Chelsea force tough win over Wolves
Chelsea battled to a close fought 2-0 win at Wolves this afternoon, with Pedro’s 65th minute goal proving decisive in an entertaining game.
Chelsea changed several players, with an entirely new back four of Begovic, Ake, Zouma and Terry looking all looking rusty at different stages.
Wolves presented a solid obstacle, with excellent positional structure and a real threat in the break in the form of the pacy Helder Costa, who gave each member of Chelsea’s team a difficult moment at some point.
The first half was a close affair, with both sides looking trying to control a congested midfield.
In the second half the crowd got increasingly behind Wolves as they sensed that a single goal might make the difference. With Antonio Conte preparing to move to a more defensive setup, Cesc Fabregas picked up the ball deep in his own half and played a perfect ball over the top to Diego Costa, who had battled all day with little reward. The Brazilian striker won the ball, laid, it off to the supporting Eden Hazard who flicked it back to Willian. The winger saw Pedro blazing into space at the far post, and picked him out for a perfect header to give Chelsea the lead on the back of a sweeping move.
It was a moment that proved to be decisive in an entertaining cup game that was ultimately coolly seen out by a Chelsea team which looked competent rather than coherent in a game that proved to be as difficult as expected. From that moment the Blues settled back and brought on defensive players and Paul Lambert’s men looked like they had spent their best efforts already.
Diego Costa, battling to the end, finally securing the decisive second just as the sides entered injury time, driving a textbook low finish into the opposite corner after out-muscling a hapless Wolves defender.