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5 Things Learned: Wolves 2-1 Chelsea | Premier League



(Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Chelsea delivered no early presents in a 2-1 loss to Wolves on Christmas Eve.

Second half strikes from Mario Lemina and Matt Doherty were enough for Wolves to see off a lacklustre Chelsea, despite Christopher Nkunku’s late consolation goal.

It was an end to end start at Molineux, with Armando Broja and Nicolas Jackson both testing the Wolves defence early on.

Wolves grew into proceedings after some early Blues dominance, but it was Raheem Sterling who wasted the best chance of the first half. After doing well to initially rob Joao Gomes of the ball, Sterling raced through on goal, opting against passing to Cole Palmer for a tap in, to instead send a tame effort at Jose Sa.

(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

After Sterling’s miss it was the hosts turn to pepper the Chelsea goal, with Hwang Hee-Chan spurning their best chance, curling narrowly over the bar after breaking beyond the Blues back line.

Wolves came flying out at the start of the second half, nearly catching the Blues cold on various occasions, with Djordje Petrovic doing well to deny Mario Lemina’s header from close range.

However he could not deny Lemina minutes later, with the Gabonese midfielder nodding a header into the far corner from another troublesome Wolves corner, to give the hosts the lead.

(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Chelsea pushed for an equaliser, with Christopher Nkunku’s deflected poke at goal cleared off the line, before Sterling was denied shortly after by some more heroic Wolves defending.

Despite the Blues knocking on the door, it was Wolves who found the hammer blow in added time, with Matt Doherty capitalising on some poor defending to slot past Petrovic and secure the points for the home team.

Nkunku was able to nab a consolation goal for the visitors, nodding home from a Sterling cross, however it was in vain as the Blues ran out of time to find an equaliser.

(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Here are five things Absolute Chelsea learned from the loss in the West Midlands.

1) A not so Merry Christmas for Chelsea

It was another difficult day for Chelsea supporters at Molineux, who have now not won in their last four visits to the West Midlands.

Mauricio Pochettino was visited by the ghost of Christmas past on Sunday afternoon, with his players falling back into familiar habits during the game. The Blues lacked discipline, picking up countless bookings, were profligate in front of goal, and were hurt by lapses in concentration, despite being dominant for large periods of the match.

Chelsea will remain in 10th place on Christmas day, but will need to have a resurgent second half of their campaign if they are to have any hope of achieving European football this season.

2) Attacking woes continue

A rather grim stat for Chelsea fans that appeared during the game, stated that the Blues had missed more big chances than any other team in the league so far this season.

That fact was put firmly on display in the West Midlands on Christmas eve, with Chelsea’s attackers again struggling to find a clinical edge in attack. Nicolas Jackson and Armando Broja both struggled to find the necessary sharpness to capitalise on any opening that came their way; whilst Raheem Sterling’s inexplicable decision to shoot at Jose Sa rather than pass to Cole Palmer for an open goal will likely be rehashed on social media fail comps for years to come.

(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

3) Christopher Nkunku scores on his Premier League debut

Despite a disappointing result for the Blues, many fans will have been encouraged to see Christopher Nkunku pick up some more minutes as he makes his return from injury.

Nkunku didn’t get too involved in the play, but showed a clinical edge in front of goal that has been sorely missed, doing well to find space to put a header beyond Jose Sa in added time.

Nkunku also had an effort cleared off the line, again displaying his prowess in the box, and offering the Blues some hope for the coming weeks.

4) Injury problems persist

With the absence of Enzo Fernandez through injury and Moises Caicedo through illness, the recently fit Lesley Ugochukwu stepped up to fill in for his teammates…… until he came off injured as well. The Blues seemingly cannot catch a break with their injury crisis presently, with more names being added to the absences list every game.

With Romeo Lavia and Christopher Nkunku both finally returning to fitness, Chelsea fans will be praying that both can hit the ground running due to the growing lack of alternatives.

(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

5) Blues struggle with Set Pieces

One familiar feature in the Blues performance against Wolves, was a vulnerability at set pieces. Wolves are a highly physical team, however Chelsea also lined up with 6 outfield players over 6 feet tall to try and minimise that threat, however it was to no avail.

Wolves looked consistently threatening from crosses into the box, and it came as no surprise when Mario Lemina gave the hosts the leads from a corner.

Djordje Petrovic also looked slightly uncomfortable coming out for balls from corners, however as he is still new to English football, it is to be expected that he will need time to adapt to the increased physicality on display.