Not good enough!
Chelsea travelled to Wolves on Tuesday night and came back to London with no points as we lost 2-1 to Nuno and his team. That makes it two successive defeats in the league, and 3 overall with our momentum having hit a road block. Lampard selected a strong lineup and one which I predicted as Mendy started along with the usual back four. Kante and Mount kept their place with Havertz slotting in as the RCM. Pulisic returned to the lineup on the left with Werner on the right and Giroud up front. Nuno set up his team more conservatively as he switched to a back 3 after having played a back four in recent weeks and went for that defensive solidity over the attack.
The first half was pretty standard with Chelsea dominating possession but failing to create any real chances. Pulisic was the most dangerous outlet as he took on defenders and tried to create chances. Wolves did well to counter Chelsea and came close few times in the first half as the pace of Podence, and Neto caused us problems. Still the half ended goalless but Chelsea really needed to shift gears in the 2nd half.
Chelsea began the 2nd half positively and with more of a tempo and we got the lead in the 49th minute as Chilwell crossed in a ball to the box which Giroud latched on to and just got over the line. Chelsea continued the momentum and probably should have got a goal or more. Wolves then got a corner which really wasn’t one and Podence was able to equalise after some good work in the box around the 66th minute. The goal shifted the momentum in Wolves favour and as Chelsea looked to find the winner in the final minutes Wolves countered and Neto grabbed the winner for Wolves in the 95th minute. The win for Wolves ended a two game losing run and took them up to 10th in the league.
Chelsea Team Review
No clean sheet for Mendy and the 1st time a team has put 2 goals past the our goalkeeper. Mendy really couldn’t have done much to save the goals and it was just a bad day at the office.
The defence did quiet well for most of the game. Chilwell provided the width but it didn’t offer much since Wolves were sitting so deep. The goals were more based on the counter more than anything else as Chelsea searched for the winner, and in that case we had to manage it better.
Kante was in imperious form during the game as he snuffed out attacks but as the game reached it’s latter stages one could see he was tired. Mount didn’t have the best of games and was quiet in general. Havertz again had a poor game although my opinion is he needs to be taken out of the team and eased back in similar to what Lampard did with Pulisic last season. Too much spotlight on the German and while his talent is no doubt he just seems to be taking time to recover from Covid etc.
Pulisic was quiet good and managed to play the whole 90 minutes which was nice to see. The American was lively and was our most effective attacking threat as he took on players and made runs. Pulisic was for sure more lethal down the left hand side and the constant switching of flanks with Werner seemed to be stopping that. Werner was not great and similar to Kai he seems to be struggling. Werner though needs to play centrally as the striker because he doesn’t take on players and is more of a poacher in the box. I can understand that he is playing on the wings more out of necessity rather than choice with both Ziyech and CHO out but we either need to start him in a front two or alone or rest him. Giroud got the goal but was lacklustre otherwise.
Lampard was not pleased and you could see it on his face with us losing more ground to the top four after this game. For Lampard the problem seems to be how to rejuvenate Kai and Timo because they are our creative players alongside Pulisic and Ziyech. Ziyech has been a big miss against Everton and Wolves because he allows us to help break defensive teams. Solutions need to be found.
So, another loss means that we sit 5th in the table and 3 points off the top. City drew against West Brom so they remain a point behind us, and we must hope that other teams have similar results so we don’t lose too much ground. 6 days until the next game by which time we could be around 9th or 10th. Big game against West Ham and one we have to bounce back in! COME ON CHELSEA!!!