Chelsea keep powder dry as team of extras have too much for Wolves
Chelsea (1) 3 Havertz 45, Pulisic 54, Broja 90
Wolves (0) 0
Graham Potter rang the changes after Milan – and the part-timers kept up the momentum slowly building as they cruised to victory.
The Chelsea boss made seven alterations to the starting line-up following the midweek romp against the Italians.
He could afford to against a Wolves side looking a little sickly these days and having just parted company with head coach Bruno Lage.
The Blues took their time to make their obvious superiority tell. As half-time approached, Potter might even have been contemplating when to bring on the cavalry, such was the lack of polish in the final third – Sterling and Aubameyang were on the bench.
But they stole in front in the final action of the first 45 and never looked back.
All it needed was Mason Mount’s cross to the far post – after Trevoh Chalobah had helped him into a yard or two of space – and there was Havertz, rising behind Nelson Semedo to send a looping header over Sa and into the net.
Mini soul-search averted, Chelsea were soon comfortable after the interval, as Pulisic slotted home nicely with a dink past Sa after a one-two with Mount on the edge of the penalty area.
Set the button to automatic pilot.
Armando Broja came off the bench to add gloss in the closing minutes when he turned a defender on the edge of the box from a Mateo Kovacic pass and drilled into the far corner for his first goal in Chelsea colours.
There ought to have been goals earlier than the 45th minute. Conor Gallagher almost finished off a flowing move, but swept just wide, while Havertz blazed over from inside the box.
Pulisic was way off target from two good openings but went closer with a curling effort from stance which Jose Sa had to stretch to deflect off target.
Wolves have been toothless this season, but they managed a couple of sorties which promised that goals might not be totally out of the question.
Matheus Nunes was set up nicely by former Chelsea hero Diego Costa early on, but he failed to get a shot away. Captain Joao Moutinho forced Kapa into a diving save from a free-kick.
Costa got a tremendous reception before kick-off and again he went off just before the hour – but only from home fans who taunted the visitors with chants of ‘He’s won more than you.’
The Spaniard looked unfit and certainly never threatened to test the adulation of Blues fans by actually scoring against his former side.
Blues: (4-2-3-1) Kepa – Azpiliucueta, Chalobah, Koulibaly, Cucurella, Loftus-Cheek (Kovacic 66), Jorginho – Gallagher (Chukweumeka 86), Mount (Broja 72), Pulisic (James 72) – Havertz (Ziyech 86). Subs not used: Mendy, Aubameyang, Sterling, Chilwell
Wolves: (4-2-3-1) Jose Sa – Semedo, Kilman, Gomes, Jonny(Ait-Nouri 72) – Moutinho, Nunes – Traore Campbell 72), Podence, Guedes (Hodge h/t) – Costa (Hee-Chan 56). Subs not used: Sarkic, Mosquera, Ronan, Bueno