Thomas Tuchel could not get his Chelsea tenure off to a winning ways on Wednesday despite his side enjoying 78% possession as Wolves earned a 0-0 draw.
Tuchel immediately had people talking by omitting Mason Mount from his first Chelsea starting XI at Stamford Bridge.
Mount was a fixture under sacked Blues boss Frank Lampard, but was overlooked for German boss Tuchel’s match at the helm. He did however get eight minutes from the bench as the hosts tried to break through a resolute Wolves side.
Cesar Azpilicueta captained Tuchel’s first Blues XI, with Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic in midfield, and Callum Hudson-Odoi making a start.
Antonio Rudiger started in defence, in a move widely expected with Tuchel a known admirer of the Germany centre-back.
Nuno Espirito Santo made six changes for Wolves, who were back in Premier League action following Friday’s FA Cup win over Chorley.
Asked what message he had been able to get across in just one training session on Tuesday, Tuchel added: “We will see, we will see if I have put any messages across, we will see.
“I was happy to be on the pitch because I feel best on the pitch and it’s the best moment to get known to players because they feel comfortable, so we took the possibility, and there’s nothing to be afraid of.
“We tried to work on some details and encourage the guys to do their best today, and it was clear when we were here, we will be at the sideline and take the possibility to coach.”
But his dreams of a winning start did not come true.
Chelsea dominated territory and possession, but created precious few clear-cut chances, and so the game remained goalless at half-time.
Tuchel’s 3-4-2-1 formation carried more than a whiff of Antonio Conte’s Chelsea system about it.
But also the Blues struggled to move the ball quickly and incisively enough to generate enough openings – a common problem under Lampard.
It was a quick start though after half-time from Chelsea with Kai Havertz claiming a penalty.
Callum Hudson-Odoi burst down the right and flashed a ball across the box. Havertz was then knocked over as Wolves bundled the ball clear, but the referee waved play on.
Hakim Ziyech’s then charged down the right and found Giroud, whose shot on target was never going to beat Rui Patricio
Callum Hudson-Odoi, who probably been Chelsea’s best player, continued to probe, but it was Wolves who almost broke the deadlock.
They hit Chelsea on the break through Pedro Neto. The powerful forward got on to a flick from Daniel Podence and found his way into the area before clipping a shot over Edouard Mendy that hit the top of the bar.
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