Chelsea 3 Wolves 0: Blues victory eases pressure on Villas-Boas
John Terry, Daniel Sturridge and Juan Mata netted first-half goals as Chelsea cantered to a comfortable win over Wolves
John Terry, Daniel Sturridge and Juan Mata all scored first-half goals as Chelsea bounced back from consecutive defeats by cruising to a comfortable win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Terry gave André Villas-Boas’s men the lead early on before Sturridge tapped in a second after half an hour. Mata then smashed home the Blues’ third just before the break to ease the pressure on Chelsea’s Portuguese manager.
The win keeps the Blues in fifth place on 25 points, nine points behind leaders Manchester City, who travel to Anfield on Sunday.
Chelsea started brightly and Terry nodded the hosts in front in the seventh minute, glancing Mata’s cross past goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and into the far post.
The Londoners were dominating proceedings at Stamford Bridge and Sturridge put the hosts two up in the 30th minute. The impressive Mata darted down the left wing, cut inside and crossed for Sturridge to tap home.
Sturridge then tested Hennessey from range in the 39th minute with a thumping left-footed strike which the goalkeeper could only push round his left post.
And Mata grabbed the Blues’ third on the stroke of half-time. Ashley Cole whipped in a low cross from the left of the box and the Spain international lashed home from six yards.
The first opportunity of the second half fell to Ramires, whose dipping volley forced Hennessey into a good save in the 51st minute.
But Wolves began to enjoy their best spell of the afternoon, with Stephen Ward placing his shot just wide of Petr Cech’s post in the 53rd minute, before a number of teasing crosses troubled a hesitant Chelsea rearguard.
Wolves goalkeeper Hennessey then produced a fantastic double save to keep both Mata and Ramires at bay in the 73rd minute.
And Sturridge, who was in fine form throughout, could have added a fourth after a brilliant run down the right – but he chose to poke a pass across goal rather then take it on himself and there was no Chelsea player lurking.
Villas-Boas threw Frank Lampard and Fernando Torres into the fray late on but the game petered out and the Blues cruised to only their second win in their last five games.
Chelsea: Petr Cech, Ashley Cole, David Luiz, John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic (José Bosingwa, 77), Ramires, Raul Meireles (Frank Lampard, 70), Oriol Romeu, Daniel Sturridge, Didier Drogba (Fernando Torres, 78), Juan Mata.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Wayne Hennessey, George Elokobi, Christophe Berra, Roger Johnson, Ronald Zubar (Anthony Forde, 76), Stephen Ward, Karl Henry, Nenad Milijas (Sylvain Ebanks-Blake, 38), Matthew Jarvis, David Edwards, Steven Fletcher (Adlène Guédioura, 84).