A somewhat subdued start from Chelsea turned into a fairly controlled performance in the first half, with a lot of enterprising play, especially on the left, but very little open play chances. Wolves were largely content with repelling attacks and countering, with some dangerous possession spells of their own.
Chelsea almost scored two goals from set pieces in the first half, with Oliver Giroud and Kurt Zouma both winning clear headers at the corners but the header just above the bar.
Chelsea came out with good intent in the second half and found the first goal within five minutes. Much of our open-game threat had come from the left, and it was from there that Giroud turned Chilwell’s cross home again. The ball crossed the line by maybe an inch, but that’s all it needs!
Unfortunately, Chelsea couldn’t build on that lead and instead the Wolves reacted strongly and eventually found an equalizer through Podence’s skillful feet. Of course, the chance and the shot should never have happened, as the corner it came from should never have been awarded – reruns showed that the ball came from Boly rather than Thiago Silva. Why not use technology in these cases?
After that it got a bit emotional, both sides wanted to win, which led to a few flash points and a few yellow cards.
And just as it looked as if we would have to be satisfied with the 1-1 draw, a wolf counter gave Pedro Neto the chance to run 1-1 at Zouma and hit Mendy with a precise low shot in the far corner.
- Lampard rolls the 10 of the 11 preferred by WAGNH and decides to start again from Havertz, this time as part of the midfield trio alongside Mount and Kante. Giroud gets another starting place up, with Pulisic Back Fit and for the first time in four games on the grid.
- Same changes in Kovacic for Havertz (probably a few minutes late) and Abraham for Giroud. Lampard again does not use all of his substitutes.
- Chelsea scored with our first shot on goal in the game and the first shot on goal in over 100 minutes!
- Mendy conceded more than one goal for the first time in his career at Chelsea.
- Lots of good and bad technologies in this case. Good: goal-line technology; VAR rating on Neto dive. Bad: There should never have been a wolf’s corner, and we should primarily use technology when making such binary decisions.
- Chelsea missed the chance to get to the top and stay in 5th place. The other games are unlikely to stay there this midweek.
- Next up: West Ham at home on Monday