Premier League: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Chelsea 19/12/21 – Full Match Report

Updated: Dec 29, 2021

A stale affair: Wolves and Chelsea play a goalless draw at Molineux.


Written by Ryan Bellenie (@BellenieSport).


Pre-game:

In what almost seems to be deja-vu of last year, COVID-19 is taking its toll on Christmas. Things are no different in the world of sports either, with most Premier League games being postponed over the course of the weekend.


That being said, the match between Wolves and Chelsea took place as scheduled – despite the Blues being without a series of absentees who have tested positive with the virus.


Chelsea were however boosted by the return of Mateo Kovačić, who was just one of six players named on Thomas Tuchel’s bench.

The Blues have been in what seems a ‘mini crisis’ in recent weeks, winning just two of their previous six games. Their opponents on the other hand entered the game in good form, particularly defensively, as they’ve conceded just two goals in their previous six games.


Looking to pick up lost form, Tuchel made two changes to the team that drew with Everton on Thursday as N’Golo Kanté and Trevoh Chalobah started in midfield.


Wolves also started with a three-man defence, as they looked to keep the Blues quiet and pick up valuable points again an out-of-sorts Chelsea.


First half:

The game began at a slow pace, with most of the attacks coming from the home side, Wolves were awarded a flurry of corners in the opening few minutes, but Chelsea held their own and defended well.


On the 14th minute, Bruno Lage’s side thought that they had found the opener as Daniel Podence converted from close range. However, to Wolves’ disappointment, the linesman flag was raised 23 seconds after the ball had hit the net to penalise Raúl Jiménez who was in an offside position.


The Blues struggled to get a foot hold in the game, whilst the hosts played their football with no fear.


Eight minutes after Wolves’ offside goal, controversy struck as the ball hit N’Golo Kanté’s hand – who denied Podence a chance on goal with Édouard Mendy. Nothing was awarded to the Wanderers who were disappointed with the decision.


The best chance of the first half arrived just minutes before the half-time whistle. Leander Dendoncker had a free header inside the penalty area after getting on the end of Daniel Podence’s cross.


The Belgian however should’ve done better, with Mendy merely tested.


Chelsea began to up the ante in the dying minutes of the half, but still struggled to carve out any real opportunities. The half-time whistle eventually blew, with work to be done in the second half.

Second half:

After a collision with Thiago Silva in the first half, Trevoh Chalobah was replaced by Saúl at half-time as Thomas Tuchel’s injury concerns continued.


The German would’ve asked for a reaction from his side within the remaining 45 minutes, with his side applying pressure to the Wolves backline in the early stages of the second half.


However, either side still couldn’t create with the game lacking action and a creative spark.


Chelsea’s best chances came back-to-back with 15 minutes to go, as both N’Golo Kanté and Christian Pulisic looked to fire their side ahead.


However, neither was able to. Just like Thomas Tuchel’s first game as Chelsea boss – the game finished 0-0 as the Blues dropped points yet again.

After the whistle:

Given their current injury/COVID situation, a goalless draw against a stubborn team in the festive period is far from a bad result. However, when you look at Chelsea’s results of late – three points in Sunday’s game was crucial as the Blues continue to slip behind Manchester City and Liverpool.


After starting the campaign in scorching form, Tuchel’s side have entered a slump and can’t seem to find their way out of it. Although Chelsea looked a lot better defensively, their issues in front of goals continued as they managed just one shot on target.


Should their remaining fixtures go ahead, the Blues will return to action on Wednesday as they take on Brentford in the Quarter-Finals of the Carabao Cup.


Wolves on the other hand don’t expect to play until Boxing Day, where they face Watford at Molineux.


Final score:

Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 Chelsea.


BBC Sports Player of the match:

Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers).


Line-ups:

Wolverhampton Wanderers (3-5-2): Sá; Kilman, Coady ©, Saïss; Hoever, Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho, Marçal; Jiménez (89’), Podence (79’).

- Subs: Traoré (79’), Trincão (89’).


Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Mendy; Azpilicueta ©, Silva, Rüdiger; James, Kanté, Chalobah (45’), Alonso; Mount, Ziyech (65’); Pulisic.

- Subs: Saúl (45’), Kovačić (65’).


Referee:

David Coote.


Possession:

Wolverhampton Wanderers (37%) vs Chelsea (63%).


Shots:

Wolverhampton Wanderers (4) vs Chelsea (8).


Shots on target:

Wolverhampton Wanderers (1) vs Chelsea (1).


Corners:

Wolverhampton Wanderers (4) vs Chelsea (9).


Fouls:

Wolverhampton Wanderers (9) vs Chelsea (7).

- (credit | BBC Sport).


Match highlights:

- (credit | Sky Sports Football).

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