It’s unfortunate that Chelsea were unable to celebrate with fans in their final game of the EPL season.
Sunday’s 2-0 win over Wolverhampton solidified their spot into Champions League for a second straight season. Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud each scored late into injury time in the first half to help lift the Blues to victory. It was a strong effort from Frank Lampard’s side that will have their manager pleased heading into their match next weekend versus Arsenal in the FA Cup final.
Wolves will now be cheering for Chelsea in the FA Cup final in order to qualify for Europa League next season.
Who were the winners and losers from Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Wolverhampton?
Winner: Mason Mount
Chelsea had a slow start to the game as they struggled to advance into the final third. For the first 45 minutes, they failed to generate a shot on target and spent minimal time on the attack. The Blues struggled to move the ball down field to players such as Giroud or Christian Pulisic to sustain any chances.
In the 46th minute in injury time, Chelsea was awarded a free kick just outside the box. It was a golden opportunity for the Blues to get on the scorecard.
Mount delivered a swift free kick into the back of the goal which gave Chelsea motivation as they headed into the second half. His goal assured the three points for the Blues in a must win match.
Additionally, Mount assisted Giroud’s goal that came minutes after his tally. He was very clinical, decisive and showed a great work ethic throughout the match. He won two aerial duels and finished with four key passes as he was creative in setting up his teammates. Mount has earned the respect of his manager and, once again, stepped up in a pivotal moment.
Loser: Pedro Neto
The match had a turn of events when Pedro Neto conceded a foul on Marcos Alonso and was given a yellow card. It was a poor decision by referee, Stuart Attwell, and one that didn’t get overruled. Marcos Alonso did a great job selling the foul and earned his team a free kick. Neto tried to explain himself to Attwell, yet the referee didn’t buy his explanation.
The free kick was awarded just outside the Wolves’ box and Mount delivered a successful shot into the back of the goal. This decision turned the match around for Chelsea but Wolves struggled to recover from this relapse as they ended up finishing the first half down two goals.
Loser: Leicester City
Leicester’s undoing of their season left the door wide open for Chelsea and Manchester United. For the majority of the season, Leicester City were in third place and were in a comfortable spot to advance to Champions League next year. Since the restart of the EPL campaign, they finished with a record of two wins, three draws and four loses. Heading into the final day of the season, Leicester needed a draw against United (if Chelsea lost) to secure a top four spot. They lost 2-0 against Manchester United and finished in fifth place. Brendan Rogers will regret that his club let a gold opportunity slip away to advance into Champions League after letting points slip away versus Bournemouth, Everton, Watford, Brighton & Hove Albion.
Winner: Olivier Giroud
Chelsea’s striker, Giroud, has taken his game to another level since the restart of the season. The forward scored Chelsea’s second goal on a great individual effort. He made a great run in stride as he received a pass from Mount where he then got around Patricio and outworked Conor Coady in the goal area to then find the back of the goal.
Giroud has made himself the preferred choice for Lampard in the number nine position. The Frenchman has scored in four straight matches. Additionally, he’s scored six goals in their previous seven matches all coming in all competitions. The forward has done a great job filling the void for Tammy Abraham, who has shown poor form and struggled to regain the scoring ability he showed earlier in the year.
Giroud was rumoured to leave Chelsea back in January but, thankfully, this never happened. Giroud staying with Chelsea has been pivotal for the Blues as he is a main factor for Chelsea’s top four finish.
With five minutes remaining before injury time, Lampard made a substitution to bring on Pedro in replace of Mount. It was a classy move by the manager as the long-time Chelsea player made his final appearance at Stamford Bridge. He has been with the club since 2015/16 and helped win the Premier League, a FA Cup and Europa League. Pedro will surely look to finish his career with one more FA Cup, especially against their rivals Arsenal. What a great feeling that would be for the Spaniard.
After this loss, the Wolves will need the Blues to defeat Arsenal in the FA Cup final to assure them a spot into Europa League. Luckily for Wolves, Chelsea are playing one of their rivals and will be looking to have the upper hand in one of the most prestigious tournaments.
Willy Cabellero started in place of Kepa in the final day of the season in their quest to clinch a spot into Champions League. Lampard’s decision to drop the Spaniard from the lineup raises questions about his future with the club. It clearly shows that Lampard has lost patience and trust in his goalkeeper. Kepa’s time with Chelsea looks as if it could be coming to an end sooner than later.