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[Player Ratings] Wolves 1-0 Chelsea: Blues blow hot and cold after much huffing and puffing at Wolves

wolves 1-0 chelsea 2011

Chelsea’s abysmal run of form continued last night as they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers. The only goal of the game arrived just 4 minutes into the game and has been credited to Chelsea defender Jose Bosingwa as an own goal.  Chelsea rallied after the initial shock of going a goal down but despite clear chances for both Solomon Kalou and Didier Drogba, Wolves condemned the Blues to their sixth defeat of the season- a statistic Blues fans must be sick of.

Another troubling statistic for the Londoners is that they have won just once in their last nine league games and have relinquished their grip on the Premier leagues top-spot that they once held with a firm grasp earlier in the campaign.  Although a draw last time out against Aston Villa left Carlo Ancelotti’s side disappointed, the late comeback against the Villains should have given the Blues a push in the right direction.

The Pensioners came to the Midlands hopeful of taking all three points back with them to the capital.  But within the game’s opening minutes, Chelsea fans would have be seemingly happy just to take a share of the spoils. A Stephen Hunt corner caused panic in the Chelsea defence and when no one reacted in time to steer the ball from harm, the unfortunate Bosingwa could only watch in despair as he unintentionally steered it into his own net.

It was much to the home side’s reward that they took the lead, having already troubled Petr Cech’s goal.  Ronald Zubar had a powerful effort turned away by Chelsea’s big Czech ‘keeper moments before the opener.  If Ancelotti had not wanted to plan another rescue act against a Midlands club, he would have to devise one quickly after this start.

Wolves were under clear instruction to attack the frail Chelsea back line, which they did to good effect.  They played a fast and direct game which Chelsea struggled to deal with in the opening stages.  However the visitors gradually found their feet in this game, and after some fine passing involving the Brazilian Ramires and Florent Malouda, Chelsea were nearly level.

The French winger, in a turn of pace found himself with space to cross from the left.  His delivery was poked towards goal by Kalou but Wolves ‘keeper Wayne Hennessey saved well with the extension of a leg.  Malouda was providing the ammunition with some left side crossing, however there was no one on the receiving end with the complimentary fire power.

Frank Lampard began pulling the strings in midfield as the game resumed in the second half.  Chelsea have certainly missed the England midfielder’s presence this season- his calmness and invention on the ball almost opened up a Wolves backline that was beginning to feel the pressure of a Chelsea onslaught.  Kalou again was the culprit as Chelsea squandered another opportunity- Lampard had put the Ivorian through with a clever back heel, only for him to place his shot wide of the target.

Perhaps it was his lack of finishing prowess, or maybe it was just to freshen things up, but on 66 minutes Kalou made way for the ageing Nicolas Anelka as Ancelotti looked for an answer to his silent prayers in the form of  substitution. It was the man who did not come off who almost provided the answer.  Drogba who had looked uninterested for large portions of the game, came as close as Chelsea would come all night, hitting the post after a mistake by the Wolves defence.

Daniel Sturridge and Gael Kakuta came on for Malouda and Ramires, but even with four recognised strikers on the pitch, the equaliser remained an elusive grail; although the former sub did come close.  The young striker volleyed way over after some promising build up play and with it, any hopes the travelling fans had of going back to West London with anything but the blues.

Another sloppy performance, another disappointing defeat.  Ancelotti conceded before the game that he felt he was lucky to still be in a job.  I wonder how steeply the bookies odds have increased after this one.

Player Ratings

Chelsea: Cech 6, Cole 6, Terry 5, Ivanovich 5, Bosingwa 4, Essien 6, Ramires 6 (Kakuta 5), Lampard 7, Malouda 6 (Sturridge 5), Drogba 5, Kalou 6 (Anelka 6)

Wolves: Hennessey 7, Elokobi 6, Stearman 8, Berra 7, Zubar 7, Foley 6, Edwards 7, Hunt 7, Jarvis 7, Fletcher 8 (Ebanks-Blake; Milijas), Doyle 6 (Ward)

Watch match highlights from Wolves 1-0 Chelsea

What does this result do to Chelsea’s confidence?…What does it doe for their title aspirations?…What is lacking from a championship winning side and who should Chelsea be in the market for?…please leave your comments below…

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