Chelsea back to winning ways against Wolves

Chelsea eased the pressure on manager Andre Villas-Boas on

Saturday by sweeping to a 3-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers

at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.

Captain John Terry settled the home team’s nerves by heading

home Juan Mata’s corner in the sixth minute, Daniel Sturridge

slipped his marker to tap home Mata’s cross just before the half

hour and the Spaniard added the hosts’ third in the last minute of

the first half.

Beaten 2-1 last weekend by Liverpool, Chelsea had slipped in the

domestic standings and then lost 2-1 to Bayer Leverkusen in the

Champions League in midweek, costing Villas-Boas’ side an early

place in the last 16.

The result could have been a rout had it not been for a series

of excellent stops from Wolves goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, the

highlight of which was a double-save from Sturridge and Mata

halfway through the second half.

The performance was hardly vintage Chelsea, who will come up

against much tougher opponents in the coming weeks, but the result

will help Villas-Boas, even though his team remained fifth after

Manchester United’s draw with Newcastle.

Chelsea went into the match having lost two of its last three

league games.

After a cagey opening five minutes, Chelsea took hold of the

game thanks to Terry’s opener.

Ramires stole the ball off aNenad Milijas and fired goalwards

only to see Hennessey tip the Brazilian’s effort wide with a

brilliant save. But from the resulting corner Terry lost his marker

to head Mata’s cross home from eight yards to give the Blues the

lead.

The Blues were cautious in possession and appeared to lack the

confidence to turn the screw on their opponents, but they suddenly

sprung to life to double their lead in the 29th minute. Mata sent

over a low cross that Sturridge tapped home from close range after

muscling past his marker.

Hennessey spilled Sturridge’s powerful shot over the bar just

before the break and Mata made it 3-0 on the stroke of half-time

when he was given room to beat Hennessey from 12 yards.

Hennessey pulled off an excellent save to stop Ramires’ powerful

volley after the break as Chelsea looked to start the second half

in the same way it had ended the first.

Wolves looked a much more confident outfit in the second half,

however, and almost pulled one back when Sylvan Ebanks-Blake

threaded Stephen Ward through, but the Irishman’s shot trickled a

couple of yards wide.

Didier Drogba, who had been quiet for most of the match,

hammered a powerful drive just wide while Hennessey was scrambling

across his goal-line.

Frank Lampard, dropped for Oriol Romeu, received a huge welcome

when he came on in the 69th minute in the place of Raul Meireles.

Hennessey then pulled off an excellent double save from point-blank

range to deny Sturridge and then Mata.

The home crowd demanded Fernando Torres’ introduction, and

Villas-Boas finally unleashed the former Liverpool man in the place

of Drogba.

The Spaniard darted in to the Wolves box, keen to make an

impact, but his fierce shot was deflected wide.

Torres once again stormed the Wolves penalty area but failed in

his audacious attempt to lob Hennessey from 18 yards as the clock

ticked towards 90 minutes.