Wolves endured another frustrating afternoon as they lost 3-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. James Collins and Steve Davis, the latter a boyhood Wolves fan, were in the managerial dugout following the departure of Bruno Lage. Despite a positive start, Wolves rode their luck for much of the first half and Chelsea eventually broke the deadlock on the stroke of halftime thanks to a Kai Havertz header. Second-half goals from Christian Pulisic and Armando Broja condemned Wolves to their third successive Premier League defeat.
Not at his best. The Portuguese goalkeeper made an uncharacteristic mistake for the opening goal and seemed perplexed when Havertz’s header lopped under his crossbar. It looked like Sa had initially decided to come and claim the cross before quickly realising it was not his ball to win but by that point, it was too late.
On the rare occasion that Wolves ventured into the final third, Semedo often found himself in promising positions but lacked the composure or directness to make an impact. Defensively, Christian Pulisic bested him on a few occasions, most notably for the second goal.
An unusual performance from one of Wolves’ most reliable defenders. Kilman was often indecisive and erratic on the ball and lacked his trademark composure. The absence of Neves, a true number six and a competent Chelsea press may explain some of that.
His exclusion from last weekend’s line-up was, for many, the final nail in the coffin for Bruno Lage. His decision to deploy Ruben Neves and Jonny as makeshift centre-backs left many fans baffled. Toti, although sometimes uncomfortable on the ball with fewer passing lanes than he is used to when previously playing in a back five, did provide some defensive stability. According to Sofa Score, he won 5/5 of his ground and aerial duels.
His defensive strengths were made largely redundant due to Conor Gallagher often drifting inside and looking to link up rather than facing up the full-back for a 1-1, a scenario where Jonny excels. Consistently wasteful in the final third but was often pinned back under sustained Chelsea pressure.
His best performance in a Wolves shirt thus far. The 23-year-old was at his press resistant best in the first half and provided the dynamic run that led to Wolves’ best chance. Nunes’ effect on the game understandably dwindled in the second half with the game out of sight but he showed more than a few flashes of what is to come.
At 36, his ability to dominate midfield battles has diminished. As much as he provided his typical elegance on the ball, without it he was often run over by the youthfulness of Mount, Gallagher and Loftus-Cheek.
The Portuguese International was hooked at halftime and deservedly so. Guedes has not been able to showcase his undoubted talent since his £27.5 million move from Valencia this summer. And as much as the current predicament the club finds itself in can’t be helping, he simply must do more.
Adama is Adama. Equally capable of sheer brilliance and frustrating mediocrity, often in the same sequence. His presence still causes chaos for opposition defenders, but his lacklustre final product and defensive effort leave a lot to be desired. Despite that, the Spaniard was still Wolves’ most dangerous attacking outlet.
A consistent theme of Wolves’ attacks this season has been a lack of quality in the final third. Podence, today deployed as a number ten, was tasked with linking the midfield and attack. The service into his feet was limited but when he did receive the ball in dangerous areas, he was wasteful.
It was a first Wolves start for the former Chelsea star back at Stamford Bridge. It was surely written in the stars for Costa to grab the headlines. Well, not quite. He had little to no service and according to Sofa Score, was limited to only 9 touches. His work rate off the ball was to be admired but was simply not involved for the most part.
A much-deserved first-team debut for the Ireland youth international. The 20-year-old has been one of Wolves Academy’s best performers this season and he did his first-team prospects no harm with a composed second-half display.
Costa made way for Hwang on the hour mark and the South Korean did provide some more mobility and was able to run the channels, but a lack of quality let him down on the few occasions where he got on the ball.
Replaced Adama after 72 minutes. Campbell has become a fixture of the first team set-up in recent weeks and hopefully, his steady progress continues under whoever the new manager is.
Replaced Jonny after 72 minutes. The left-back position remains up for debate as both men continue to put in underwhelming performances.