I followed the hunt for a win via Twitter. Here’s how the action unfolded…
BluesChronicle: To the Bridge. Let’s get behind the team today: a bit of positive support may even provide the ’emotional stimulus’ AVB thinks is missing.
chelseafc: Ashley Cole returns to the side. Oriol Romeu comes in. Frank Lampard is on the bench.
ChelseaRumours: Oriol Romeu starts! Good call André!
daspecial_1: It’s moments like these, standing next to a Chelsea Pensioner on the tube hurtling through Putney that make me proud to be a Blue!
BluesChronicle: Chelsea team for Wolves: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Romeu, Meireles, Sturridge, Drogba, Mata.
BluesChronicle: Chelsea subs for Wolves: Turnbull, Bosingwa, Mikel, Lampard, Malouda, Kalou, Torres.
ChelseaRumours: Surely this is to persuade Drogba to sign a new deal.
ChelseaRumours: Not looking like Anelka has a future with us beyond January. Not even on the bench.
BluesChronicle: Overcast skies at Stamford Bridge & a chill in the air. Chelsea & Wolves training on the pitch, with Take That playing (believe it or not).
markpougatch: Just spoken to Chelsea fans outside the Bridge who were unanimous in their views: Give AVB time, you can’t keep chopping & changing managers.
The first half
BluesChronicle: Chelsea v Wolves kicks off at Stamford Bridge. The home side in blue, the away team in gold. COME ON YOU BLUES!
ChelseaRumours: Meireles drills one juuuuust wide from outside the box. That was very close!
ChelseaRumours: Average age of 26 years and 260 days in today’s Chelsea line up – the youngest in 3 years.
BluesChronicle: GOOOAAALLLL! Chelsea 1-0 Wolves. JOHN TERRRRRRY!
Goal video: 7′ Chelsea 1-0 Wolves – John Terry
ChelseaRumours: The best start to a Premier League game we’ve had all season? Possibly.
BluesChronicle: Chelsea 1-0 Wolves. Ramires shot forces a corner from the keeper. Mata set-piece nodded in by the ascendant JT.
ChelseaRumours: We’re pressing really well so far – Wolves cannot keep possession!
ChelseaRumours: Romeu has lost possession a couple of times (through inaccurate passes) – trying to play the killer ball.
BluesChronicle: Yellow card for David Edwards, who slides into a racing Ramires sending him flying.
BluesChronicle: Villas-Boas crouching intently in the technical area. DiMatteo sat down behind him, chewing furiously at a piece of gum.
BluesChronicle: All Chelsea so far. Wolves appear to have come with the game-plan of ‘winning’ 0-0. Which has already gone out of the window.
ChelseaRumours: Almost a second goal – danger is still on after the clearance until JT commits a foul just outside Wolves’ box.
ChelseaRumours: Surely Torres would be a better choice for this game than Drogba?
chelseafc: Game’s gone a bit quiet, some good passing by the Blues but need to add more of a cutting edge.
BluesChronicle: GOOOOAAAAALLLLLL! CHELSEA 2-0 WOLVES. DAN STURRIDGE!
Goal video: 29′ Chelsea 2-0 Wolves – Daniel Sturridge
ChelseaAnalysis: Zola-esque from Mata on the left after a beauty of a play by Chelsea. Mata crosses for Sturridge to tap it in! What a goal!
ChelseaRumours: Kudos to Lee Mason for letting play continue after Mata was fouled!
ChelseaRumours: Brilliant play by Drogba who outmuscles his marker to chest the ball down and win a foul, dead center, 35 yards out.
ChelseaRumours: That was one of the worst efforts of the season though. Drogba hits row Z.
BluesChronicle: Yellow for Karl Henry.
chelseafc: Ramires instrumental down the right hand side so far, proving a real threat to the Wolves defence.
AndrewTurmer: Surely Fernando deserves more than 10 minutes today?
BluesChronicle: Trying very hard to think of anyone who played for both Chelsea and Wolves. All minds here blank on that. Anyone help?
OptaJoe: 6 – Daniel Sturridge netted his sixth Premier League goal of the season with only his eighth shot on target. Clinical.
BluesChronicle: Wolves sub: Ebanks-Blake on for Milijas.
BluesChronicle: Cheers for all the answers. The following have all played for both Chelsea & Wolves: Carlton Cole, Michael Mancienne and Jim McCaliog.
chelseafc: Great long range effort by Sturridge well saved, the youngster looks very lively.
ChelseaRumours: Brilliant vision by Mata – Meireles with acres of space but heads it straight at the keeper.
chelseaoffside: At this rate, with the way Wolves are ‘defending’, you have to get Nando into the mix.
BluesChronicle: GOOOOAAAALLLL! CHELSEA 3-0 WOLVES! JUAN MATA!
Goal video: 45′ Chelsea 3-0 Wolves – Juan Mata
ChelseaAnalysis: Lovely assist by Ashley Cole!
chelseaoffside: My goodness, that was a fucking peach of a cross from Ash.
TheChelseaBlog: We’re playing football. I fucking love it!
BluesChronicle: Chelsea 3-0 Wolves: Drogba muscling through lays off a deflected ball to Cole, who slots it in for Mata to side-foot home. Nice team goal.
BluesChronicle: HT: Chelsea 3-0 Wolves. JT with headed opener; Sturridge with a proper centre forward’s goal; and Mata, supplier of both, with a side-foot.
chelseaoffside: Cruise control. We needed this, badly.
BluesChronicle: Chelsea playing good football in bursts, rather than throughout. But Wolves seem to have given up a bit. Could be a thrashing on the cards.
It’s 10 minutes to 4 and half time.
A drawer opens in Ron Gourlay’s desk and a P45 is quietly slipped back in.
But left on the top where it can be easily retrieved.
tim_rolls: Thoroughly enjoyable 1st 45 mins. Roll on the 2nd half. Torres at some point, hopefully.
chelseaoffside: I mean, I know it’s Wolves at home but I don’t care.
ChelseaAnalysis: Surely we need Torres on to grab some goals. The earlier, the better.
BluesChronicle: Someone mentioned to me at HT that Drogba seemed to take his shirt off at the break and hand it to someone. Could we see a swap for Torres?
The second half
BluesChronicle: After all that: no changes at HT. Both teams out on the pitch.
BluesChronicle: Lots of people asking about Romeu’s performance the first half of his full league debut. Looking very assured – quality young player.
chelseaoffside: Luiz is playing the ‘interceptor’ role to perfection today.
ChelseaRumours: Romeu does excellently to win the ball – and then plays a brilliant pass to Sturridge who then loses possession.
BluesChronicle: Another lovely moment from Ramires, who scoops a shot up from the edge of the box forcing a save from Hennessey.
ChelseaRumours: Great passage of play by Chelsea, Sturridge frustrated because of a misunderstanding between him and Ramires.
chelseafc: Ward should have scored for Wolves, drags his shot wide but should have at least tested Cech.
chelseafc: Wolves enjoying their best spell of pressure in the game so far.
ChelseaRumours: What a brilliant counter-attack! Mata, Ramires and Sturridge combining really well, and the ball is cleared off the line! Corner to Chelsea!
ChelseaRumours: I cannot understand why Torres isn’t on.
BluesChronicle: Villas-Boas has just sent Mikel out to warm up: noooooooooo!
ChelseaRumours: Drogba fires a shot at goal – but it goes just wide. Should hit the target from there but it wasn’t a bad effort.
BluesChronicle: Lampard taking his training top off. On for Meireles?
ChelseaAnalysis: Lampard on for Didier? 4-4-1-1 with Mata tucked in behind Sturridge?
BluesChronicle: Chelsea sub: Lampard on for Meireles. Crowd applaud both players.
chelseafc: Lampard replacing Meireles; the Portuguese midfielder has had a good game, the crowd delighted to see Lampard introduced.
chelseafc: The crowd want to see Torres but the Spaniard is yet to start warming up.
BluesChronicle: A chant of ‘Torres, Torres’ echoes around Stamford Bridge. Not even warming up at the moment.
chelseafc: Great double save by Hennessy, first from Sturridge and then Mata.
BluesChronicle: And Fernando is duly sent out for a run up the touchline in a training bib. Standing ovation from Shed End, who again sing his name.
BluesChronicle: Not all Chelsea, as Cech makes a save with his feet. Wolves sub: Forde on for Zubar.
ChelseaRumours: Great double save by Cech!
chelseafc: Bosingwa and Torres on for Ivanovic and Drogba.
BluesChronicle: Chelsea sub: Torres on for Drogba. Both players again applauded warmly. Huge, confidence-boosting cheer for Torres.
AndrewTurmer: Finally Torres comes on for a 15 minute cameo. AVB giving him the rather humiliating Sheva treatment.
chelseaoffside: Come on Nando!
ChelseaRumours: Mata with a poor cross – but after 2 assists and a goal, I personally think it’s okay.
BluesChronicle: Nervous fraction of a second as Cech goes down holding his head after collision with Luiz. But he’s up again quickly.
ChelseaRumours: Romeu has been excellent today. Does his job really well.
BluesChronicle: Wolves sub: Guedioura on for Fletcher.
ChelseaRumours: Torres looks extremely alert and motivated!
BluesChronicle: Torres diagonal run, and a little chip. But the keeper collects. Probably needed a bit more ‘oomph’ behind it.
chelseafc: Chelsea have been excellent in winning the ball back today, great work ethic.
BluesChronicle: JT picks up a late yellow while wasting time on a thrown-in. And that makes five yellows, and he misses the Carling Cup match. Cynical, moi?
ChelseaRumours: Torres has been excellent since coming on!
BluesChronicle: FT: Chelsea 3-0 Wolves. Sublime play at times, though consideration should be given to who we were plying. Goals from JT, Sturridge, Mata.
chelseafc: Full time whistle goes, 3-0 to Chelsea, and that’s a performance that should restore some confidence following the recent dip.
AndrewTurmer: More movement, pace and desire…3 goals, clean sheet, Romeu looking superb…a rather lovely win.
Thanks to all the above Twitterers for their terrific in-running tweets. If you have a Twitter account, I recommend you follow them.
The match reports
The Sunday Telegraph, Duncan White: “Andre Villas-Boas can be many things: aloof, beguiling, gnomic but there was no question that on Saturday he was just plain relieved. This was exactly the sort of game he needed after losing against Liverpool and Leverkusen. Thanks to goals from John Terry, Daniel Sturridge and Juan Mata, an uncharacteristically meek Wolverhampton Wanderers were done by half-time.”
The Observer, Jamie Jackson: “The match had been as close to a banker as any side who had last won at home a month ago can have. Wolverhampton Wanderers were supine and ended the first half 3-0 down, with the spectre of a real drubbing on the cards.”
The Independent on Sunday, Rory Smith: “The executioner has arrived. Not for the Chelsea manager, as Andre Villas-Boas might have feared, but for the old certainties, the old stalwarts. Revitalising victory over Wolves offered a fleeting glimpse into Stamford Bridge’s future. In it, the Portuguese’s head is not on the block. But other heads are. Previous managers would have found the concept of entering a game of this magnitude with their leading scorer on the bench inconceivable, particularly when that title is held by Frank Lampard. On this point, though, Villas-Boas has been very clear: the future will not be stopped.”
The Official Chelsea FC Website: “It took just six minutes for the captain to ease the tension with the opening goal and by half time Chelsea had the game won. Daniel Sturridge with his seventh goal of the season and Juan Mata with his fourth both scored from close range before the interval.”