Frank Lampard makes a losing return as Wolves beat Chelsea 1-0


Are Chelsea 'just another Premier League team' right now?

Janusz Michallik pulls no punches in his assessment of Frank Lampard's first game back in charge of Chelsea.

Frank Lampard got off to a losing start on his return as interim Chelsea manager on Saturday, beaten 1-0 at Wolverhampton Wanderers and still outside the top half of the Premier League.

Matheus Nunes scored a 31st minute screamer at Molineux, the Portugal midfielder hitting the ball on the volley from the edge of the box on the right and past Kepa Arrizabalaga into the far corner.

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The victory took some of the relegation heat off Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui with his side, who had captain Ruben Neves serving a two-match suspension, moving up to 12th and four points clear of the drop zone. Chelsea stayed 11th, eight points ahead.

Chelsea legend Lampard's appointment was announced on Thursday after Graham Potter paid the price for a string of poor results which left the team in mid-table and with a Champions league quarterfinal away leg at Real Madrid looming next Wednesday.

The club's record goalscorer, himself dismissed as manager in January 2021, drew a warm reception from the travelling fans as he arrived for his first match in charge.

Lampard also got a clear picture of the task he faces over the eight remaining games, with a tame Chelsea failing to find the net for a third game in a row.

Frank Lampard got an idea of the task facing him as Chelsea slumped to defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Eddie Keogh/Getty Images

Chelsea, still without the injured Mason Mount, had only one shot on target in the first half and, while looking livelier after the break, were unable to make their passing and possession count.

They had no shots on target in the second half and have played more games (30) than goals scored (29). They have only four wins from their last 21 games.

The goal was Nunes' first in the league since the club's record signing joined from Sporting in August last year.

"It's a good goal but I prefer to highlight the work of the rest of the players in the different phases, their focus in this period and to have the belief to play football," said Lopetegui. "We deserved to win today, it's not easy."

Lampard, who started with Raheem Sterling and Conor Gallagher and brought on the little-used Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as a second-half substitute, said the performance in the first half had been "70% or so."

"It was enough for it to be an even game and there was a rocket from them out of nowhere. In the second half there was more energy, more chances and we got more people in the box," he told the BBC.

"There has been a lot of change and that's not an excuse but things need to improve and I think that performance summed it up. I have to get an understanding of it," he added.

"You have to get used to winning and make it a habit. Credit to Wolves today, they were physical and stuck in for a win."

Chelsea issued a statement after the match condemning chants by some home fans at Molineux.

"The homophobic chanting heard at the Wolverhampton Wanderers versus Chelsea fixture today has no place in football or society," said the Premier League on Twitter.

"The Premier League condemns all forms of discrimination. Football is for everyone."