While there might have been much speculation as to whether Chelsea’s meeting at Molineux would go ahead, the Blues eventually had to settle for a 0-0 stalemate against Wolves on Sunday afternoon.
Hit by more positive coronavirus results earlier in the day, the defending European champions once again missed out on the chance to cut their deficit at the top of the Premier League table.
In a contest that turned out to be a cagey affair in the Midlands, Chelsea now find themselves sat six points adrift of Manchester City as they head into Christmas Day.
Failing to find the boost that Thomas Tuchel would have been hoping for at Molineux, we have taken a look at the main talking points after Sunday’s 0-0 draw.
Frustration on and off the pitch for Tuchel
While Tuchel might have gained a host of plaudits since arriving at Stamford Bridge back in January, it appears that the former PSG boss finds himself in the midst of a recent west London wobble.
Having to settle for another single point earlier in the week against a heavily-altered Everton side on home soil, the reigning European champions have managed to win just a pair of their last seven matchups across all formats.
However, while the Blues might have once again put in a largely toothless display on Sunday afternoon, there is no doubt that plenty of the headlines will be stollen by Chelsea’s issues behind the scenes.
Hit with another COVID-19 outbreak in their camp and missing seven first-team stars at Molineux, it was announced prior to kick-off that Tuchel’s side had requested their meeting against postponed, something that was denied by the Premier League.
Able to name just four outfield players on their bench here, Chelsea’s German boss would have still been far from pleased by his side’s flat display in the Midlands.
Failing to muster a single shot on target throughout the whole first-half, the Blues have the feel of a side really seeking some stability.
A rugged Wolves pack
While Wolves might have been left hugely frustrated away at defending champions Manchester City last weekend, Bruno Lage’s new side have gained plenty of fans for what has become a rugged approach at Molineux.
Landing a 1-0 victory away at Brighton earlier in the week, the one-time Benfica boss would have been smelling a potential chance to lay down another marker on Sunday afternoon.
Welcoming back attacking talisman Raul Jiminez following his one-match suspension, the Oranges didn’t show any fear and thought they had taken the lead after Daniel Podence’s early strike was ruled out for offside after a VAR review.
Appearing to have put those back-to-back 1-0 losses against Liverpool and City behind them, Lage’s side were more than worthy of their point against the defending European champions.
With keeper José Sá having a largely quiet afternoon at Molineux, some in Wolves’ camp could have their sights set on mounting a real European charge this season.
While Sunday’s hosts might still be seeking a clinical edge in the final third, they do find themselves heading into Christmas Day sat eighth in the table and just two points adrift of breaking into the top-six.
What’s coming up for both?
Although Chelsea might have found themselves leading the chase prior to November’s international break, the Blues are now chasing a six-point deficit and looking to kick-start their campaign.
Winning just a pair of their last six Premier League appearances, Tuchel’s men don’t have long to feel sorry for themselves as they turn their attention to EFL Cup duties in midweek.
Making the trip across west London to Brentford on Wednesday night, the Blues will then make the trip to Villa Park on Boxing Day as they meet Steven Gerrard’s high-flyers.
As for Wolves, putting in another gritty display on Sunday afternoon, Lage’s men should be relishing what appears to be a more straightforward test next weekend.
After facing off against the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea in three of their last four Premier League outings, the Oranges will be next seen when they face off against relegation scrappers Watford.
Wolves: Malheiro de Sá, Kilman, Coady, Saïss, Hoever, Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho, Marcal, Jiménez, Podence
Subs: Traoré, Trincão
Chelsea: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger, James, Kante, Chalobah, Alonso, Ziyech, Mount, Pulisic
Subs: Saul, Kovacic
Yellow Cards: Cahlobah, Rudiger
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: David Coote