unlike Chelsea, they also have had games postponed by the league.
Meanwhile, we have two more injury situation to consider as well, one partially a result of having to play a player immediately following injury, the other partially a result of needing to overload a player due to lack of other options — both players needing to be taken off today, Trevoh Chalobah at half and Hakim Ziyech halfway through the second half.
“The points we dropped today — did Manchester City win? Ok, predictable — the points that hurt are the points we lost at home to Man United, Burnley and Everton. These are the six points that hurt. Not today.”
“We can survive a game but we will pay the price, at some point we will pay the price for sure. Maybe we already do it with all our midfielders.
“Trevoh, hopefully, it is just painful. At the moment, it is very painful. We still have hopes that it is not serious, but we need to wait for further examination. For Hakim, I don’t think it’s bad. He got hit on his nerve on the calf. It was tight. He was limping and we had to take him off.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
All that said, we’re still just six points off the top, with half the season still to go (assuming there is a season to finish). If we can navigate through this period somehow, some way, and build on the lessons learned and experienced gained, we just might be in for some fun times in the spring — and beyond.