EPL: Chelsea held by Wolves in Tuchel’s first match in charge

Thomas Tuchel’s first match as Chelsea head coach ended in a goalless draw as the club shared points with Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge in London on Wednesday.

Chelsea controlled the early proceedings of the match but failed to go ahead as Olivier Giroud narrowly failed to connect with Callum Hudson-Odoi’s low cross.

After half-time, Chelsea continued to press for an opener, with Conor Coady pulling off two great blocks to deny Giroud.

Chelsea put in every effort to break the deadlock but they were restricted by Wolves’ defence. At the other end, Pedro Neto chipped the ball over Edouard Mendy but his effort clipped the top of the crossbar.

The result moves Chelsea up to eighth in the Premier League table with 30 points, while Wolves are 13th with 23 points.

Chelsea are 11 points behind leaders Manchester City, and Tuchel said he did not think his new side could make up that gap.

“The title? Wow. I don’t think so. We have to be realistic,” he told reporters.

“When you sign for Chelsea as a player or manager, you sign for the expectation to challenge for titles … the Premier League, the Champions League and all the cups.

“At the same time, we have to be realistic. There are a lot of teams between us and fourth place, a lot of points between us. Maybe the best thing now, by stepping up in the middle of the season, is not to lose focus when we look too far ahead.

“Work on a daily basis on the details, on the progression in our game and the points will follow. We have the capacity to hurt everybody in every competition. It’s my job to bring the team to its level as fast as possible. Step by step.”

Chelsea next face Burnley in the league on Sunday.

Brighton frustrated in goalless draw with Fulham

Brighton & Hove Albion drew 0-0 with Fulham in the Premier League on Wednesday, in a frustrating game for the south coast side, who missed the chance to pull clear of the London club in the relegation zone.

The draw left Brighton 17th in the table on 18 points, five clear of Fulham, who have a game in hand, in 18th place.

Both sides had chances in the first half. Fulham right back Ola Aina blasted a shot just over the bar from outside the box in the fifth minute, and Brighton’s Leandro Trossard went close twice in quick succession at the other end.

Brighton repeatedly sliced through Fulham’s midfield, but were unable to get a man on the end of any of their resulting crosses.

Fulham’s Ivan Cavaleiro dashed forward on the break after a misfired pass by Brighton’s Adam Webster, only to shoot wide of the post, and the Seagulls’ Pascal Gross fired a free kick just wide of the post as the half drew to a close.

After the break, Fulham’s defenders struggled to pass the ball out from the back, but Brighton’s front line were unable to convert any of the numerous chances they created.

Fulham had keeper Alphonse Areola to thank for countless saves that kept them in the game, while captain Lewis Dunk was the hero for Brighton, clearing a Ruben Loftus-Cheek shot off his goal-line in stoppage time to hold onto a point.

“It’s obviously frustrating that we haven’t won at our ground,” Dunk told BT Sport.

“We’ve got to go back and look at it and make sure we start putting the ball in the back of the net,” he added.

Brighton manager Graham Potter was similarly frustrated with the result.

“We’re creating the chances – that’s not easy in this league. But we have to keep believing we can score. Our performances have been good, but the challenge is to turn those chances into points,” he said.

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