A Covid-hit Chelsea side were held to a goalless draw by Wolves at Molineux, as the Blues lost distance on leaders Manchester City.
Chelsea asked that this match be postponed owing to a number of positive Covid-19 instances, but the Premier League denied the request, and Thomas Tuchel nominated only six replacements for the match, with two goalkeepers on the bench.
Wolves were the stronger team in the first half, having dominated the midfield, and Daniel Podence believed he had given the hosts the lead with an easy tap in at the back post from Fernando Marcal’s cross – but the offside flag was ultimately raised some 20 seconds later, and the goal was ruled out.
In the first 45 minutes, Chelsea failed to muster a single shot on target.
When Leander Dendoncker was left unmarked inside the visitors’ penalty area to meet Podence’s delivery, he could only head straight at Edouard Mendy, and they were fortunate not to fall behind.
At the start of the second half, Saul Niguez replaced Trevor Chalobah in the Chelsea midfield, while Mateo Kovacic made his first appearance since October, and their presence allowed the Blues to enjoy far more possession and control.
Despite their better performance, opportunities were still scarce, and when Christian Pulisic eventually got past the Wolves defence, goalkeeper Jose Sa denied him.
The visitors piled up the pressure in the closing stages, but Wolves held firm to earn a hard-fought point.
Chelsea is currently six points behind Manchester City, who trounced Newcastle 4-0 at St James’ Park.
Wolves are still in eighth place, two points behind sixth-placed Manchester United.