Chelsea – Wolves was a dull, dour clash as Thomas Tuchel’s time in charge of Chelsea started with a whimper.
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The Blues dominated the ball but had hardly any clear-cut chances as Wolves hit the crossbar on the counter and that was as close as either team came to securing all three points.
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Chelsea have 30 points and sit in eighth, while Wolves are in 13th on 23 points.
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Three things we learned
1. Chelsea pass without purpose: Chelsea broke records for passing the ball about, and that’s great, but this seemed a little like players trying not to take risks in front of their new manager who was only appointed 24 hours before. Wolves played into that, as they hardly pushed forward and were happy for Chelsea to have the ball. Tuchel will want passing with purpose and he’s a coach who loves to see dynamism and pace in attack. None of that was on show here.
2. Mount, Pulisic make impact: Both were key men for Lampard and both started on the bench. Maybe that was to rest them? Probably. Because when they came on both players were lively and almost helped Chelsea grab a late win. Pulisic as a right wing back and Mount as an inside right caused lots of problems and despite Pulisic laughing and joking on the bench with Tuchel at half time, he will want to make sure he’s on the pitch as much as possible.
3. Wolves played for a point: This was a solid Wolves display. Nothing more. Nothing less. Pedro Neto hit the bar with the chance they were waiting for the entire game, and that was that. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side miss Raul Jimenez badly and they are lacking in confidence in attack. At least they have now regained their solid defensive shape. They probably didn’t deserve a point, but they got it.
Man of the Match: Callum Hudson-Odoi – Always lively on the left and almost scored a winner late on. A fresh start will do him the world of good.
Chelsea started brightly as Kai Havertz couldn’t finish after a surging run forward, then Hakim Ziyech tested Rui Patricio from distance.
Ruben Neves sent a free kick off target, a Wolves grew into the game.
Chelsea dominated possession but failed to carve out clear chances in the first half.
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Chilwell fired over in the second half as a similar pattern played out, with Giroud also going close as the Blues cranked through the gears.
Wolves then caught Chelsea on the break as Pedro Neto was played in by Daniel Podence but the Portuguese winger scooped his shot over Edouard Mendy and onto the top of the crossbar, as a glorious chance came and went for the visitors.
Mateo Kovacic went close as he curled just wide, as Christian Pulisic caused problems after coming off the bench. Hudson-Odoi’s deflected shot was then saved by Patricio, then Mason Mount was denied by a great clearance from Willy Boly.
With the last kick of the game Chelsea almost won it as a corner was headed goalbound by Havertz but Wolves blocked the effort as the final whistle blew.