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Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Chelsea. Premier League.


Wolverhampton Wanderers 1

  • M Nunes (31st minute)

Chelsea 0

    Wolves 1-0 Chelsea: Frank Lampard starts caretaker role with defeat after stunning Matheus Nunes volley

    Report and free match highlights as Frank Lampard's first game as Chelsea caretaker manager ends in a 1-0 defeat at Molineux; Matheus Nunes scores stunning first-half volley to lift Wolves four points above the relegation zone; Chelsea are 11th and 17 points off the top four

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    FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the clash between Wolves and Chelsea in the Premier League

    Matheus Nunes' stunning volley moved Wolves four points clear of the relegation zone as Frank Lampard's reign as Chelsea caretaker manager started in disappointing fashion with a 1-0 defeat.

    Lampard, who was sacked by the club in January 2021, returned to the Blues dugout where he will remain for the rest of the season, but was unable to solve their attacking problems at Molineux.

    Nunes lit up what had been a low-quality first half with a sensational strike from inside the box which found the top corner for his first Premier League goal since joining for a club-record deal of £42.2m.

    Chelsea rarely looked like scoring and have now not found the net in their last three league games as their season continues to fall apart. They sit 11th, 17 points off the top four with four wins in their last 21 matches.

    Player ratings:

    Wolves: Sa (7), Lemina (7), Podence (6), Cunha (7), Dawson (7), Semedo (7), Kilman (7), Toti (7), Nunes (8), Costa (7), Gomes (7).

    Subs: Hwang (6), Moutinho (6), Traore (6), Sarabia (6), Collins (n/a).

    Chelsea: Kepa (5), Fernandez (6), Kovacic (5), Felix (5), Sterling (5), Gallagher (4), James (6), Koulibaly (5), Havertz (5), Cucurella (5), Fofana (6).

    Subs: Pulisic (5), Aubameyang (5), Mudryk (6), Chilwell (5), Chalobah (n/a).

    Player of the Match: Matheus Nunes

    How Lampard's return ended in defeat

    Frank Lampard appears dejected with Chelsea losing at Wolves
    Image: Frank Lampard appears dejected during Chelsea's defeat at Wolves

    The opening exchanges of a poor first half were dominated by a flurry of corners - 12 within the first 25 minutes - but there was still little goalmouth action.

    Nunes' superb first-time volley, running onto a loose ball after Kalidou Koulibaly had flicked a cross away with his head came as a deserved opener for Wolves, who had looked more likely to score.

    Team news:

    • Frank Lampard made two changes, starting Raheem Sterling and Conor Gallagher. Ben Chilwell dropped to the bench while N’Golo Kante was not the in squad. Neither was Mason Mount.
    • Diego Costa started for Wolves against his former club as one of three changes. Daniel Podence and Joao Gomes also came into the starting line-up as Adama Traore and Joao Moutinho dropped to the bench. Ruben Neves was suspended after collecting 10 yellow cards.

    Chelsea's deficiencies in front of goal were laid bare, Joao Felix having their only shot on target during the match which was comfortable for Jose Sa - and it was their former striker Diego Costa who went closest, forcing a good save from Kepa Arrizabalaga to keep the visitors in touch.

    Also See:

    Matheus Nunes nets a stunning volley past Kepa Arrizabalaga.
    Image: Matheus Nunes nets a stunning volley past Kepa Arrizabalaga

    Kai Havertz had a quiet afternoon leading the line and should have connected with Reece James' cross at the near post moments after half-time as he attempted to stab in an equaliser.

    Chelsea wanted a penalty when Felix's volley struck Nunes in the box before James bent a free-kick way over to add to their frustration.

    Lampard turned to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the final 20 minutes and the striker directed a header wide under pressure from Nelson Semedo.

    However, Wolves saw the game out with relative ease to give themselves a cushion to the bottom three and pile the misery on Chelsea, who are now winless in their last four.

    Three Wolves fans arrested after homophobic chanting

    Three Wolves fans have been arrested for homophobic chanting towards Chelsea supporters at Molineux.

    A statement from Wolves read: "We strongly condemn the discriminatory chants aimed towards Chelsea supporters at today's game.

    "In response to the chants, supporters were reminded by a public address system announcement that discriminatory behaviour and chants of this nature are not tolerated at Molineux. Homophobia, like all other forms of discrimination, has no place in football or society, and anyone engaging in discriminatory behaviour is committing a criminal offence.

    "As a result, we can confirm that three arrests were made by West Midlands Police relating to homophobia, and the discriminatory chants in question.

    "Our ethos at Wolves is about being 'One Pack' - an attitude we are passionate about and that extends to our relationships across the football community, regardless of rivalries or what happens on the football pitch. We thank all supporters and staff who reported incidents and will continue to campaign for inclusivity and tackle discriminatory abuse, whether inside stadiums or online.

    "The club will offer its full support to the police as they carry out their investigation."

    Chelsea said: "Chelsea Football Club finds all forms of discriminatory behaviour totally unacceptable.

    "It condemns the homophobic chanting by some home fans at Molineux this afternoon. Chelsea will continue to work closely with Chelsea Pride and the broader football community to eradicate these vile chants from our game.''

    The Premier League added: ''The homophobic chanting heard at the Wolverhampton Wanderers versus Chelsea fixture today has no place in football or society. The Premier League condemns all forms of discrimination. Football is for everyone.''

    Lampard: Some players don't have a history of scoring

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    Frank Lampard says he is disappointed with Saturday's defeat to Wolves but insists he is still understanding the players' strengths.

    Chelsea caretaker manager Frank Lampard: "In terms of the performance, first half I thought we were slightly off the pace. You could feel Wolves were aggressive, fighting for their Premier League status and I felt they had a little bit more aggression in their game. It's something I said to the players at half-time.

    "Second half we corrected that slightly in the early parts, had some more chances but, at that point, you're 1-0 down. We've been here a day or two, trying to work the players out and give them information, we're going to keep on doing that to try and improve because we've got big games coming up."

    On problems in front of goal: "We have to find the reasons and solutions for that. The only way I know is to work. We have to give some credit to players but some players here haven't got a history of scoring goals, maybe fresh to the league or are new players. You have to give them time and work with them. At the same time, we're Chelsea and want to score goals and win games so we have to find a solution to that."

    On bringing on Aubameyang: "I have to try and use everything, we want to assess the squad quickly and try and find the best players to win games.

    "To have a good competitive edge in the squad is a good thing. You don't want players that are just saying, 'It's not for me, I'm not playing', or don't see an opportunity. They have an opportunity if they train well and play well. That's the challenge for the players over the weeks to come."

    Is the focus on Real Madrid? "From right now, of course it is. It's a different competition, it will be a different type of game and it's up to us to prepare in the right way and anything can happen. We respect the fact we're playing the current holders so we have to focus on that now and cannot be too despondent.

    "We'll certainly analyse the game and we have to make improvements because we feel we want to be better and the only way to get better is hard work - and sometimes it doesn't come overnight."

    Merson: One of the worst runs in football history for so much talent

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    Paul Merson says Chelsea's run of four wins in 21 Premier League matches 'can't happen' with the talent in the team

    Sky Sports' Paul Merson:

    "There was no urgency, it was very slow. For about 15 minutes in the second half they [Chelsea] moved it quickly and were going through Wolves without making chances. They were getting it out wide and getting crosses in. A bit more luck here and there and you never know.

    "The only benefit of the doubt I can think of is they're waiting for Wednesday night [vs Real Madrid]. If they turn up like that it will be pointless going to the second leg, it could be a cricket score.

    "Lampard has only had a couple of days to work with them but there's no pattern. You watch Man City and Arsenal play and you can see what's trying to happen. With Chelsea there's nothing there. It's 11 individuals.

    "No one really moves for anybody, there's no interchanging, no one runs when they know they're not going to get the ball, ever. At the moment, it is a worrying time. It's nothing to do with the managers, it's the players who have to stand up for themselves.

    "A couple of years ago, Chelsea were ripping teams apart and now you're going to Wolves and I'm not even shocked they've been beaten.

    "Four wins from 21 games can't happen, it's mind-blowing. It's got to be one of the worst runs in the history of football with that much talent in it. They're bringing on international players that have got 50 caps, not someone who has never played for their country."

    Lopetegui: We focused on our game plan

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    Julen Lopetegui felt Wolves deserved to beat Chelsea 1-0 and praised his players' worth ethic.

    Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui: "You need to work hard to win each match, especially against this kind of team. Fortunately, we scored and had a clean sheet. In the end, we have three points more."

    On Nunes' goal: "It's a good goal but I prefer to highlight the work of the rest of the players in the different phases, their focus in this period and to have the belief to play football. We deserved to win today, it's not easy."

    Good time to play Chelsea? "It's not easy after these types of changes. The reaction of the players is strong because they have big players. We don't put the focus on what is going to happen with them, they can change different things. We put the focus on our game plan and what we wanted to do."

    Fantasy Premier League stats

    FPL Stats: Wolves vs Chelsea

    Goals Nunes
    Assists None
    Bonus points Semedo (3), Nunes (2), Kilman (1)

    Play Fantasy Premier League and see more stats here

    Opta stats: Chelsea attackers off-target again

    • Chelsea have lost seven Premier League away games this season, they last suffered more defeats on the road in a single campaign in 2000-01 (8).
    • Frank Lampard has lost four consecutive Premier League games against a single opponent for the second time as a manager, also doing so against Liverpool in April 2022.
    • Chelsea hit the target with just one of their 13 shots against Wolves, they've never had more attempts in a Premier League away game on record (since 2003-04) while only managing one or fewer on target.
    • Despite being substituted on in the 68th minute, Joao Felix had the most shots in the match (4). Indeed, since his debut for Chelsea in January he has had more attempts at goal than any other Blues player (36).

    What's next?

    Wolves are at home again for their next fixture against Brentford on Saturday April 15. Kick-off 3pm.

    Chelsea head to Real Madrid on Wednesday for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie with kick-off at 8pm. They return to league action at home to Brighton on Saturday at 3pm.

    Chelsea's remaining fixtures

    April 12: Real Madrid (A), Champions League quarter-final, kick-off 8pm

    April 15: Brighton (H) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

    April 18: Real Madrid (H), Champions League quarter-final, kick-off 8pm

    April 26: Brentford (H) - Premier League, kick-off 7.45pm

    April 29: Arsenal (A) - Premier League, kick-off 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports

    May 6: Bournemouth (A) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

    May 13: Nottingham Forest (H) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

    May 20: Manchester City (A) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

    May 28: Newcastle (H) - Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm

    TBA: Man Utd (A) - Premier League

    Wolves' remaining fixtures

    April 15: Brentford (H) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

    April 22: Leicester City (A) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

    April 25: Crystal Palace (H) - Premier League, kick-off 7.30pm

    April 29: Brighton (A) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

    May 6: Aston Villa (H) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

    May 13: Man Utd (A) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

    May 20: Everton (H) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

    May 28: Arsenal (A) - Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm

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