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Chelsea 2-0 Wolves: Mason Mount inspired Blues secure fourth place, Wolves fall out of European spot

No F-word touchline rant necessary from Frank Lampard on Sunday. Just pure elation.

Chelsea will be playing in the Champions League next season, this triumph over Wolves booking their seat at the top table of European football for another campaign.

It was fitting that one of their own, Mason Mount, engineered this most crucial of victories. 

Mason Mount inspired Chelsea to victory over Wolves on Sunday to secure Champions League football for next season 

The young midfielder's free-kick put the Blues ahead, capping an incredible season for the star who made his debut this term

The young midfielder’s free-kick put the Blues ahead, capping an incredible season for the star who made his debut this term

Mount followed up his free-kick with a superb assist for Olivier Giroud, who fired in from close range for 2-0 in the first-half

Mount followed up his free-kick with a superb assist for Olivier Giroud, who fired in from close range for 2-0 in the first-half

Wolves had looked set for a place in Europe but ended up finishing seventh after this defeat at Stamford Bridge

Wolves had looked set for a place in Europe but ended up finishing seventh after this defeat at Stamford Bridge

This was the season Chelsea’s academy finally reared its head; it was arguably the brightest talent of all that did the damage here.

Frank Lampard, in his self-effacing style, will adorn his players with all the credit. They, of course, deserve high praise.

But Lampard, while he may not admit it, is the true architect of Chelsea’s top-four finish.

Not many gave Chelsea a hope of this back in August. The scepticism was logical: a transfer ban, an inexperienced manager taking his first season in the Premier League and a team flooded with unproven youngsters isn’t necessarily a recipe for success. 

MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS 

CHELSEA (3-4-3): Cabellero 6.5; Azpilicueta 6.5, Zouma 7, Rudiger 7.5; James 7, Jorginho 7.5 (Barkley 88), Kovacic 7.5 (Loftus-Cheek 85), Alonso 6.5; Mount 8.5 (Pedro 85), Giroud 7 (Abraham 79), Pulisic 6.5 (Hudson-Odoi 79)

Subs: Kepa, Christensen, Tomori, Emerson

Scorers: Mount (45+1), Giroud (45+4) 

Lampard: 7.5

WOLVES (3-4-3): Patricio 6; Boly 6, Coady 6.5, Saiss 6; Doherty 6 (Podence 59, 6), Dendoncker 6, Neves 6 (Moutinho 59, 6), Jonny 6 (Vinagre 59); Neto 5.5 (Traore 46), Jimenez 6.5, Jota 6.5 (Jordao 84).

Subs: Ruddy, Gibbs-White, Kilman, Buur

Booked: Jota

Santo: 6

Referee – Stuart Atwell – 6

MOM: Mount

The Blues will march into Europe next season with Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech having signed, aiming to keep progressing

The Blues will march into Europe next season with Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech having signed, aiming to keep progressing 

New Blues £53million man Werner was in attendance for the first time to watch his team-mates for next season in action

New Blues £53million man Werner was in attendance for the first time to watch his team-mates for next season in action

Lampard and his fledgling stars have proved their doubters wrong.

With Champions League comes vast riches; having already signed Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner for a combined fee of close to £90million, Chelsea intend to spend more ahead of next season, their qualification for the Champions League providing licence to execute those plans.

Kai Havertz is expected to arrive from Borussia Dortmund, while Lampard fancies Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell, though that deal will be ridden with complications. 

The first-half was a tight affair between two sides with similar styles, before Chelsea pounced on a Wolves lapse in injury time

The first-half was a tight affair between two sides with similar styles, before Chelsea pounced on a Wolves lapse in injury time

Willy Caballero replaced out-of-favour Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal as Frank Lampard made a statement change for the game

Willy Caballero replaced out-of-favour Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal as Frank Lampard made a statement change for the game 

You hope, however, that the splurge will not restrict the likes of Mount and his fellow academy graduates who have provided such success this season.

Lampard has earned the right to make this decisions. It does, however, appear likely that Lampard will make a new No 1 a priority during the transfer window.

On arguably the biggest game of his managerial career, Lampard made the huge call to drop £72million goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga

The repercussions of that decision will come out in the wash over the next few weeks. It is clear Lampard simply doesn’t fancy the Spaniard. 

Adama Traore couldn't be as effective as he was earlier this season, with a composed Chelsea staying in control on Sunday

Adama Traore couldn’t be as effective as he was earlier this season, with a composed Chelsea staying in control on Sunday 

Frank Lampard has surpassed many onlookers' expectations by guiding the Blues to a Champions League spot this season

Frank Lampard has surpassed many onlookers’ expectations by guiding the Blues to a Champions League spot this season 

Yet, Kepa’s future would have been one of the last things on Lampard’s mind heading into this clash.

A draw was all Chelsea needed to maintain their Champions League status; not necessarily the easiest of scenarios for Lampard to balance.

Indeed, their start suggested as much. Chelsea were hesitant and tentative during the opening exchanges; in contrast Wolves were vibrant and assertive – free from the debilitating anxiety that appeared to have overcome the host’s. 

Reece James was effective again down the right from full-back as Lampard handed the youngster another deserved start

Reece James was effective again down the right from full-back as Lampard handed the youngster another deserved start

Yet Wolves, in spite of their eye-catching start, failed to create any clear-cut openings – neither side recording a shot on target during the opening 30 minutes.

Chelsea gradually settled into the game, Olivier Giroud’s header sailed over the bar before Kepa’s replacement Willy Cabellero clawed out Pedro Neto’s intended cross from under his own bar.

But still there was very little to get excited about. Well, there wasn’t until the first half stoppage time as Mount stepped up when his team needed him the most. 

The execution was unerring, the 21-year-old beautifully arcing a free-kick past the despairing Rui Patricio as the first-half entered into injury time.

Mount registered a goal and an assist and was handed man of the match for another overall impressive performance

Mount registered a goal and an assist and was handed man of the match for another overall impressive performance

Wolves will point to the contentious decision from Stuart Atwell to penalise Neto’s challenge on Marcos Alonso that allowed Mount to fire Chelsea ahead.

The sight of Nuno Espirito Santo marching onto the pitch to chastise Atwell at half-time was indicative of how Wolves felt about the decision. 

You could hear the collective sigh of relief from the Chelsea bench as Mount rippled the net.

The roar was louder just moments later as Giroud clinched Chelsea’s win in the fourth minute of first-half injury time.

Mount, once more, was at the forefront, Giroud latching onto his pass before bypassing Patricio to slide home.

Olivier Giroud has ended the season in supber form and added another goal, tapping in from Mount's assist in the first-half

Olivier Giroud has ended the season in supber form and added another goal, tapping in from Mount’s assist in the first-half 

With his fists clenched, Lampard turned to his bench. Job done. In his first season in charge, his hands tied by a transfer embargo, Chelsea had quailed for the Champions League.

You can’t say fairer than that. Santo responded by sending on Adama Traore, and Wolves made a fist of it – Diogo Jota forcing Cabellero into comfortable save from the edge of the box in the 58th minute.

But Wolves’ Europa League was dying a death, Mount saw to that at the end of the first half.

This was Chelsea’s day and Mount was the hero. With an FA Cup Final on the horizon, Lampard will need another hero on Saturday. 

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