On the heels of an embarrassing 4-1 defeat earlier in the week against Liverpool at Anfield, Chelsea FC would be back at Stamford Bridge and would respond with a putrid 4-2 loss at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Blues entered this game tenth in the table, in front of Wolves who were in 11th, after today’s defeat they now swap spots.
Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, for context Wolves beat Chelsea twice this year in the Premier League for the first time since the 1974-75 season. Here are the player ratings from today’s match.
Đorđe Petrović: 7/10
Petrović gets a seven because, despite the fact the team gave up four goals, you can easily argue that none of them was his fault. The first goal in the 22nd minute was off of Thiago Silva’s foot, and Petrović got fooled. Maybe he could’ve done better, but that one you can blame the awful defending.
Malo Gusto: 4/10
Gusto has been in and out of the side between injuries, and being in good or bad form. At times he shows promise going forward and defensively. Today was not one of those days. Gusto struggled mightily when he had to track back defensively and cover Matheus Cunha and others. In the 79th minute, his foul on Cunha led to a penalty that resulted in the Brazilian forward completing his hat trick. For those reasons, he gets a 4/10.
Thiago Silva: 6.5/10
Although he scored a decent header off a corner in the 86th minute, Thiago Silva’s performance today was lackluster. He also took a deflection that led to the first Wolves goal of the game in the 22nd minute. It’s hard to be overly critical of Silva because he’s 39 years old, he’s not in his prime, and can’t keep up like he used to. The problem is CFC needs him on the field for leadership reasons since their squad is so young and inexperienced. It’s not like they have many better options to replace him.
Axel Disasi: 4.8/10
Disasi had another average performance today. Throughout the season he shows glimpses of what he could be considering his size at 6’3” and stature he could be a force as a center-back or even right back but that hasn’t happened. Today he gave up an own goal off a deflection in the 43rd minute that gave Wolverhampton a 2-1 lead. Other than that he had some okay clearances but he’s just not very good at the moment.
Ben Chilwell: 5/10
This guy is supposed to be a captain and the more you watch him you have to question not just his ability as a player but his leadership qualities as well. Going forward he was okay creating some chances one of which should have led to a Raheem Sterling goal. But defensively he always looks lost, never in the right position, and despite his agility players go past him all the time.
Moisés Caicedo: 3/10
For someone who costs so much money to bring in, my God is Caicedo underwhelming. Although he had a nice assist to Cole Palmer for the first Chelsea goal in the 19th minute, it was pretty much all downhill from there. Two minutes after the assist he gets careless with the ball per usual and that leads to a Wolves goal, that wouldn’t have happened if he took care of the ball. Another problem is that when he loses the ball he doesn’t run back fast enough to stop the attacker. Caicedo constantly commits dangerous fouls that lead to yellow cards and put the opponent in striking distance of scoring. Yes, he’s very young and it takes time to adjust to a new club, but as of right now it’s been a disaster.
Conor Gallagher: 2.5/10
What does Conor Gallagher do well? This question is something I ask myself every week watching him play. He’s not a great passer, he can’t score goals, and he’s not great defensively. Every week you watch him play and Gallagher adds nothing to the team. In the 62nd minute, his defending was awful when Cunha scored the third goal for Wolves. In the 91st minute he had a chance to score a goal off a deflection and instead of putting it in the bottom corner shot it right at the goalkeeper. For some reason, his place in the team is rock solid when it shouldn’t be. The sooner they take him out of the starting 11 the better.
Enzo Fernández: 6/10
While he was far from great or worthy of his lofty price tag, Fernández played a decent game where he played some good passes, but his biggest problem is he is incapable of controlling a game from the midfield. When Chelsea signed him from Benfica they thought he was a maestro with the ball delivering perfect long passes. Well, so far he has failed to do that at a consistent level. The young Argentine needs to find a way to make his presence felt much more consistently if he wants to prove his worth.
Raheem Sterling: 5/10
While Sterling got off to a decent start early in the season and after he was not called up to the England National Team, since then his form has taken a noticeable dip. He has not scored in a Premier League game since late November against Newcastle United. Today he had chances to make passes but didn’t make the most of them, he spoiled a good chance in front of goal around the 47th minute. Sterling has lost the ball a lot when going forward and lately, he has developed a tendency to dive a lot when around the box and the refs are not falling for it.
Christopher Nkunku: 5.5/10
When you saw Nkunku’s name on the team sheet as a starter, you got excited knowing that he’s finally able to start which hasn’t happened a lot as he’s battled injuries the whole season. Today he failed to make much of an impact, and he hardly had chances to get the ball. You can blame some of that on his teammates not getting it to him, and also on Nkunku himself for not being open enough.
Cole Palmer: 7.5/10
Thank God for Cole Palmer, without him this team would be even worse than they already are. He scored his tenth EPL goal of the season in the 19th minute when the Blues took a 1-0 lead. Throughout the rest of the game, he was going forward trying to create chances not just for himself but for his teammates, and they weren’t much of a help.
Nicolas Jackson (63’): 4/10
He came on for the first time in six games as Nicolas Jackson was out representing Senegal in the African Cup of Nations Tournament. Jackson had a chance in the 66th minute to score on a header but missed the net. Later on in the game in the 91st minute, he slipped in the box when he had a chance to tap in a goal.
Carney Chukwuemeka (72’): 5.3/10
Carney Chukwuemeka didn’t do much in his limited time on the pitch when he came to replace Nkunku. He tried hard, but couldn’t really put an imprint on the game.
Mykhailo Mudryk (72’): 6/10
Although like Chukwuemeka didn’t make much of an impact, he always put in consistent effort and did get the assist on the header goal scored by Silva. However despite all of his pace, Mudryk loses the ball way too much for someone with his skill level.
Alfie Gilchrist (81’): N/A
This sub made very little sense considering the team was down 4-1 and bringing on a defender who can’t do much going forward, had very little impact on the game.
Benoit Badiashile (81’): N/A
Similar to the Gilchrist change bringing on a defender like Benoit Badiashile when you need goals and you are down 4-1 almost seems like a manager conceding defeat. It’s not Badiashile’s fault bur bringing in two defenders when you need goals made zero sense.
Mauricio Pochettino: 3/10
While most of the starting 11 made sense, Mauricio Pochettino’s glaring inability to make in-game adjustments is starting to become a massive problem. When Chelsea are trailing the game seems like it’s already over, or a one-goal lead is more like a five-goal lead. While it’s fair to say that Pochettino has inherited a mess and a tough job having to manage a squad full of young players. It does make you wonder when or if Chelsea can become consistent, and who deserves the biggest share of blame.