GB About: Chelsea Publish: 12/19/2021 Edit: 12/19/2021 Author: Gardener
Chelsea were frustrated with a 0-0 draw at Wolves that resulted in them falling further behind in the Premier League title race. Daniel Podence's finish in the first half, ruled out after a VAR check, was as close as the game came to a goal with minimal incidents in the fog of Molineux. Chelsea pushed and searched for the goal but did very little against a tough Wolves side and the tie means they are now six points behind leaders Manchester City. The game preparation was overshadowed by Chelsea's failed attempt to postpone the game because of seven positive Covid-19 cases in the squad. "That is very difficult for us to understand," said Thomas Tuchel before the game to Sky Sports. Chelsea could at least welcome N'Golo Kante back into the starting line-up, but with only four substitutes it was clearly not the ideal preparation for the away team. Wolves fans were excited for the action having waited almost a month for their team booth at Molineux, and they thought they had the breakthrough early on. Podence shot home but the festivities were interrupted when Raul Jimenez sidelined after a Fernando Marcal cross. Chelsea enjoyed a lot of possession in the first half but were unable to penetrate a defense that had conceded just two goals in their last six Premier League games. Christian Pulisic came closest before the break when he slammed behind the defensive line but was pushed wide by Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa and the threat was averted. Instead Leander Dendoncker had the best chance at halftime, a header from a cross from Podence, which Edouard Mendy easily saved in the Chelsea goal. The second half was a largely sultry affair with a dead end as Chelsea controlled possession and the Wolves were content to maintain their defensive form. A brilliant teamwork resulted in Pulisic in 78th It was as close as Chelsea, and while Wolves threw Adama Traore late to pose some threat at half-time, neither team did enough to take the three points. It's been an afternoon of frustration for Chelsea. Wolves coach Bruno Lage: “I think in the first half the players did everything I asked for. We have two good chances to score. After the second half you have time to talk, to adapt, you are a great team and you come with anything and get yourself a good chance. That's a good point for us. Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel: “After a strong start in the first five minutes, we struggled to adapt to the shape of the wolves. It was a very strong performance in the second half. It's clear that it's hard to score goals here. I'm very happy with how we played in the second half. Chelsea have only lost one of their last 12 Premier League games so this is not a crisis for Thomas Tuchel but this was their fourth draw in eight games and those results are proving costly. With Manchester City in relentless shape, Chelsea have to deliver results but two points from two games against Everton and Wolves this week put them under pressure at a time when the squad is severely exhausted. This was still a strong lineup - N'Golo Kante arguably makes it better than the one seen at Stamford Bridge mid-week - but expected the same front three things to happen twice in four days , was maybe too much. Without Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, Tuchel turned to Saul Niguez at halftime. They have only conceded twice in seven games - a 94th-minute win against Liverpool and a controversial penalty at Manchester City. Throughout the game, it felt like Chelsea needed something special to break through. Some nice changes on the left made the place for Christian Pulisic late when he moved behind the Wolves defense with his wonderful first touch. But Jose Sa made the save and Chelsea need to do more to be sure of winning. Tuchel emphasized that this in itself is not a bad result. The three draws in the last four Premier League games at Stamford Bridge are the ones that frustrate him more. Increasingly, it seems that City and Liverpool's more expansive approaches could only give them the lead over the course of the season, as too many games pass in which Tuchel's side cannot play their lead. * Only four goals have been scored in the Wolves' last seven Premier League games (2 for, 2 against), the fewest goals in the Premier League in seven games in any team since Crystal Palace in December 1994 / January 1995 were achieved (4). * Wolves have scored just 13 goals in 18 Premier League games this season, the fewest in this phase of a league season since 12 goals in 1983/84, which were relegated this year. * Wolves drew six Premier League games to zero in 2021 - only Brighton and Hove Albion had more goalless draws that year (7). * Wolves have failed to score in 10 different Premier League games this season, with only Norwich City missing a goal in more games this season (11). * There were only 12 shots in this game (4 Wolves, 8 Chelsea), the second fewest in a Premier League game this season, just before Brentford vs Brighton in September (11). Wolves will meet Watford in Molineux on Boxing Day at 3pm, while Chelsea will be in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday when they visit Brentford; Kick-off at 7.45 p.m. Thomas Tuchel's team will travel to Aston Villa on Boxing Day, live in the Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off at 12.30 p.m.
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