Chelsea stamped their authority at the Molineux in style, with the Blues running away with the game in a 5-2 win over Wolves on Saturday.
There were questions early on surrounding Frank Lampard’s decision to go into the game against Wolves with a three-man backline, which some suggested pointed towards the Chelsea legend not having made up his mind with the formation to go forward. But, as it panned out, it was a stroke of genius, cancelling out Wolves’ formation and tactical positioning as well.
Fikayo Tomori opened the scoring with a freak curler and soon the floodgates opened. Before people got a whim of a potential Wolves comeback, Tammy Abraham scored a brace in the first half and completed his hat-trick in the second to propel Chelsea to a 4-0 lead.
Wolves responded with two goals of their own and as it looked like the home side was pushing for a comeback, Mason Mount dealt the final blow, scoring at the end of the game to secure a 5-2 win for Chelsea. The win takes Chelsea to 8 points from their 5 games so far, with their goal difference finally turning neutral.
Kepa Arrizabalaga – 6.5
There wasn’t much to say for Kepa in the first half. But, the two goals he conceded were goals where he could have commanded a bit more of his penalty box, which could have thwarted their attempts. All in all, a decent outing from the Spaniard, but he would have loved to top it off with a clean sheet, with none so far this season.
Fikayo Tomori – 8
— Connor Haddaway (@connorhaddaway) September 14, 2019
What an afternoon for Tomori, who not only opened his senior account for Chelsea but also scored the crucial opener for the match. Defensively, he had the joint-highest tackles (3) by any Chelsea player in the game against Wolves and had a 100% success rate in aerial duels (3).
Tomori seems to have usurped Kurt Zouma in the pecking order and it will be interesting to see who makes way if Lampard decides to revert to a back four.
Andreas Christensen – 6.5
The Dane was dominant in the air, winning four aerial duels. But, overall, he needs to improve a lot if he wants to be considered a starter by Lampard regardless of the formation he chooses. On Saturday, his defensive partners overshadowed him and while Christensen has great height matched with an enviable technique, he is yet to show the consistency at the back. All in good time, perhaps?
Antonio Rudiger – 7
Returning from his injury layoff, Rudiger didn’t look like he had not played under Lampard at all. In fact, the defender made sure the Wolves forwards were kept in check in the first hour or so and it was only after Chelsea went 4-0 up and Wolves rang in the changes, did the home side start exploiting the three-man backline, with Rudiger being replaced by Zouma after half-time.
Rudiger seems like a shoe-in at the back for Chelsea, especially with Lampard needing some leadership and experience in central defence.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 6.5
Another bang average performance from the Chelsea captain, who honestly looks the most susceptible to lose his position, especially once Reece James is given an opportunity. Azpilicueta has been underwhelming going forward as a right-back and it did not change much when deployed further ahead as the right wing-back.
As a leader, Azpilicueta is a good influence. But, it might just be time for him to make way for a player who is capable of contributing equally on both ends of the pitch, especially with Lampard’s modern football philosophy.
Marcos Alonso – 7
Few were surprised at Alonso being preferred over Emerson Palmieri. But, it made sense to use the Spaniard’s attacking prowess at left wing-back. The move ended up paying well, with Alonso setting up Tammy Abraham for his second. Alonso was also a handful on the left side and kept attacking the final third at every opportunity.
Should Lampard persist with the formation, Alonso could be due a renaissance.
Jorginho – 7.5
Jorginho has really been playing well under Lampard. The Italian international was thought of a placeholder under Sarri, but has shown under Lampard that he can regularly contribute on the attacking side while being in charge of maintaining the tempo of the game.
Got an assist on Saturday for the goal that completed Tammy Abraham’s hattrick and looks like a real gem of a player in Lampard’s system.
Mateo Kovacic – 6.5
With N’Golo Kante not in the matchday squad at all, it was upto Kovacic to support Jorginho well and the Croat made sure no one felt the absence of Kante. Played in an unusually withdrawn role compared to his usual nature. But, never put a wrong foot forward and was steady in midfield, something Chelsea needed on the day.
Mason Mount – 8.5
Mason Mount vs Wolves
78% pass accuracy
3 key passes
5 dribbles won
2 tackles won
Destined for greatness. 🔵 pic.twitter.com/r85L4eVXII
— FootballTalentScout (@FTalentScout) September 14, 2019
What a player! It was Abraham that stole the headlines with his hat-trick. But, honestly, Mason Mount looks like a player for the ages for Chelsea. Fluid on the ball and off of it, Mount’s play just exudes class, confidence and charisma. Had the most dribbles of any player in the game (5), which is a huge feat considering Wolves had Adama Traore starting the game.
Got a goal and could have gotten a couple of assists if he was lucky enough. All in all, it might be a cliched phrase but Mount continues to go from strength to strength.
Tammy Abraham – 9
His clinical nature is what earns him the rating. Abraham wasn’t as impressive as Mount. But, it was his finishing that really stood out. Not only did he score his first hat-trick for Chelsea, but he also became the first English player to score a hat-trick for the club since the manager himself, Frank Lampard.
The third goal was exquisite with how he turned Conor Coady inside out before finishing with poise and accuracy. Abraham was so much in his zone that he even ended up scoring for Wolves (their first goal went down as an own goal by Abraham)! It might be early but Chelsea could have just found the solution to their number 9 dilemma.
Willian – 6.5
An okay outing from the Brazilian who has been consistently average for Chelsea this season. Willian thwarted Christian Pulisic for his place in the side against Wolves. But, once the USMNT star settles down in his new surroundings and Callum Hudson-Odoi returns, it might be tough to see the Brazilian being a regular in the Chelsea starting eleven.
Kurt Zouma – 6
Honestly, Zouma has been unlucky. The Chelsea defender needed an experienced head beside him in central defence and so far, has not been given that opportunity. On Saturday, Zouma was brought in for Rudiger after half-time, after which Wolves started opening up the Chelsea defence with much more success.
Despite Zouma not putting a wrong foot against Wolves, it looks like he just doesn’t have the synergy with the rest of the centre-backs to be considered a starter right now.
Ross Barkley – 5.5
In the 20-odd minutes that Barkley was on the pitch, he was dispossessed thrice, the joint-highest number in the game. The midfielder started out strongly under Lampard but seems to be dropping down in the pecking order as the season goes on. Tough times.
Michy Batshuayi – 6
Batshuayi was clumsy after being brought on. The assist he gave to Mount was a brilliant no-look pass. But, it was mostly the latter’s doing after he received the pass in a slightly precocious position.