Wolves 1 Chelsea 0: Frank Lampard loses second managerial Blues debut after Matheus Nunes thunderbolt | The Sun
FRANK LAMPARD has returned to become Chelsea’s saviour this season but not even The Second Coming could help this sorry mess of a club.
Initially excited over his shock return as manager, Lampard could be forgiven for handing back the keys of his office at the club’s training ground and going back on an extended holiday.
While Wolves deserved their win, thanks to an absolute belter from Matheus Nunes, Chelsea were an utter shambles and it was a case of new manager, same old story.
It was a game here in September 2019 which saw the Lampard’s initial reign enjoy take off in spectacular style courtesy of a 5-2 victory but there was never any sign of a repeat in his first game back in charge.
Chelsea were weak in midfield, had no bite up front and the substitutes made no difference and overall, it was an absolute shambles.
You can only imagine the damage the Blues could suffer away to Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday if they play like this.
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On current form, that is unlikely to change because despite the sacking of Graham Potter, this was the same old performance from a side which has slipped into mid-table despite bonkers spending in the transfer market.
Chelsea have now won just two of their last 11 Premier League matches. As for Lampard, he has lost six of his last nine league matches as Chelsea boss.
But while it was another miserable day for the West London club, this was a key one for Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui.
Wolves are in trouble but their home form should be enough to keep them in the division.
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And this year has also seen them deliver some decent results against the so-called bigger clubs with Chelsea following Spurs and Liverpool by leaving the Black Country without any points.
The only disappointment for Wolves is that they could be in trouble with the FA as their fans twice sang homophobic chants aimed at the Chelsea team, despite being warned by the stadium PA announcer after the first time.
Nunes’ goal was his first since a £38m arrival from Sporting Lisbon but he also played a part in controlling the midfield.
Unsurprisingly, hundreds of Chelsea fans waited for the visiting coach to arrive. While there was little noise when the players stepped off the bus, the noise erupted once Lampard appeared.
And of the 20 players Lampard picked for his squad, he had previously managed just nine of them.
Only four of those players were handed starts, namely Kepa, Reece James, Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz.
All eyes were on whether Lampard would throw his beloved Mason Mount into the team, yet the England midfielder suffered a recurrence of his hip injury so did not travel.
Another notable absentee was fit-against N’Golo Kante but considering he has only just returned from nearly eight months on the sidelines, he is being rested for Wednesday’s Champions League trip to Real Madrid and is certain to start at the Bernabeu.
Although Lampard’s backroom team had not been officially announced, coaches Ashley Cole, Joe Edwards and Chris Jones were all involved in putting the team through the warm-up at Molineux.
Yet there was no sign of either Bruno Saltor or Bjorn Hamberg who stayed on at the club despite Potter’s sacking to take temporary charge.
Lampard would have wanted his team to make an immediate impact but they started off well enough, without causing too much discomfort to Wolves who grew into the game.
We had to wait nearly 30 minutes for an effort of note but Mario Lemina’s goal-bound shot was deflected wide by Wesley Fofana.
So it was all a bit dull until Nunes’ stunning strike which certainly did not belong to this game.
Chelsea thought they were probably safe after Kalidou Koulibaly got his head to a cross from Daniel Podence but with full-back Marc Cucurella hesitating, Nunes hammered his right-footed half-volley from inside the corner of the area and Kepa had no chance.
Diego Costa, given a good reception by Chelsea’s fans before the game, could have had a second against his former club but belted a shot straight at Kepa
Chelsea’s laughably-bad first half performance was summed up when Conor Gallager sent a harmless cross sailing into the arms of Jose Sa rather than play the ball back to Enzo Fernandez who screamed at his team-mate in disgust.
Even though Chelsea had six corners in a short space of time in the first half, they failed to create a single chance.
The second half was very much the same Wolves defensively solid and Chelsea unable to take control of the midfield.
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Lampard’s first substitution of his new era was bringing Christian Pulisic for the anonymous Kai Havertz just past the hour and soon after, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mykhailo Mudryk and Ben Chilwell were brought on but there was no difference.
Wolves were unable to kill the game off but Chelsea’s opponents in Europe are unlikely to be so kind.
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