A new day, but plenty of familiarity, both good and bad.
Chelsea started the game with the proverbial new manager bounce in our steps, with plenty of pace, power, invention, and impetus, using the full width of the pitch but not just for crossing.
But as it so often happens, a scoreless opening quarter of an hour petered out into more aimless possession, and while Chelsea racked up the passing numbers, we posed little actual threat on Wolves’ goal. To our credit, we kept Wolves from countering much since we had the ball practically the entire time (very Sarri-ball, that), but other than a couple set pieces and Hudson-Odoi runs, there was little danger from the Blue shirts.
The second-half was much of the same, with Chelsea posing a bit more threat but Wolves also posing more threat during their rare counters. A few half-chances for Chilwell, Giroud, and Havertz went begging, as did a few excellent passes across the six-yard box, while Neto hit the crossbar on a counter which may or may not have counted in the end with strong suggestions of offside in the process.
Tuchel tried something different by adding Pulisic to the fray to also play wing-back, but Chelsea were still unable to find a significant breakthrough.
Chelsea completed more passes against Wolves (820) than any other team in a PL game this season. Man City previously had the most in a match (810 v West Brom last night) pic.twitter.com/DhGthdUWGo
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) January 27, 2021
- Initially reported as a 4-2-3-1, Tuchel opts for what turned out to be a 3-4-3, with Azpilicueta playing center back and Hudson-Odoi at wing-back a la Moses under Conte. Two No.10s in support of a lone striker, with Kovacic and Jorginho racking up the passes in the middle.
- Pulisic on for the final 15 to play wing-back as well, with Hudson-Odoi moving to the left and Chilwell going off. Abraham for Giroud and Mount for Ziyech the other two changes.
- Chelsea move back up to 8th, at least for now, level on points with Arsenal, at least five points out of the top-four.
- Next up: Burnley on Sunday (Burnley won again today, their third in a row, beating Aston Villa, mind.)