With a deserved victory, Wolverhampton Wanderers eased their Premier League relegation concerns as Frank Lampard made a losing return to the Chelsea managerial bench.
Following his hiring as temporary head coach 27 months after being fired as the club’s full-time manager, Chelsea legend Lampard received a euphoric ovation from the travelling fans at Molineux.
However, the club’s all-time leading scorer was unable to halt the bad form that led to Graham Potter’s dismissal as Chelsea slumped to their 11th top-flight defeat of the season after failing to score for the third game in a row.
Wolves were on the front-foot throughout and deserved their win which came after a sweet finish by Matheus Nunes, the Portugal midfielder’s first goal for the club since joining from Sporting Lisbon last August.
Nunes, who cost a club record £38m, beat Kepa Arrizabalaga with a fierce attempt from a tight angle after an attempted headed clearance by Kalidou Koulibaly.
Joao Felix forced a save from Jose Sa but the London side were disappointing and remain 11th after just two wins in 11 league games.
Lampard is looking to use this short-term opportunity to repair his reputation after damaging sackings at Chelsea and Everton, and land himself a permanent job elsewhere in the Premier League for next season.
If he is to do that, much better will be required going forward – starting with Wednesday’s trip to Real Madrid for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.
Lampard was originally due to be at the Bernabeu as a television pundit but instead now finds himself plotting to bring down the champions of Europe after his surprise appointment.
Julen Lopetegui’s first Premier League match in charge of Wolves was a 2-1 win at Lampard’s Everton on 26 December.
And the former Real Madrid and Spain boss once again got the better of the former England midfielder as Wolves turned on the style to move four points clear of the relegation zone.