Chelsea 2-4 Wolves: 3 Blues Talking Points

Chelsea's unbeaten streak at Stamford Bridge has been ended, burned, and shattered by a superior Wolverhampton Wanderers side in a disastrous 4-2 loss, despite initially taking a 1-0 lead.
Chelsea FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Chelsea FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League / Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

Matheus Cunha secured a hat-trick as Wolves staged a swift comeback to shock Chelsea and take the Blues' place in the top half of the Premier League table. Cole Palmer provided Mauricio Pochettino's team a 19th-minute lead by calmly slotting past Jose Sa, capitalizing on Moises Caicedo's defense-splitting pass.

However, Wolves quickly leveled less than three minutes later, with Cunha's shot deflecting significantly off Thiago Silva from an isolated Caicedo loose ball, leaving Djordje Petrovic wrong-footed. The turnaround was complete just before halftime, thanks to another deflected shot. Rayan Ait-Nouri connected with Pedro Neto's cutback, sending the ball in off Axel Disasi.

Despite Chelsea's fans expressing discontent at halftime, the team couldn't mount a comeback. Instead, they fell two goals behind as the dynamic Neto outpaced Silva and set up Cunha for his second goal. The Brazilian completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot after being fouled by Malo Gusto, sending Petrovic the wrong way and securing the win with eight minutes remaining. Silva's late header provided a consolation for Chelsea.

Wolves' well-deserved victory propelled Gary O'Neil's side to 10th place, one point and one position above the Blues, who once again dropped back down to the bottom half of the table in 11th.

Disgraceful defensive showing once again

The unsettling trend in this game was just a part two of where we left off at Anfield in midweek. For extended periods, Chelsea struggled to consistently and safely navigate Wolves’ pressing traps, often orchestrated by the clever and skillful Neto. Each careless error heightened the frustration at Stamford Bridge, seemingly increasing anxiety within Pochettino’s team.

While Wolves’ initial two goals may have benefited from deflections that caught Petrovic off guard, they were quality chances exposing Chelsea’s vulnerability on the turnover. Neto, in particular, exploited the space behind Ben Chilwell to isolate Thiago Silva, leaving the Brazilian trailing and contributing to the visitors’ third goal. Days like this raise questions about persisting with the 39-year-old Silva. Although starting two natural full-backs like Chilwell and Gusto enhanced Chelsea’s attacking threat, it left Silva and Disasi increasingly exposed defensively.

Pochettino’s attempt to chase an equalizer involved substituting Caicedo for Nicolas Jackson. While the former Brighton player’s possession errors had contributed to Chelsea’s challenges, his absence left vast open space in front of the hosts’ back line for Wolves to exploit. Such vulnerability does not bode well for any prospect of success.

The toxic environment is back

The most significant crowd moment, as reported by Nizaar Kinsella and Simon Johnson, occurred when the exultant Wolves supporters' taunts were echoed with a vicious enthusiasm by Chelsea fans. The chant of "WE'RE F-ING S-T" resounded through the blue masses of Stamford Bridge, particularly among those who hadn't already left. Blues fans even followed along with Wolves in their banter chants.

This day was as toxic as the stadium had experienced since the tail end of the Graham Potter era, intensifying in the second half when it became evident that the halftime boos hadn't spurred Chelsea into a response, and Wolves went on to dominate the game. Sterling's substitution was met with a chorus of boos, and an irate fan near the home bench demanded that Pochettino face the consequences. Chants of “Roman Abramovich” occurred once more after another mediocre season.

Even during Chelsea's recent home resurgence, trust in the team at Stamford Bridge seemed limited. The conceding of eight goals in two matches appears to have completely eroded that trust, raising questions not only for the remainder of the Premier League campaign but also for Pochettino's broader future. His lack of efforts to build a personal rapport with Chelsea's match-going support, possibly due to his strong association with Tottenham, means he had little goodwill to lose when frustration with the team's shortcomings started to mount.

While Pochettino's future remains uncertain, it's evident that even those expressing discontent on Sunday believe Chelsea's problems extend beyond the head coach.

Moises Caicedo’s fury

Not only is the toxic environment radiating outside of the club, but there may be something brewing in the inside. Expressing his frustration, Moises Caicedo was seen venting after being substituted in Chelsea's clash against Wolves on Sunday.

The 22-year-old midfielder, who arrived from Brighton in the summer for a British-record fee, was replaced by Nicolas Jackson on the hour mark as Mauricio Pochettino sought a way back into the match. It's understandable to feel upset in such moments, and when you factor in the toxic atmosphere and a manager under threat, it adds an intriguing layer.

Compounding matters, just moments after Caicedo exited the field, Gary O'Neil's side expanded their lead at Stamford Bridge, with Matheus Cunha scoring his second goal of the afternoon. The Wolves forward later completed a hat-trick, beating Djordje Petrovic from the penalty spot.

Caicedo's situation was aggravated by often finding himself isolated in the middle of the park, lacking support, which contributed to losing possession with limited options and three Orange shirts surrounding him. However, this doesn't absolve him from the mistake that led to Wolves' equalizer.