Covid-hit Chelsea lose ground on Premier League leaders with stalemate

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A patched-up Chelsea were held to a goalless draw by Wolves at Molineux as the Blues lost yet more ground on leaders Manchester City.

Chelsea requested to have this match postponed due to a number of positive Covid-19 cases but the request was rejected by the Premier League and Thomas Tuchel named only six substitutes for the match, with two goalkeepers on the bench.

Having bossed the midfield, Wolves were the better side in the first half and Daniel Podence thought he had given the hosts the lead with a simple tap in at the back post from Fernando Marcal’s cross – but the offside flag was finally raised some 20 seconds later and the goal was ruled out.

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Chelsea failed to register a shot on target in the opening 45 minutes. Indeed, they were fortunate not to be behind when Leander Dendoncker was left totally unmarked inside the visitors’ penalty area to meet Podence’s delivery but could only head straight at Edouard Mendy.

Saul Niguez replaced Trevor Chalobah in the centre of Chelsea’s midfield at the start of the second half, while Mateo Kovacic was introduced for his first minutes since October and their presence enabled the Blues to enjoy much more possession and control.

However, despite their improved showing, chances were still at a premium and when Christian Pulisic finally got behind the Wolves defence goalkeeper Jose Sa would deny him.

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The visitors continued to apply pressure in the final knockings but Wolves defended resiliently to claim a hard-fought point.

Third-placed Chelsea are now six points adrift of Man City who defeated Newcastle 3-0 at St James’ Park. Wolves remain eighth, just two points shy of Manchester United in sixth.

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