Lampard secures 2-1 win for Chelsea at Wolves

Frank Lampard relieved the pressure on Chelsea manager Andre

Villas-Boas by securing a 2-1 victory at Wolverhampton Wanderers on

Monday.

Chelsea dropped out of the Premier League’s top four on Saturday

after losing to Aston Villa and relied on Lampard’s late winner

from close range to end a four-game run without a win.

Ramires had put Chelsea in front in the 54th minute, holding off

Stephen Ward’s challenge before firing the ball into the roof of

the net.

Ward looked to have salvaged a point for Wolves when he leveled

in the 84th, but the loss left Wolves just two points above the

relegation zone.

Chelsea is back in fourth, depending on the outcome of Arsenal’s

late match at Fulham.

A big plus was the performance of Fernando Torres, who started

in the absence of the injured Didier Drogba and Daniel

Sturridge.

The former Liverpool striker looked sharp and committed

throughout the 90 minutes and there were signs of him returning to

his best, even if he did not score for the first time since Oct.

23.

But Wolves’ battling spirit meant they were always in contention

with winger Adam Hammill causing plenty of problems.

An early slip by Chelsea defender Jose Bosingwa allowed David

Edwards a shot at goal inside the first 20 seconds but it lacked

power and Petr Cech was able to save comfortably low to his

right.

A mix-up between Wolves defenders Christophe Berra and Ward

allowed Torres to play in Juan Mata but his shot failed to hit the

target.

It needed Richard Stearman to make a fine tackle to deny Lampard

a clear-cut chance to break the deadlock.

Lampard became the first player to be booked, for a sliding

tackle on Hammill. The Wolves winger also went into referee Peter

Walton’s notebook for his challenge on Ashley Cole.

Wolves midfielder Karl Henry was booked for tripping Torres on

the edge of his box. Then Doyle was cautioned after throwing the

ball at Cole after he had been upended by the England

left-back.

It became five yellow cards in eight minutes when Oriol Romeu

brought down Hammill, who took the free kick himself. Edwards found

himself unmarked six yards (meters) out but directed his header

past the post.

Wolves were still looking dangerous on the counterattack into

the second half and Matt Jarvis’ pace took him past Bosingwa before

his cross fell to Hammill 15 yards (meters) out.

He kept his volley down but it bounced up invitingly for Cech

who saved away to his right.

Chelsea captain John Terry attacked Mata’s corner but managed

only the slightest of touches and the ball broke to the Brazilian,

who netted his sixth goal of the campaign.

The Chelsea players celebrated on the touchline with Villas-Boas

and the coaching staff.

Wolves goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey needed to be alert to block an

attempt from Raul Meireles, Stearman produced a crucial challenge

to halt Torres inside the box, before Mata fired into the

side-netting.

And Chelsea was stunned when Ward brought Wolves level after

Fletcher turned a deep cross from Jarvis back into his path.

However, Lampard won it for Chelsea’s four minutes later after

Torres had found Cole in space to deliver the telling cross, but

they needed Cech’s heroics in the fourth minute of stoppage time to

preserve all three points.