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Match Report: Chelsea 3 Wolves 0 (Chelsea Fan's perspective)

Monday 28th November 2011
A relatively comfortable 3-0 win ensured that the recent pressure piled upon Andre-Villas Boas was eased, having prevented another home defeat which quite frankly would have led to the media hanging AVB out to dry.

Chelsea went into the weekend's match knowing that only a win would be sufficient enough to boost confidence levels having suffered a recent dip in form with back to back defeats.  The opponents came in the shape of a Wolves side, who themselves have not enjoyed a particularly good start to the season, having picked up only 11 points from the first 13 games of the season so far.

AVB made a few changes to the side that had lost to Liverpool the previous weekend. Mikel, Lampard and Malouda all dropped to the bench and in their place, in came Romeu, Merieles and Sturridge.  Dropping Lampard to the bench was a bold move by AVB, but one must not be drawn into assuming that Frank is no longer a guaranteed starter.  The good thing about AVB's approach to managing Chelsea is that he is not afraid to make changes when deemed necessary for the team to get the right results!  As with the Liverpool match there was again no place for Torres in the starting line up, with the manager instead opting for a front line of Mata, Drogba and an in form Sturridge.  Ashley Cole was also back in the side, having been out for the trip to Leverkusen in the Champions League.  Anelka was not even in the squad, and it now looks increasingly likely that he may be seeking pastures new sooner rather than later, with the January transfer window in sight!

With Chelsea determined to put their recent ‘bad moment' behind them, the signs were good from early on in the game.  Chelsea pushed forward, with Ramires showing signs of the quality player that he has been for us this season.  An attack by Ramires a.k.a. the Duracell Bunny was blocked by the Wolves keeper and led to a corner kick being awarded to Chelsea.  This subsequently led to Chelsea's first goal, with none other than Mr Chelsea, John Terry heading home in the bottom corner of Hennessey's goal just 7 minutes into the match.  With the home side already 1-0 up, early on in the game, it had an arousing effect on the crowd.  This early goal certainly opened it up for Chelsea to build from there and seek more goals.  Just one goal was not going to be enough for the home side to settle down.  In recent outings, against Bayer Leverkusen and the home defeat to Liverpool, the downfall had been sloppy defending leading to late goals for the opposition.  It seemed that on Saturday, the defence was a bit more solid, perhaps with the change in personnel proving to be of benefit, with Romeu sitting comfortably in his position in front of the back four.  However, Chelsea were not going to just sit back and defend, and were determined to push forward as much as possible.

The choice of Mata, Drogba and Sturridge seemed to be a good choice, with the men up front constantly causing problems for Wolves' defence. Mata has been a good addition to the team, while Sturridge has come back to us, with a beneficial period on loan at Bolton at the end of last season certainly having helped him to develop his game.  Ramires, Merieles and Mata were all key to causing Wolves problems on Saturday afternoon, and it was not long before the Chelsea faithful saw the ball go into the back of the net again for the second goal. It was in the 29th minute when Juan Mata went past Zubar, and then set up Daniel Sturridge to neatly finish off and give the blues a 2-0 lead.  Following on from that, although Wolves made a change as a reaction to conceding a second goal, this was no prevail as shortly before half time Mata neatly finished off a cross from the fit again Ashley Cole to make it 3-0.  As half time arrived the game already seemed to be done and dusted!!

After half time, although Chelsea did push forward and did have a fair few chances to increase the lead, the ball did not find the back of the net.  Wolves did keep a tighter defence for the second half, however, going forward Wolves were not creating the chances that Chelsea were.  With the last quarter of an hour to go AVB brought on both Lampard and Torres.  Just like the match with Liverpool, Torres was brought on too late to make much of an impact, however with the score at 3-0 in Chelsea's favour it did not matter much.  With Torres, however, personally I would have liked to have seen him get some more time on the pitch, as he can only improve and gain confidence simply my playing more.  If he had come on shortly after half time, with the score already at 3-0, perhaps it would have given him more of an opportunity to shine.  Saying that however, I have complete faith in AVB, and as long as we get the results, I don't care who is on the pitch, as long as they have the blue shirt on and are performing.

In the end, the second half did not see any more goals to add to the first half goals, and the final score was 3-0 to Chelsea.  When the final whistle went, and once the 3 points as well as a clean sheet had been secured there was a sense of relief all around Stamford Bridge, for each and every individual inside the stadium, except of course the visiting side and travelling supporters.  The day was made even better in the knowledge that Manchester United had dropped points with a home draw against Newcastle. Unfortunately however, Spurs did not drop any points away to Wigan, but with our win we took one step to closing the gap on the teams above us.  The season is yet to reach the half way stage, and if we continue to build on the confident win on Saturday we can pile pressure on those above us in the league.

Roll on Liverpool in the Carling Cup on Tuesday, followed by the long trip up to Newcastle next weekend!

Win or lose, up the blues!!

Team Line ups:

Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ivanovic (Bosingwa), Luiz, Terry, Cole; Romeu, Ramires, Meireles (Lampard); Mata, Drogba (Torres), Sturridge

Wolves (4-5-1): Hennessey; Zubar (Forde), Johnson, Berra, Elokobi; Jarvis, Edwards, Henry, Milijas (Ebanks-Blake), Ward; Fletcher (Guedioura).

Attendence: 41, 648

My Man of the Match: Daniel Sturridge – He was lively throughout the 90 minutes and he is in good form at the moment!!
Kunal Sapat

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