Stunning Nunes Volley Sees Wolves Beat Chelsea On Lampard's Return  (Sky Sports)

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Chelsea 0

Matheus Nunes' stunning volleyMatheus Nunes' stunning volley moved Wolves four points clear of the relegation zone as Frank Lampard's reign as Chelsea caretaker manager started in disappointing fashion with a 1-0 defeat.

Lampard, who was sacked by the club in January 2021, returned to the Blues dugout where he will remain for the rest of the season, but was unable to solve their attacking problems at Molineux.

Nunes lit up what had been a low-quality first half with a sensational strike from inside the box which found the top corner for his first Premier League goal since joining for a club-record deal of £42.2m.

Chelsea rarely looked like scoring and have now not found the net in their last three league games as their season continues to fall apart. They sit 11th, 17 points off the top four with four wins in their last 21 matches.

Player ratings:

Wolves: Sa (7), Lemina (7), Podence (6), Cunha (7), Dawson (7), Semedo (7), Kilman (7), Toti (7), Nunes (8), Costa (7), Gomes (7).

Subs: Hwang (6), Moutinho (6), Traore (6), Sarabia (6), Collins (n/a).

Chelsea: Kepa (5), Fernandez (6), Kovacic (5), Felix (5), Sterling (5), Gallagher (4), James (6), Koulibaly (5), Havertz (5), Cucurella (5), Fofana (6).

Subs: Pulisic (5), Aubameyang (5), Mudryk (6), Chilwell (5), Chalobah (n/a).

Player of the Match: Matheus Nunes

How Lampard's return ended in defeat

The opening exchanges of a poor first half were dominated by a flurry of corners - 12 within the first 25 minutes - but there was still little goalmouth action.

Nunes' superb first-time volley, running onto a loose ball after Kalidou Koulibaly had flicked a cross away with his head came as a deserved opener for Wolves, who had looked more likely to score.

Chelsea's deficiencies in front of goal were laid bare, Joao Felix having their only shot on target during the match which was comfortable for Jose Sa - and it was their former striker Diego Costa who went closest, forcing a good save from Kepa Arrizabalaga to keep the visitors in touch.

Kai Havertz had a quiet afternoon leading the line and should have connected with Reece James' cross at the near post moments after half-time as he attempted to stab in an equaliser.

Chelsea wanted a penalty when Felix's volley struck Nunes in the box before James bent a free-kick way over to add to their frustration.

Lampard turned to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the final 20 minutes and the striker directed a header wide under pressure from Nelson Semedo.

However, Wolves saw the game out with relative ease to give themselves a cushion to the bottom three and pile the misery on Chelsea, who are now winless in their last four.

Lampard: Some players don't have a history of scoring

Frank Lampard on Chelsea's defeat:

"In terms of the performance, first half I thought we were slightly off the pace. You could feel Wolves were aggressive, fighting for their Premier League status and I felt they had a little bit more aggression in their game. It's something I said to the players at half-time.

"Second half we corrected that slightly in the early parts, had some more chances but, at that point, you're 1-0 down. We've been here a day or two, trying to work the players out and give them information, we're going to keep on doing that to try and improve because we've got big games coming up."

On problems in front of goal: "We have to find the reasons and solutions for that. The only way I know is to work. We have to give some credit to players but some players here haven't got a history of scoring goals, maybe fresh to the league or are new players. You have to give them time and work with them. At the same time, we're Chelsea and want to score goals and win games so we have to find a solution to that."

On bringing on Aubameyang: "I have to try and use everything, we want to assess the squad quickly and try and find the best players to win games.

"To have a good competitive edge in the squad is a good thing. You don't want players that are just saying, 'It's not for me, I'm not playing', or don't see an opportunity. They have an opportunity if they train well and play well. That's the challenge for the players over the weeks to come."

Is the focus on Real Madrid? "From right now, of course it is. It's a different competition, it will be a different type of game and it's up to us to prepare in the right way and anything can happen. We respect the fact we're playing the current holders so we have to focus on that now and cannot be too despondent.

"We'll certainly analyse the game and we have to make improvements because we feel we want to be better and the only way to get better is hard work - and sometimes it doesn't come overnight."

Merson: One of the worst runs in football history for so much talent

Sky Sports' Paul Merson:

"There was no urgency, it was very slow. For about 15 minutes in the second half they [Chelsea] moved it quickly and were going through Wolves without making chances. They were getting it out wide and getting crosses in. A bit more luck here and there and you never know.

"The only benefit of the doubt I can think of is they're waiting for Wednesday night (vs Real Madrid). If they turn up like that it will be pointless going to the second leg, it could be a cricket score.

"Lampard has only had a couple of days to work with them but there's no pattern. You watch Man City and Arsenal play and you can see what's trying to happen. With Chelsea there's nothing there. It's 11 individuals.

"No one really moves for anybody, there's no interchanging, no one runs when they know they're not going to get the ball, ever. At the moment, it is a worrying time. It's nothing to do with the managers, it's the players who have to stand up for themselves.

"A couple of years ago, Chelsea were ripping teams apart and now you're going to Wolves and I'm not even shocked they've been beaten.

"Four wins from 21 games can't happen, it's mind-blowing. It's got to be one of the worst runs in the history of football with that much talent in it. They're bringing on international players that have got 50 caps, not someone who has never played for their country."

Opta stats: Chelsea attackers off-target again

Chelsea have lost seven Premier League away games this season, they last suffered more defeats on the road in a single campaign in 2000-01 (8).

Frank Lampard has lost four consecutive Premier League games against a single opponent for the second time as a manager, also doing so against Liverpool in April 2022.

Chelsea hit the target with just one of their 13 shots against Wolves, they've never had more attempts in a Premier League away game on record (since 2003-04) while only managing one or fewer on target.

Despite being substituted on in the 68th minute, Joao Felix had the most shots in the match (4). Indeed, since his debut for Chelsea in January he has had more attempts at goal than any other Blues player (36).

What's next?

Wolves are at home again for their next fixture against Brentford on Saturday April 15. Kick-off 3pm.

Chelsea head to Real Madrid on Wednesday for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie with kick-off at 8pm. They return to league action at home to Brighton on Saturday at 3pm.

Chelsea's remaining fixtures

April 12: Real Madrid (A), Champions League quarter-final, kick-off 8pm

April 15: Brighton (H) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

April 18: Real Madrid (H), Champions League quarter-final, kick-off 8pm

April 26: Brentford (H) - Premier League, kick-off 7.45pm

April 29: Arsenal (A) - Premier League, kick-off 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports

May 6: Bournemouth (A) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

May 13: Nottingham Forest (H) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

May 20: Manchester City (A) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

May 28: Newcastle (H) - Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm

TBA: Man Utd (A) - Premier League

Wolves' remaining fixtures

April 15: Brentford (H) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

April 22: Leicester City (A) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

April 25: Crystal Palace (H) - Premier League, kick-off 7.30pm

April 29: Brighton (A) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

May 6: Aston Villa (H) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

May 13: Man Utd (A) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

May 20: Everton (H) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

May 28: Arsenal (A) - Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm


Wolverhampton Wanderers Sa, Semedo, Dawson, Kilman (c), Toti, Lemina (Traore 74), Gomes, Nunes (Collins 90+6), Podence (Moutinho 64), Cunha (Sarabia 75), Diego Costa (Hwang 63)
Subs Not Used Bentley, Bueno, Hodge, Neto
Booked Lemina, Gomes
Goals Nunes31

Chelsea Kepa, James, W Fofana (Chalobah 80), Koulibaly, Cucurella (Chilwell 68), Gallagher, Enzo, Kovacic (c), Sterling (Mudryk 68), Joao Felix (Aubameyang 67), Havertz (Pulisic 61)
Subs Not Used Mendy, Badiashile, Loftus-Cheek, Zakaria
Booked Cucurella, Sterling, Gallagher, Kovacic, Chilwell

Attendance 31,614

Referee Peter Bankes

VAR Andy Madley