Home football Matheus Cunha hits hat-trick as rampant Wolves demolish Chelsea

Matheus Cunha hits hat-trick as rampant Wolves demolish Chelsea

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Either side of a landmark Cole Palmer strike and Thiago Silva header, a Matheus Cunha hat-trick and Axel Disasi own goal saw Gary O’Neil’s men emerge triumphant in emphatic fashion, thus doing the double over the Blues for the first time in 49 years

A pair of changes from Pochettino saw Malo Gusto and Christopher Nkunku come into the XI over Benoit Badiashile and Noni Madueke, while Rayan Ait-Nouri, Joao Gomes and Pablo Sarabia were introduced into the Wolves lineup.

O’Neil’s men would explode out of the blocks in West London, as Pedro Neto and Cunha made Djordje Petrovic work with just three minutes on the clock, but Chelsea soon calmed things down after weathering that early storm.

With 19 minutes gone at Stamford Bridge, a new page of Chelsea history was written, as a slick passing sequence involving Enzo Fernandez, Conor Gallagher and Moises Caicedo ended with the latter threading an inch-perfect pass into Cole Palmer, who calmly finished across goal for his 10th top-flight strike of the season.

Palmer’s first-time finish saw him become the first-ever Chelsea player aged 21 or under to hit double figures in a single Premier League season, but just three minutes after the restart, his moment in the limelight came to an abrupt end.

Caicedo – the provider for Palmer’s opener – went from hero to zero, losing the ball in the middle of the park to a combination of Neto and Gomes before the latter laid off Cunha, whose shot took a massive deflection off of Silva’s leg and trickled over the line.

Petrovic had already committed before Cunha’s strike changed direction, and there was nothing that the scrambling Serbian could do to stop the ball bouncing in to the back of the net in front of despondent Blues fans.

Pochettino’s crop were left to lament their absence of ruthlessness in the final third, while Wolves were happy to sit in, absorb pressure and wait for the opportune moment to strike – an approach which paid dividends on the stroke of half time.

Once again, Chelsea were undone by a significant deviation, as Neto surged into the box from the right flank and cut back for the arriving Ait-Nouri, who attempted to finish across goal with a delicate touch but instead saw his effort deceive Petrovic and end up in the opposite corner thanks to the leg of Disasi.

The hosts trudged off to a cacophony of boos at half time, but fan frustrations appeared to galvanise Pochettino’s troops as they made the brighter start to the second period, albeit without the finishing to match.https://afad3af8f1952600448818bace470fa3.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html?n=0

Just two minutes into the second period, Raheem Sterling fluffed his lines from a promising position after Ben Chilwell’s cutback, five minutes before Thiago Silva sent a header over the top from a corner.

Palmer – trying to make things happen as ever – also saw a couple of chances go begging just past the hour mark as Chelsea upped the ante, but mere seconds after the Englishman’s second wasted opportunity, Wolves found their bite once again.

For the third time, a Chelsea leg would contribute to their downfall, as in the process of trying to cut out a pass, Fernandez spread the ball to Neto on the right, and the Portuguese sped away from Silva before cutting back for Cunha to convert his second of the afternoon in the 63rd minute.

O’Neil’s tactically astute outfit were agonisingly close to increasing their lead in the 66th minute, as Cunha tried to turn provider for Sarabia, but the Spaniard could not keep his first-time strike down.

However, the rampant visitors would complete their fantastic four in the 82nd minute, as Gusto conceded a stonewall penalty on Cunha, who dusted himself down and sent Petrovic the wrong way to complete his hat-trick.

The game may have been dead and buried from a Chelsea perspective, but there were muted cheers from the Stamford Bridge faithful in the 86th minute, as Silva met Mykhaylo Mudryk’s corner at the near post and glanced a bouncing header into the far side of the net.

Blues’ hopes may have been rekindled when 10 minutes of injury time went up on the board, but the net had rippled for the final time, and the Stamford Bridge faithful made their feelings loud and clear once again at full time as Wolves leapfrogged their foes in the standings.

Next up for 11th-placed Chelsea is an FA Cup fourth-round replay away to Aston Villa on Wednesday, three days before Wolves – who are up to 10th – welcome Brentford to Molineux in the top flight.

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