Down the other end, Edouard Mendy was forced into his first action of the night when he dropped low to his right to push behind Neto’s smart volley following a lovely flicked lay-off from Fabio Silva, the home side’s striker. The 18-year-old was coming up against his namesake Thiago Silva, a man twice his age, and the teenager was showing some neat touches without troubling the Chelsea goal.
There were a few more scares in and around the Wolves box before the end of the half, firstly when Conor Coady survived a VAR check for handball. Pulisic, having switched flanks to the right, then danced past a few gold shirts in a flash of energy from which he won a corner.
Mount delivered the set-piece and Zouma sprung higher than anyone to power a header towards the top corner but the French defender was denied by the crossbar. After striking the woodwork twice at the weekend, it was a familiar feeling of frustration for the visitors.
Oli on the volley
The statistics offered hope that the second half would provide the game’s breakthrough, Wolves having scored two-thirds of their league goals since the start of last season after the break, while Chelsea came into the game with the most second-half goals scored in the Premier League this campaign.
A bright restart saw that tally extended to 18 and Giroud’s individual total for 2019/20 move up to eight, with there being no surprises to see the breakthrough fashioned from the left-hand side. The ever-adventurous Chilwell galloped forward and delivered low in towards the near post, where Giroud met the ball with a typically thunderous first-time volley.