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
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
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
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
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.
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
A mix-up between Wolves defenders Christophe Berra and Ward
allowed Torres to play in Juan Mata but his shot failed to hit the
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
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
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.