CRAIG HICKEY REPORTS ON WOLVES MASSIVE THREE POints AGAINST CHELSEA
A team selection that probably surprised some without Raul, Bueno and Traore but a midfield without Neves needed some bite, let’s hope Gomes and Lemina help Matheus flourish. Let’s face it, a point was vital and not a disaster.
Chelsea started the game on top with 3 corners in the first 5 mins but the defence held strong. It felt like it was going to be a long afternoon. Our passing was much better than of late and Semedo seemed to be our outlet. Cucarella was obviously a target for us to get at and everything came down the right. Sa commanded his box well and his distribution from his claimed crosses was much better, allowing us to break at pace. The defence was solid, winning headers, tackles and preventing crosses, a good solid performance from the defence at times.
Nunes was getting into the game more and more as the clock ticked past 15 mins, he kept making great runs and passes to set up a few long range efforts. We were getting closer to the target with our efforts. Gomes made an outstanding turn in the box and was about to pull the trigger before a last ditch tackle by the Chelsea defence.
We were probably all concerned about missing Neves but Lemina and Gomes were having an excellent half in the midfield. Toti coped well with Sterling and a long probing run by our stand in left back earned us a free kick 35 yards out on the left after 31minutes.. Podence floated it in to the box and a flicked on header landed to Nunes on the right of the penalty area, he lets it bounce and hits a sweet dipping volley into the far corner, what a strike, 1 – 0 to Wolves, it’s one Neves would’ve been proud of. He enjoyed that and his celebration showed how much it meant to him and his fellow players.
The pressure Wolves were continually putting Chelsea under had told and clever play by Costa led to him bringing a good save from Kepa to prevent a second goal.
A few more forays into the Wolves half by Chelsea led to nothing and so the half-time whistle was greeted with a standing ovation for a perfect first half. On balance Wolves thoroughly deserved their lead.
Half Time – Wolves 1 – 0 Chelsea
The second half started with Wolves continuing their progression into the Chelsea half after early Chelsea dominance, lots of good passing but just lacking the final ball.
In particular between 55 – 58 minutes, it was end to end. Wolves broke quickly when smothering the Chelsea efforts to get into the Wolves area.
Wolves had two chances on the break but Cunha and Costa were unable to convert. Cunha could have squared his pass to into the 6 yard box for two waiting players but his shot was saved by Kepa. The Chelsea keeper was the busier of the two in the game and the Wolves keeper commanded his box well and I can’t remember the tippy tap goal kicks we’ve seen of late, just excellent throws and long kicks. A free kick to Chelsea caused a few moments of anguish but it came to nothing. In JL’s usual tactical style changes after 60 plus minutes, fresh legs came on and Hwang caused Reece James to defend deeper, some good play from the Korean and tracking back when Chelsea peppered the right side. As the game wore on the defending became solid and both Lemina and Gomes worked tirelessly to stem the dangerous Pulisic and Mudryk. So with 5 minutes added on and some stubborn Wolves resistance, we were nearly undone by a superb ball across our box by Chilwell, there was no one on the end of it….sound familiar. And finally, we were able to celebrate a clean sheet and 3 huge points.
A fantastic team performance which was a joy to watch, there were still plenty of fans to give the team a standing ovation.
Finally, a word for our disability team who won 2-1 at the half time break against their Chelsea counterparts. Warmly applauded by both sets of fans. Well done both teams.
Eight Finals left!!
FULL TIME WOLVES 1-0 CHELSEA
ARTICLE BY CRAIG HICKEY
A 53 year old season ticket holder in the Steve Bull stand. Go along with my two young lads who love the Wolves and so far, the positive times. Long may it continue.