Chelsea scored five at Molineux to claim all three Premier League points at the end of a thrilling game in the Midlands.
It was a stunning attacking display as Tammy Abraham’s hat-trick alongside Fikayo Tomori’s stunning opener and Mason Mount’s late fifth earned Frank Lampard his second win as Blues boss.
Once again, our young Academy-produced Englishmen came to the fore for Lampard’s Blues. Tomori scored his first goal for his boyhood club with an unbelievable strike from range that flew into the top corner after half-hour, before Abraham’s double inside 10 minutes handed us a comfortable cushion at a ground where we lost last term.
The striker first found the net with a poacher’s finish from close range before planting a header into the corner for his second just before the break. He then made it 4-0 early after the restart with a lovely finish across the goalkeeper, before capping an eventful afternoon with an own goal to give Wolves brief hope.
It gave Abraham the dubious honour of becoming the first player in Premier League history to score a hat-trick and an own goal in the same game, though that mattered little at full-time as he proved the match-winner once again.
The hosts managed to pull it back to 4-2 late on when substitute Patrick Cutrone beat Kepa from inside the six-yard box, though Mount had the final word as Chelsea combined another ruthless forward performance with victory.
Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso made their first appearances of the season as Frank Lampard switched to three at the back, with four changes in total made from our 2-2 draw with Sheffield United last time out.
Willian was also restored to the starting 11 for his first start of the season, joining Mount in providing support for Abraham up front. Tomori was preferred to Kurt Zouma at the back, with Alonso and Cesar Azpilcueta deployed at wing-back.
It meant the Blues partially matched up with the home side’s preferred 3-5-2 system, with Nuno Espirito Santo also changing four players from their defeat away at Everton a fortnight ago. Joao Moutinho and Diogo Jota were among the quartet returning to the side.
The return to domestic duties after pausing for international football can often be slow-starting and so it proved in the West Country as both sides settled without forcing clear-cut chances in the opening quarter-of-an-hour.
In fact, the pre-match pyrotechnics were about as much as the locals had to shout about early on, with our change in system plugging holes at the back but presenting more challenges in breaking through an organised opponent.
The game’s first notable chance came from a Chelsea corner with 20 minutes on the clock, though Rudiger’s deflected effort from Mount’s front-post delivery flashed just the wrong side of Rui Patricio’s post.
Yet that moment seemed to spark the visitors into life and Willian soon fashioned a sight at goal in front of the Sir Jack Hayward Stand, firing over the bar from a narrow angle after good play in the build-up from Abraham and Azpilicueta down the right flank.
Two goals in four minutes kick-started this contest in the Midlands, although it was a far from conventional set-piece routine that set the opener in motion. The Blues appeared to have fudged a practice from the training ground when the ball found its way to the feet of Tomori, whose eyes lit up as he stepped forward and took aim from over 25 yards out.
The 21-year-old could not have made sweeter contact with the ball and Patricio could only watch as it flew past him into the top corner. Tomori’s celebrations in front of the strip of Chelsea fans on the far side of Molineux said it all – a first Chelsea goal for his boyhood club and a crucial lead.
Before Wolves could take in falling behind once again in the Premier League, it was 2-0. Tomori was at the heart of the move again, stepping forward from central defence and urged to shoot by the travelling supporters. He declined that invitation and played in Mount instead, with the loose ball eventually fired in on the turn by Abraham in the young striker’s typically predatory fashion.
Lampard’s side came into this fifth round of league matches with the second-worst defensive record and so their challenge from this point was to secure a first clean sheet of the season. Andreas Christensen helped keep the hosts at bay with an excellent covering tackle to deny Adama Traore after a jinking run from the Spaniard, who had advanced dangerously into our 18-yard box.
Our focus was on getting to the break with a two-goal advantage intact but things got even better for us before the interval as Abraham bagged a brace for the third Premier League game running. The move started on the edge of the Blues box, with Kovacic and Jorginho exchanging passes before Willian was set free running down the right wing.
The Brazilian’s cross was too deep for those supporting in the box but Alonso recycled the ball and produced a perfect delivery for Abraham, who planted his header firmly into the back of the net for 3-0.
Wolves might have given themselves a more hopeful half-time talk had Raul Jimenez produced a similar finish with a headed chance of his own in stoppage time, though Kepa’s goal remained untroubled as the hosts recorded their first attempt of the afternoon.
Kurt Zouma replaced Rudiger at the start of the second half and there was defending to do for the Frenchman as the restart opened with pressure from the home side. Yet our new-look defence looked solid and had an answer to any question posed by Wolves.
The points were seemingly secured with over half hour left to play as Abraham continued his blistering start to the season by completing his hat-trick. Our number nine demonstrated superb composure, strength and technique in finding the net for the third time in the afternoon, holding off the challenge of Conor Coady before skipping past the Wolves captain and placing a perfect finish across Patricio and into the far corner.
It continued the record of only English players notching Premier League goals for the Blues this season and Mount almost added himself to the day’s scorecard as he skipped round the keeper after latching on to a perfectly weighted forward pass from Jorginho. The angle was narrowing but the midfielder will have been disappointed not to hit the target.
With 20 minutes remaining, Wolves grabbed a remote lifeline by reducing the deficit to three. Moutinho swung in a corner and Romain Saiss made contact with a header that Kepa saved but could only watch as the ball rebounded off Abraham and over the line.
Zouma and Michy Batshuayi went close to ensuring a calmer finale for Lampard and his players, the defender heading inches over from Mount’s free-kick before the striker narrowly missed making contact with a teasing delivery across the face of goal.
Cutrone made it 4-2 with five minutes left, squeezing in a finish after Matt Doherty had advanced and stung the palms of Kepa, while the Blues also survived a VAR review in the final moments as the home fans appealed vociferously for a penalty.
Mount completed the homegrown goalscoring deep into added time, mesmerising Jesus Vallejo before dispatching an excellent low finish into the bottom corner for his third of the campaign.
Five goals, three points and a return to winning ways in Wolverhampton. Next up, the return of Champions League football to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday – the good times just keep on coming for Blues fans!
Chelsea (3-4-2-1) Kepa; Rudiger (Zouma h/t), Christensen, Tomori; Azpilicueta (c), Jorginho, Kovacic (Barkley 71), Alonso; Willian, Mount; Abraham (BayshuayiUnused subs Caballero, Barkley, Pedro, Zouma, Giroud, Pulisic, BatshuayiScorers Tomori 31; Abraham 34, 41, 55; Mount 90+5Booked Abraham 62, Christensen 64
Wolves (3-5-2) Rui Patricio; Vallejo, Coady (c), Saiss; Traore (Doherty 56), Moutinho, Dendoncker (Cutrone h/t), Neves, Jonny; Jota, Jimenez (Gibbs-White 70)Unused subs Ruddy, Neto, Cutrone, Gibbs-White, Vinagre, KilmanScorers Abraham (og) 70; Cutrone 85Booked Saiss 79
Referee Graham ScottCrowd 31,534