It was an absolutely exhilarating match, with Andre Villas-Boas’ men snaring a crucial three morale-boosting points against struggling Wolves, who have won only one in their past ten games coming into the game.
Juan Mata, arriving from Valencia for an undisclosed fee in the summer, dished out a dazzling performance yesterday, serving up two assists; one to John Terry from a clinical set piece in the 6th minute opener, and making a stellar cross to Daniel Sturridge, who netted the second. He then found the net himself minutes before halftime from Ashley Cole’s centre from 13 years out.
The scoreline could have been vastly different if not for a string of quick-witted saves from Wolves keeper Hennessey, who had to block out a series of shots through the match, most significantly the two saves from Sturridge and Mata in the second half.
In another light, there can also been seen that Drogba was a mere shadow of himself through his stint on the field during a match, only managing a free kick that was shot at the floodlights from 30 metres out and several solo runs that failed miserably. It could be seen that he was trying to get a desperate goal, perhaps as an attempt to gain back the trust in Andre Villas-boas, and was at times slightly selfish when he hoarded the ball in front of goal and shot wide instead of passing to a teammate who had a better chance of scoring. He was eventually subbed out for Torres in the 78th minute, who was storming out of the block, looking to make an impact with a few good runs. However that was all in vain as he failed to score that crucial goals, and he did have a couple of decent chances in the last 10 minutes, where he fired straight at Hennessey when he could have blasted it into the top of the net.
Another interesting thing to note would be that of the first start that was handed to Oriol Romeu, who was bought over from Barcelona tied to a buy back clause. This first start had turned out also to be the first 19 minutes for the 22 year old as he made an immediate impact, making accurate passes and being confident on the ball. His first 90 minutes saw Chelsea 33 year old veteran Frank Lampard, who dropped to the bench following the receiving of four yellows from previous matches. This was a tactic that Villas-Boas revealed that it was to “keep Lampard available for the Liverpool match.”
Overall it was an interesting first half, with dead moments in between the first and second goals, while Chelsea looked to have the lion’s share of the possession. At times Chelsea lacked the edge Wolves played some decent football, managing a few feeble attempts at goal. The second half saw Chelsea facing an resurgent Wolves, wanting to snatch a consolation goal, and at times Wolves looked dangerous with a 56th minute chance. Otherwise this was a well-played match which restored much needed pride in the squad and a crucial 3 points for the Blues, which keeps them in fifth place, with Newcastle, Tottenham, United and City ahead of them.