Lampard’s Return to Chelsea Ends in Defeat at Molineux

Frank Lampard’s return to Chelsea did not go according to plan as the Wolves secured a 1-0 victory at Molineux. The result left Chelsea in 11th place in the Premier League table, a massive 17 points off the top four with just four wins in their last 21 matches.

Lampard, who the club sacked in January 2021, was named the caretaker manager for the remainder of the season. However, his first game in charge proved difficult as his side struggled to create chances and needed help finding the back of the net.

The first half was a low-quality affair, with both sides struggling to break down the opposition’s defense. The opening exchanges were dominated by a flurry of corners, with 12 taken within the first 25 minutes. However, there needed to be more goalmouth action to speak of. Wolves broke the deadlock in the 31st minute with a stunning volley from Matheus Nunes.

The midfielder ran onto a loose ball after Kalidou Koulibaly had flicked a cross away with his head and found the top corner with a sensational strike from inside the box. It was a deserved lead for the home side, who looked likelier to score throughout the first half.

Joao Felix had their only shot on target during the match, which was comfortable for Wolves’ goalkeeper, Jose Sa. Chelsea’s former striker Diego Costa went closest to scoring for the visitors, forcing a good save from Kepa Arrizabalaga to keep them in touch.

Kai Havertz had a quiet afternoon leading the line and should have done better when he attempted to stab in an equalizer from Reece James’ cross at the near post moments after half-time. Chelsea’s frustration grew when they appealed for a penalty after Felix’s volley struck Nunes in the box, but the referee waved away their appeals. James bent a free-kick over the bar, adding to their frustration.

Lampard turned to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the final 20 minutes to salvage something from the game. However, the striker directed a wide header under pressure from Nelson Semedo, and the Wolves saw the game with relative ease. The defeat leaves Lampard with a considerable task ahead of him as he attempts to turn Chelsea’s season around.

The club has struggled for form since the start of the year and is in danger of finishing outside the top six for the first time in years. Lampard will need to address Chelsea’s attacking problems quickly if they can qualify for European football next season. The club has invested heavily in attacking players in recent years, but they have yet to deliver consistently.

The return of Lampard, who enjoyed a successful playing career at Stamford Bridge, has been met with a mixed reaction from Chelsea fans. Some have welcomed his return, while others believe the club needs to move on from the past and focus on the future. Regardless of the fans’ opinions, Lampard will focus entirely on the task at hand. He hopes his side can bounce back from this defeat and climb up the table in the remaining games of the season.

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