Chelsea’s season suffered yet another setback as Wolves ran out 4-2 winners at Stamford Bridge, moving above them in the Premier League table.
Mauricio Pochettino’s troubles were compounded by Chelsea fans letting their feelings be heard throughout the game, booing their own players after Wolves grabbed their fourth.
It’s the latest setback in this ongoing crisis at Chelsea but this one felt significant. Here are the five things we learned from the game.
Boos ring around the Bridge
The Chelsea fans certainly made their feelings be known at Stamford Bridge. The boos at half-time, the chants about former owner Roman Abramovich and even jeers regarding how poor their side performed emphasised how much of a crisis Chelsea are in.
Call it friendly fire, but these Chelsea fans have seemingly seen enough, and their patience is beginning to run thin with Pochettino, who is now under an immense amount of pressure, if he wasn’t already.
The reception some of the Chelsea players received when they went off was truly toxic.
Too much pressure on Palmer
Cole Palmer once again showed why he is one of the signings of the summer but there’s a growing sense that he’s expected to do everything up top.
With Christopher Nkunku so lacklustre, Palmer was Chelsea’s primary and often only attacking threat in the final third. Nicolas Jackson’s introduction past the hour mark was further evidence of Chelsea’s reliance on Palmer, with the Senegalese missing a golden chance with the game at 3-1 to Wolves.
Palmer’s goal took his tally to 10 in the Premier League this season but if Chelsea are to emerge from this almighty slump then their other attackers need to share the goalscoring burden.
Nkunku’s lack of involvement
The Frenchman was tipped to inject some much-needed quality into this Chelsea side after showing glimpses of his talent in pre-season. Injuries have hampered Nkunku’s development at Chelsea but today was not his brightest moment.
He failed to register a shot all game and lacked any creative impetus in the final third, struggling to link up with Palmer and Raheem Sterling – who was also underwhelming.Embed from Getty Images
The feeling is that Chelsea have a player on their hands with Nkunku but today was not one of his finest displays in a Chelsea shirt.
Caicedo’s mixed first-half display
Since arriving at Chelsea, Caicedo has been such an enigma. In one game he looks like the £100 million player that flourished at Brighton last season and the next he looks like a flop.
His first half-display against Wolves was a perfect example of that. His assist for Palmer’s opener was sensational. He received the ball on the edge of the box and slipped a sumptuous pass through the Wolves and into the path of Palmer.Embed from Getty Images
But seconds after the restart, he lost the ball and was weak in the tackle as Wolves went up the other end and equalised. It also wasn’t the first time he gave the ball away. Being the most expensive player to play in the Premier League holds an abundance of pressure and expectation, but surely Pochettino will be concerned by his first half of the season at the club.
Despite all of Chelsea’s deficiencies, Wolves were excellent on the day and they thoroughly deserved the victory. After that agonising 4-3 loss to Manchester United at Molineux during midweek, Gary O’Neil will have been looking for a reaction from his Wolves players.
He got it, and some. Wolves’ midfield were so dominant and it allowed them to have so much control in the game. Up top, Matheus Cunha and Pedro Neto ran Chelsea’s backline ragged and despite conceding two goals, their backline were relatively untroubled and kept the likes of Nkunku and Sterling quiet.Embed from Getty Images
With that win, they now move above Chelsea in the table and will be looking to close in on those European spots as the season progresses.