Frank Lampard made a disappointing start to his second spell in charge of Chelsea when they lost at relegation-threatened Wolverhampton 1-0 in the English Premier League on Saturday.
Matheus Nunes’ spectacular angled strike in the 31st minute earned Wolves a win at Molineux that pushed them four points clear of the bottom three.
Lampard, a Chelsea playing great and its manager from 2019-21, was brought in this week on an interim basis in the hope that his knowledge of the club can see it through to a successful end to the season while the board seeks a full-time replacement for the fired Graham Potter.
Chelsea looked no different under Lampard, lacking a threat up front just as it did in the final days of Potter. It’s now three straight league games without a goal.
Lampard’s priority, though, is the Champions League where Chelsea faces defending champion Real Madrid in the first leg of the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Chelsea looks to have no chance of qualifying for the Champions League through its placing in the Premier League. The team is in 11th place and 17 points off the top four.
Nunes’ goal came after the ball bounced out to him on the right wing off the head of a Chelsea defender. The Portugal midfielder hit it first time into the far corner.
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Abject Chelsea go backwards
Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 1 - 0 Chelsea FC
19:09 , Jonathan Gorrie
Thank you for joining Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of Chelsea’s loss at Wolves.
Find our ratings, report, reaction and analysis below!
Frank Lampard questions Chelsea squad after abject loss at Wolves
19:08 , Jonathan Gorrie
Frank Lampard criticised Chelsea’s lack of aggression after they lost 1-0 to Wolves in his first match back in the dugout as interim manager.
The Blues put in another concerning performance, losing at Molineux thanks to Matheus Nunes’s first-half wonder strike. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made his long-awaited return to action as a substitute, but he — like his teammates — couldn’t inspire the Blues to find the net.
Defeat left Chelsea 11th in the Premier League, well clear of the drop zone but a seismic 17 points off the top four.
Abject Chelsea show little sign of change as Frank Lampard gets off to worst possible start
17:40 , Jonathan Gorrie
And so Frank Lampard was back in charge of Chelsea — their fourth manager of the season. All change then? Not a bit of it. The Blues delivered one of the most abject performances of their cursed season.
804 days since he last took charge of a Chelsea match, Lampard was back in the dugout. This glorious afternoon in the beaming sunshine at Molineux was the latest reset in Chelsea’s storied season. But it proved a reset from which they will need to take a cold shower… and then reset again.
Julen Lopetegui’s Wolves showed endeavour, ability and nous. Chelsea, meanwhile, played more disjointedly and with less synergy even than during Graham Potter’s disastrous tenure.
Read Dom Smith’s full report here!
Lampard’s second Chelsea tenure gets off to nightmare start
17:13 , Jonathan Gorrie
Chelsea were beaten on Frank Lampard’s return after a wonder goal from Wolves midfielder Matheus Nunes.
Nunes’ stunning strike gave the hosts another survival lifeline and kept Chelsea rooted in turmoil.
The poor visitors, on their third manager of the season after Graham Potter’s sacking last Sunday, turned to Lampard on Thursday in a bid to save their wretched season.
Co-owner Todd Boehly would have expected a reaction - or at the very least to see Chelsea regroup - but he got another limp performance as they remain in the bottom half of the Premier League.
As for Wolves, it was a vital win in their relegation battle which lifted them four points clear of the bottom three to 12th, just a place behind Chelsea. That they did it without suspended talisman and skipper Ruben Neves was further credit and it gives the hosts a platform for survival.
Lampard immediately recalled Conor Gallagher and Raheem Sterling but there was nothing to suggest Chelsea’s record goalscorer had sprinkled enough magic to dramatically change their course.
Read our full match report here!
Chelsea ratings v Wolves: Enzo Fernandez caught out with Kai Havertz anonymous
17:06 , Jonathan Gorrie
Chelsea remain in an almighty predicament after they lost 1-0 to a spirited Wolves side in Frank Lampard’s first match in charge since returning as interim manager.
Under Bruno Saltor against Liverpool last weekend, the Blues played well but still couldn’t find the net in a 0-0 draw. At Molineux, Lampard began his second reign in the worst possible way — with the Blues comfortably beaten by their relegation-threatened hosts.
Matheus Nunes’s outstanding first-half volley was the only goal of a match short on quality in the final third. It leaves Chelsea 11th in the table, with teams below them — such as Wolves — gaining ground on them all the time.
Dom Smith was at Molineux to rate the Chelsea players...
FT: Wolves 1-0 Chelsea
16:55 , Jonathan Gorrie
Chelsea have no answer for Nunes’ goal to condemn Frank Lampard’s side to defeat.
Chilwell blazes late chance
16:49 , Jonathan Gorrie
90 mins: Chilwell shoots high and wide late on. Rushed into it.
Disappointing from Chelsea
16:39 , Jonathan Gorrie
81 mins: As meek as they were under Potter against Aston Villa.
While Lampard hasn’t had much time in his role, where has the reaction been?
Dom Smith at Molineux
16:31 , Jonathan Gorrie
15 minutes left for Chelsea to try and find an equaliser, although it doesn’t look particularly likely at the moment. Wolves still in the ascendency. Chelsea still struggling to keep the ball and link up with each other in a cohesive manner.
16:31 , Jonathan Gorrie
16:26 , Jonathan Gorrie
Aubameyang, Mudryk and Chilwell on for Havertz, Cucurella and Sterling.
Still lacking anything in the way of clear cut chances.
Dom Smith at Molineux
16:15 , Jonathan Gorrie
Chelsea showing a little more attacking endeavour in this second half, but Wolves remain such a threat on the counter-attack. Christian Pulisic is warming up too.
16:13 , Jonathan Gorrie
54 mins: Much more pressure from Chelsea now, although so little in the way of actually shooting. Frustrating.
Wolves start well
16:08 , Jonathan Gorrie
50 mins: Wolves seeing a lot of the ball in the opening stages of the second-half, denying Chelsea any chance to build towards their goal.
16:03 , Jonathan Gorrie
Can Lampard turn this around?
Where do Chelsea go from here?
15:56 , Jonathan Gorrie
Aubameyang could be an option, albeit not a totally convincing one. There are big names all over the squad but, frankly, it’s so hard to see where the goals coming from.
Dom Smith at Molineux
15:48 , Jonathan Gorrie
Really not the half Frank Lampard will have wanted on his return to the Chelsea dugout. Wolves have outbattled Chelsea, and they have out-thought them too. A superb goal separates the teams as things stand. Big half needed from the visitors here at Molineux.
HT: Wolves 1-0 Chelsea
15:48 , Jonathan Gorrie
More of the same from Chelsea as Nunes scores wonder goal.
CHANCE FOR CHELSEA
15:43 , Jonathan Gorrie
42 mins: Felix tests Sa from range but an easy save.
Same old Chelsea
15:42 , Jonathan Gorrie
40 mins: They don’t score their chances and then concede.
Going to be a long afternoon for the Blues fans if recent form is anything to go by...
Dom Smith at Molineux
15:37 , Jonathan Gorrie
Well, well, well. Wolves have certainly been the more adventurous side and now they have the lead. And what a thunderous, stunning goal it was. As the ball fell out to Mateus Nunes at the edge of the box, you just knew there was only one thing in his mind. His canon volley flew past Kepa into the far corner. What a fabulous goal.
GOAL! Wolves 1-0 Chelsea | Matheus Nunes ‘31 mins
15:33 , Jonathan Gorrie
31 mins: What. A. Goal.
Stunning volley from Nunes from a tight angle leaves Kepa with no chance.
CHANCE FOR WOLVES!
15:28 , Jonathan Gorrie
27 mins: Lemina’s piledriver from around 25 yards is deflected just wide of the post by Fofana.
15:25 , Jonathan Gorrie
22 mins: Gomes goes down under the challenge of Fofana and Wolves want a penalty.
After a second viewing, it looks a brilliant tackle from the Frenchman.
Dom Smith at Molineux
15:22 , Jonathan Gorrie
Wolves, you’d have to say, have been the better side in the opening 20 minutes here at Molineux. Chelsea have afforded them too much space down the flanks. Then when Chelsea have pinched the ball, they have rushed in an attempt to break away and lost the ball almost immediately. They must settle.
Touch more urgency now
15:20 , Jonathan Gorrie
18 mins: Chelsea look a lot more direct now, getting the ball up front quickly.
Where are the goals coming from?
15:15 , Jonathan Gorrie
12 mins: One of the major problems Graham Potter encountered were a distinct lack of goals. A change in manager is hardly going to change that.
Wolves grow back into the game
15:10 , Jonathan Gorrie
08 mins: While Chelsea flew out of the traps, Wolves have responded. Hard to break down and dangerous going forward, Chelsea won’t have it easy.
Dom Smith at Molineux
15:04 , Jonathan Gorrie
Absolutely fizzed in from Reece James there. His cross from that recycled corner was begging for a touch from anyone to put it in. Typifies the bright start Chelsea have made here in the opening stages… and the struggles Chelsea have had all season in finishing chances off.
CHANCE FOR CHELSEA!
15:03 , Jonathan Gorrie
02 mins: Good start from the Blues with Reece James crossing into the box, which Diego Costa almost puts into his own net.
15:01 , Jonathan Gorrie
Frank Lampard sends message to Chelsea fans ‘not delighted’ with his return as interim manager
14:48 , Jonathan Gorrie
Frank Lampard told Chelsea fans he is “forever thankful” for their support as he returned to the club as interim manager.
The 44-year-old is back at Stamford Bridge until the end of the season as a short-term replacement following Graham Potter’s sacking, with the club continuing to talk to the likes of Julian Naglesmann and Luis Enrique in the background about taking the job permanently.
For Lampard, the focus is on swiftly turning the mood around at Chelsea, with the club languishing in 11th in the Premier League after a miserable season to date.
There is still the chance to finish the campaign on the ultimate high though, with the Blues facing Real Madrid in a Champions League quarter-final tie. Chelsea travel to Spain for the first leg next week.
Chelsea winners and losers as Frank Lampard returns: Lifelife for Mason Mount but Kepa will be worried
14:37 , Jonathan Gorrie
Frank Lampard takes training for the first time today after being appointed Chelsea caretaker manager until the end of the season.
As the fans get to grips with seeing the club legend back in the dugout, the players will also be thinking: “What does this mean for me?”
Many in the squad worked with Lampard during his first spell in west London, which ended in January 2021, so will have a sense of what is to come.
But two years is a long time, and the squad has been bolstered to the tune of £600million this season alone. Who should be happy and who should be concerned?
Here’s Nizaar Kinsella with his thoughts...
Dom Smith’s pre-match video verdict
14:27 , Jonathan Gorrie
Lampard’s pre-match message
14:21 , Jonathan Gorrie
Mason Mount injury latest as Chelsea dealt Real Madrid blow
14:17 , Jonathan Gorrie
Mason Mount is not involved against Wolves this afternoon in Frank Lampard’s first match as interim Chelsea manager, due to an injury.
Mount was one of Lampard’s most reliable players during the former Chelsea great’s two-year stint as manager between 2019 and 2021.
But he has not featured for Chelsea since February due to an abdomen injury. He had been named on the bench in the Blues’ last two matches, but reports say he pulled up in training after aggravating the same injury — forcing Lampard to leave him out of today’s matchday squad.
It makes the England international, who played at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, a doubt to face Real Madrid in Chelsea’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against reigning champions Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Tuesday.
Mount had been expected to play a more significant role for Lampard during the season run-in than he did under the Blues’ recently sacked manager Graham Potter.
Quite the setting
14:09 , Jonathan Gorrie
Confirmed Chelsea lineup
14:01 , Jonathan Gorrie
Confirmed Wolves lineup
14:00 , Jonathan Gorrie
Frank Lampard sends Graham Potter message after shock Chelsea manager return
13:57 , Jonathan Gorrie
Frank Lampard hailed Graham Potter during his first press conference since taking over at Chelsea.
The 44-year-old made a shock return to Stamford Bridge on Thursday after being confirmed as the Blues’ caretaker manager until the end of the season.
Sacked by former owner Roman Abramovich in 2021, Lampard had been out of work since leaving Everton in January.
Glen Johnson sends Wolves vs Chelsea prediction
13:52 , Jonathan Gorrie
“I think the appointment of Frank is smart from Todd Boehly,” he told DAZN Bet.
“He will bring the feel good factor back for the rest of the season.
“I think Chelsea will win 3-0 at Molineux and I think Sterling will score.”
13:50 , Jonathan Gorrie
Wolves - 3/1
Draw - 12/5
Chelsea - 19/20
13:41 , Giuseppe Muro
It is only 26 months since Lampard was sacked by Chelsea and, after he was sacked by Everton in his last job, his return was a major surprise.
“For me, it’s not about unfinished business,” he said ahead of today’s game. “That sounds a bit Hollywood. I just want to work and help the club as much as I can.
“This is my club. I have a lot of emotions and feelings. I’ve come with a belief I can come and help the cause until the end of the season. I’ll give my utmost to give the fans what they want.
“When this came up it was a big opportunity, and it is an opportunity that I also think I have worked for, because I played as a professional for 20 years or so, I worked and I learned the game,” he said. “I have worked with managers and teammates that have inspired and affected me, and coached fantastic clubs with different pressures and elements to them. So I worked to be here.”
13:34 , Giuseppe Muro
- Chelsea have scored 29 goals in as many top-flight matches this season, only ever netting fewer at this stage of a campaign in 1921-22 and 1923-24.
- They can go three successive league fixtures without scoring for the first time since a run of four in September 2007.
- Wolves have only managed one win and five points in their past seven league fixtures, in contrast to four victories and 13 points from their first seven games under Julen Lopetegui.
Next Chelsea manager: What we know so far
13:27 , Giuseppe Muro
Julian Nagelsmann and Luis Enrique are the frontrunners for the Chelsea job and Standard Sport understands Chelsea have made contact with both.
Enrique would be ready to join Chelsea straightaway and is set to be interviewed over the coming days. The ex-Barcelona coach speaks English and wants to move to a top Premier League club.
Nagelsmann is open to talks but would reportedly prefer to wait until the summer before deciding his future.
Mauricio Pochettino is another of interest, as he was before Thomas Tuchel’s appointment, and is braced for contact. Eintracht Frankfurt boss Oliver Glasner is further down the shortlist.
Sporting’s Ruben Amorim and Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi are set to stay put, however, after publicly denying interest in a change of clubs.
Napoli’s Luciano Spalletti is deemed an unlikely option as his side close in on a historic Italian league title.
13:20 , Giuseppe Muro
The scene is set at Molineux...
13:12 , Giuseppe Muro
Wolves to win: 4/1
Chelsea to win: 3/4
Odds via Betfair (subject to change)
13:05 , Giuseppe Muro
So Frank Lampard will hold the fort at Stamford Bridge for the rest of this season while the club assess potential longer-term successors to Graham Potter, who include Julian Nagelsmann and Luis Enrique.
It is a short-term appointment but, at his first press conference on Thursday, Lampard would not rule out taking the role on a longer-term basis.
“I’m not getting ahead of myself,” he said. “I want to do the best I can to impact the club in this period and we will see what happens afterwards.”
12:58 , Giuseppe Muro
It’s difficult to see where the goals are coming from for Chelsea. For that reason, it’s hard to back them to score.
A 0-0 draw.
12:52 , Giuseppe Muro
Chelsea have not finished in the bottom half of the table since 1995-96.
But they are currently 11th and face Brighton, Manchester United, Brentford and Arsenal in their next four Premier League matches so today feels like a good opportunity for the Blues.
Wolves kick-off just one point above the relegation zone and without a win in three matches.
Early Wolves team news
12:44 , Giuseppe Muro
Ruben Neves begins a two-match ban as a consequence of accumulating 10 yellow cards, while Jonny remains suspended.
Hugo Bueno returned from injury as a second-half substitute last weekend.
Early Chelsea team news
12:41 , Giuseppe Muro
Frank Lampard faces a difficult Chelsea team selection in his first game back at the club.
Lampard has few injury problems to deal with, including Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta and Armando Broja.
He has his favourite players and, from his last spell, we know Mason Mount is among them.
He said at his unveiling on Thursday: “I know what I get from Mason, so I just want to see him perform on the pitch.
“We have a good relationship so we’ll talk a lot. I think he’s a huge player for Chelsea and has been in his time here, so I look forward to talking to him more.”
How to watch
12:35 , Giuseppe Muro
TV channel and live stream: The game will not be broadcast live in the UK as it takes place during the blackout period imposed across English football.
Highlights: Match of the Day will broadcast highlights when it airs at 10.30pm on BBC One tonight.
12:33 , Giuseppe Muro
Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of Wolves vs Chelsea.
After a sensational return to Chelsea that came out of the blue, Frank Lampard takes charge of his first game as caretaker manager when the Blues travel to Wolves. Can he get off to a winning start and give Chelsea a much-needed lift ahead of their Champions League clash with Real Madrid next week?
We’ll have all the latest updates, build-up and team news ahead of kick-off, which comes at 3pm BST from Molineux.