Wanted the win but I will take a point against Wolves.
In a weekend where Chelsea had a great chance to go 5th and potentially 4th for some time we only managed to draw against Wolves. A draw against Wolves is not a bad thing as they are known as the top 6 killers for a reason as well as being 7th which is literally the best of the rest. Wolves have played City twice, drawing 1-1 at home and losing away. Wolves have played Liverpool once in the league having lost 0-2, and once in the FA Cup beating them 2-1. Wolves have played Spurs twice, losing at home 2-3, and winning away 1-3. Wolves have played Arsenal once, drawing at the Emirates 1-1, and they have played United once as well getting a point at Old Trafford. In the larger scheme of things Wolves still need to play Arsenal and United at home and so getting a point against them is not a loss.
Sarri selected a strong lineup with the regulars returning to the team, Kepa started in goal, with Azpi, Rudiger, Luiz, and Emerson making up the defence. Jorginho, Kante, and Kovacic started in the midfield, while Hazard, Higuain, and Pedro started upfront. From the get go it was attack against defence as Nuno had clearly set his team up to defend and play on the counter. Chelsea dominated the half but Wolves are drilled so well defensively that it was too difficult to break the deadlock. The same situation continued in the 2nd half but a hoofed clearance by Boly found Jimenez who took his chance and scrambled the ball into the net in the 56th minute to give Wolves the lead. Sarri rang the changes as he brought on Loftus-Cheek, and Willian for Kovacic and Pedro which further forced Wolves into their own box. Wolves were so deep that Azpi, and Rudiger were being able to take shots from distance. The final change came as Hudson-Odoi came on for Jorginho in what was a formation change as well which saw Chelsea play 4-2-3-1. Essentially though it was 2-8 with Wolves playing so deep. CHO and RLC had the impact but it was a moment of magic from Eden Hazard in the 92nd minute that saw Chelsea take a point from the game.
Sarri stated that Chelsea need to be able to break down defensive units and Wolves were a very well drilled side. Now that we are playing possession based football we will have to face more sides that park the bus and being able to break them down will eventually come with time and practice. Several of the players at Chelsea’s disposal right now are not creative enough and because we take so much touches it is hard for Jorginho to find the space as well.
Player Review –
- Kepa – The goal was not his fault in what was literally the only chance that Wolves had.
- Azpilicueta – A decent game not much to do throughout the 90 minutes, his crosses were poor though.
- Rudiger – Not much to do but fluffed it when it mattered other than that a solid performance.
- Luiz – Tendency to make a mistake occurred and Jimenez scored but most of the game was spent in Wolves half.
- Jorginho – Jorginho was left free in the game as Wolves sat so deep but with the Chelsea players not being able to create space and making so many touches Jorginho was not able to play quick passes. Subbed off in the 2nd half when the formation was changed because Sarri states that Jorginho is not suitable for a 4-2-3-1.
- Kante – Great as usual.
- Kovacic – RLC needs to get fully fit because Kovacic adds nothing going forward and we dont need more defensive players in the midfield.
- Pedro – No real impact as Wolves played so deep.
- Higuain – Drifted as the game went by and did not make his usual runs that he is known for.
- Hazard – Not at his best but produced a moment of magic when it mattered and got Chelsea the point.
- Loftus-Cheek – Impact when he came on and drew several fouls with his physicality he could not reach full fitness sooner.
- Hudson-Odoi – Impact as well as he took on Wolves players and put in several good crosses into the box although there was no one there to head it in.
- Willian – Got the assist for Hazard’s goal but his crossing was poor.
2 points dropped? Maybe but in the larger scheme of things it could be a valuable point won. Chelsea remain 6th with a game in hand, a point behind United, 3 behind Arsenal, and 4 behind Spurs. Chelsea now travel to Kyiv for the Europa League 2nd leg as we look to continue our journey for a trophy. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!!