Chelsea ease past Wolves as Potter’s magic starts to work
Chelsea breezed past Wolves as Graham Potter secured back-to-back wins in the Premier League to move the Blues into the top four.
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Kai Havertz scored right on half time, then Christian Pulisic made it 2-0 with his first goal of the season and Armando Broja jumped off the bench to score his first Chelsea goal to seal the win.
After making seven changes to the lineup, Potter’s side eased to victory and move on to 16 points for the season. Managerless Wolves have six points and remain in the bottom three.
What we learned from Chelsea vs Wolves
The joy has returned to Chelsea’s play: It took them a while to break through but it was coming. Chelsea’s players already seem to have embraced the extra creativity and freedom that Graham Potter’s tactics have brought and even after leaving Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling on the bench, they looked sharp in attack. There is an extra belief about their play when they’re going forward and they could have scored more than three. All over the pitch Chelsea’s players look to be enjoying playing football again and winning three games on the trot (in all competitions) will help confidence levels too.
Wolves in a world of trouble: They were okay for part of the parts half and they missed a few chances as crosses into the box caused problems. But that was about it. With Raul Jimenez still out and Diego Costa, 34, looking well off the pace after his arrival, there is no real goal threat to Wolves. They also don’t have a manager and they entire squad looks devoid of confidence. It has done for some time and whoever comes in will have a very tough task to turn this around. Wolves have zero belief.
Potter’s hybrid wing-back roles worked really well in this game and Azpilicueta and Christian Pulisic had plenty of chances to score and assist. In possession Chelsea were playing a 4-2-3-1 formation with Pulisic pushing on down the left. Out of possession it would become a 3-4-2-1 with Pulisic dropping back as a wing-back and Marc Cucurella tucking in as a left-sided center back. It worked really well and allowed Chelsea to overload the wide areas expertly.
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Graham Potter on reaction he’s getting from Chelsea stars
“I’ve said from the start I’ve been impressed with how open, honest and responsible they are. It’s difficult to keep the same XI with the schedule but there is an element of consistency to how we play. Really happy with the boys and how we’ve recovered. We go again on Tuesday. Winning games helps so we look forward to the games, it’s about hard work, it’s being together, that stuff is important but the guys have been really impressive.”
Stars of the show
Mason Mount: Two assists and kept popping up in dangerous areas. He’s slowly getting back to his best.
Kai Havertz: Took his goal well and led the line superbly as he linked up play and made clever runs.
Chelsea travel to AC Milan on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League group stage, then travel to Aston Villa on Sunday, Oct. 16. Wolves host Nottingham Forest on Saturday, Oct. 15 in a huge game.
How to watch Chelsea vs Wolves live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET, SaturdayTV Channel: Peacock Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
It’s still early days in the Graham Potter era at Chelsea but the signs are promising. He’s made some big decisions with the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly and Cesar Azpilicueta unused subs for the win at Palace last weekend and Potter already seems to be sorting out Chelsea’s attacking issues. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang grabbed his first Chelsea goal last weekend and added another against Milan as they look more dangerous and fluid in attack. As for Wolves, well, scoring goals has been a huge problem for them as injuries to their strikers (most notably Raul Jimenez) was a big reason why Bruno Lage was fired. Diego Costa returning to Chelsea is a storyline to look out for and he could well start this game after having an impact off the bench at West Ham last weekend as he should have scored a header and set up a goal which was ruled out.
In-form players to keep an eye on
Aubameyang is looking sharper and Reece James is the man of the moment for Chelsea as he continues to surge up and down the right flank. For Wolves, well, Jose Sa is doing okay in goal and Ruben Neves (suspended for this game) is doing his best to hold things together in midfield and even at center back after recent injuries and suspensions.
Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup
The Blues have a few key players returning from injury, which is brilliant news for Potter. The duo of Edouard Mendy and Marc Cucurella are both back fit, as Cucurella starts but Kepa keeps his place ahead of Mendy. Wesley Fofana suffered an injury against AC Milan and after leaving the stadium on crutches and is out for a few weeks. Pulisic and Gallagher had a big impact off the bench late on at Palace and they both start, with Aubameyang and Sterling on the bench. Reece James also drops to the bench with Ruben Loftus-Cheek at right wing-back.
Wolves team news, injuries, lineup
A long list of injuries and suspensions is the last thing Wolves need and it explains their current position in the bottom three. Raul Jimenez, and Pedro Neto are out, while Sasa Kalajdzic is out for at least six months following his serious knee injury. Chiquinho is out long-term too, while Nathan Collins is still suspended and Neves is also missing for this game due to yellow card accumulation. Diego Costa starts up front as he returns to Chelsea for the first time.