PREMIER LEAGUE: Chelsea fight hard for maximum points at Wolves
Chelsea have managed to ease some pressure with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Wolves at The Molineux today.
Goals from Ramires and Frank Lampard either side of Stephen Ward's late strike did the job for Andre Villas-Boas' men who ended a four-game winless run with a third win in their last five away outings.
After an arm wrestle of more than 50 minutes, Chelsea took the lead in the 54th when Juan Mata's corner from the left fell at the feet of Ramires, who won a tussle with Ward to react first and send the ball high into Wayne Hennessey's goal for his sixth of the season.
Wolves had scored after falling behind in four of their past five matches and managed to do that again when half-time substitute Matt Jarvis chipped a ball into the area for fellow sub Steven Fletcher who flicked it back into the danger zone for an unmarked Ward to fire home with six minutes remaining.
Less than five minutes later, the Blues were back in front when Fernando Torres picked out a perfect pass to release Ashley Cole down the left side of the area who cut it back for Lampard to side-foot home from just inside the six-yard box to win the game for the visitors.
Chelsea did have a number of chances to score earlier in the match when Mata was snuffed out in the eighth minute by Hennessey who came off his line to deny the Spaniard after a defence-splitting through ball from Torres.
Richard Stearman made a strong challenge to deny Lampard when he was through on goal in the 13th minute moments before Ramires lashed into the side netting before the game almost boiled over with five yellow cards in nine minutes.
Roger Johnson and Ward both missed headed attempts from Adam Hammill free-kicks for Wolves in the first half whilst Hennessey was able to strong-arm an angled effort from Ramires in the 67th minute before David Edwards' glancing header was well-held by Petr Cech who then made a vital save from Kevin Doyle's close range header in injury time to ease the pressure on the West Londoners.
Chelsea have now moved back to fourth on the table, replacing Arsenal who are still to play Fulham this evening, whilst Mick McCarthy's Wolves remain 16th as their winless run stretched to five matches.
TRIBASL ASKS: Not all that convincing but Chelsea ease the pressure on their boss. Are they capable of scoring enough goals to be a genuine title threat or does AVB need to bring in some attacking power in January?
Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton - 27,289