Chelsea 2 (Mount 45+1, Giroud 45+4) Wolves 0
Wolves will wait nervously for the result of next week’s FA Cup final to see if a second-successive Premier League campaign has resulted in Europa League qualification, following defeat in the curtain closer against Chelsea on Sunday.
A quick-fire double from the hosts saw Wolves end an extraordinary Premier League campaign on a sombre note, but European football will still be secured for finishing seventh, should their conquerors Chelsea lift the FA Cup next weekend.
Mason Mount’s fine free-kick broke Wolves’ resolve in first-half stoppage time and the second arrived just minutes later through Olivier Giroud, meaning Wolves’ turnaround task was too significant, but back-to-back top seven finishes is an incredible achievement, not seen since the days of Stan Cullis.
With the stakes so high, there was little surprise surrounding the cagey start to proceedings, when chances were at a premium. While attacking flurries were rare, Wolves were typically organised and compact in the early stages, looking to avoid a nervous wait on next weekend.
Chelsea had Champions League matters to take care of themselves and the in-form Giroud enjoyed the first sight of goal, getting in ahead of Willy Boly, and meeting Mount’s cross with a thumping header, but Rui Patricio wasn’t required just yet.
The closest Wolves came to breaking the Chelsea rear-guard came with a tinge of surprise, as the ball was worked to Pedro Neto wide left and his cross was heading into the far top corner, but Caballero wasn’t caught out and was able to claw away using a firm right hand.
That save was made all the more valuable as Chelsea hit Wolves with a quick-fire double on the stroke of half-time. The first came with a great deal of fortune as Marcos Alonso went down on the edge of the box, despite Neto appearing to pull out of the challenge, and Mount conflicted the ultimate punishment by whipping home the free-kick impressively.
However, that wasn’t the end of the damage. Wolves hadn’t recovered by the time Christian Pulisic was charging through the heart of their side, past challenges from Boly and Ruben Neves, before allowing Mount to slip in Giroud, who rounded Patricio and beat Conor Coady in the tussle to turn the ball home.
Half-time: Chelsea 2 Wolves 0
The Londoners enjoyed the better of the second-half’s early stages too, but a barnstorming Jota run almost paved a way back into the contest for Wolves. The Portuguese burst past the challenge of Cesar Azpilicueta, carried the ball on to his right foot, but his effort was too close to Caballero.
Moments later, Ruben Vinagre, Joao Moutinho and Daniel Podence took to the field as Nuno attempted to swing the tide, with fellow substitute Adama Traore moving to right wing-back, helping form an attacking Wolves side.
And while Wolves did improve marginally, Chelsea at no point needed to raise through gears, even when Boly met a Traore cross, which Leander Dendoncker had flicked on, as Caballero was able to collect simply.
That half-chance was as good as it got for Wolves, who huffed and puffed, and gave Bruno Jordao a Premier League debut, and had Patricio save from Tammy Abraham in injury time, as Nuno's side suffered just a fifth away defeat of the Premier League season.
Full-time: Chelsea 2 Wolves 0
Chelsea: Caballero, James, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger, Alonso, Jorginho, Kovacic (Loftus-Cheek 85), Mount (Pedro 85), Pulisic (Hudson-Odoi 78), Giroud (Abraham 78).
Unused subs: Kepa, Emerson, Christensen, Tomori, Barkley.
Wolves: Patricio, Doherty (Podence 59), Boly, Coady, Saiss, Jonny (Vinagre 58), Neves (Moutinho 52), Dendoncker, Neto (Traore 46), Jota (Jordao 85), Jimenez.
Unused subs: Ruddy, Buur, Kilman, Gibbs-White.