Wolverhampton 0-2 Chelsea

Didier Drogba scored both goals to earn Chelsea a 2-0 win over

Wolves at Molineux and a four-point lead at the top of the Premier

League.

Drogba ensured the Blues took advantage of United’s 3-1

lunchtime reversal against Everton at Goodison Park with a goal in

each half.

It took his tally for the campaign to 25 in all competitions

and earned Carlo Ancelotti’s side only their second away win in

their last seven league games.

Chelsea barely moved out of second gear for long periods

ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Inter Milan.

But the quality finishing of Drogba was the difference

between the sides and means the Blues are now favourites to take

the Premier League crown with only 11 games remaining.

Petr Cech was the busier of the two keepers and made two

crucial saves early in the second half when Chelsea held only a

single-goal advantage.

But Wolves’ problem all season has been failure to take their

chances, as demonstrated by their meagre goal tally of 21 –

although Kevin Doyle again impressed as a lone striker.

Chelsea were quickly in the ascendancy and the first

half-chance fell to Michael Ballack.

Yury Zhirkov sent over a threatening cross from the left

flank and Ballack got up well in the danger area but directed his

header wide.

Doyle produced the first save of the game out of Cech after

15 minutes.

The Republic of Ireland international made space for himself

after a diagonal run and Cech had to go down to his right to save

his 20-yard drive.

Doyle then flicked the ball into the path of the overlapping

Kevin Foley but his shot from a narrow angle flew into the side

netting.

Doyle was causing problems for Chelsea and he was alert to a

quick throw from Foley and forced Cech to parry his shot around the

post.

Ballack was only just too high with a rasping volley after a

corner from Florent Malouda was only half-cleared.

Jones, who had scored the winner against Tottenham ten days

ago, curled a free-kick just wide as Wolves started to grow in

confidence.

But five minutes before the interval, Chelsea took the lead

through Drogba.

Zhirkov played a one-two with Ballack before squaring a low

ball across the six-yard box and Drogba had the easiest of tap-ins.

Cech produced a superb reflex save to protect Chelsea’s lead

after 55 minutes.

Adlene Guedioura timed his run perfectly to connect with a

far-post cross from Jarvis but his fierce volley was somehow kept

out by the Chelsea keeper.

Ancelotti made his first change a minute later with Zhirkov

replaced by Jeffrey Bruma.

The home side tried to get a foothold in the game and Cech

produced another splendid stop to deny Foley an equaliser.

Terry miskicked when attempting to clear and Foley found

himself with only Cech to beat but he managed to block his fierce

shot.

Ballack became the first player to be yellow-carded for

dissent as the Blues looked rattled.

But then Drogba doubled Chelsea’s lead in the 67th minute as

Wolves were caught napping by a long clearance from Cech.

Drogba was the first to react and took the ball away from

Christophe Berra before clipping the ball wide of Marcus Hahnemann.

McCarthy made a triple substitution with Jarvis, Foley and

Jones making way for Geoffrey Mujangi Bia, Greg Halford and Sylvan

Ebanks-Blake.

Doyle was only just off target for Wolves with a shot on the

turn after some typical aggression.

But it needed a good tackle from Ronald Zubar to deny Anelka

a third goal as he bore down on the Wolves goal.

Terry cleared the ball off the line in a late Wolves rally

after Cech had failed to gather a long throw from Halford.