Pace, power and precision
overwhelmed the home side at Molineux as a 5-0 win, including
first goals for Crespo and Duff, put the Blues top of
the League, albeit perhaps for just two and a half hours.
Poor Wolves had their first
shot on target deep into the second half in a game Chelsea
controlled completely from start to finish. If you want
to know what £111m buys you, the evidence was here
to see against pitiful Wanderers: class in very department.
As early as the second minute
Glen Johnson roasted winger Camara and delivered a vicious
cross that only just eluded Eidur Gudjohnsen and Damien
Duff along with the Wolves defence. It was a statement
By half time the Blues might
have been six up. Butler almost steered into his own net
under pressure from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink from the livewire
Duffs cut-back. Then John Terry drove home the rebound
off the excellent Eidur Gudjohnsen from his own header,
only for it to be disallowed for handball by the Icelander.
(The decision, called by the linesman, looked harsh on
Later Gudjohnsen and Frank
Lampard driving Chelsea forward all the time
both glanced good headed chances wide of the far post
with goalkeeper Oakes stranded. Lampard had another good
chance with his head that was feebly executed, and Jesper
Gronkjaer rounded Oakes but slipped before sliding his
shot wide as Wolvess midfield and defence were shredded
Both first half goals were
superb examples of the angular, incisive build-ups weve
started to enjoy this season. Gudjohnsen fed Hasselbaink,
who held the ball strongly and laid it sideways to Lampard
just outside the box. The England international jinked
sideways for room and drove home with his left foot.
William Gallas, magisterial
in the centre in Marcel Desaillys absence, started
a move that led to Duff, who waited cleverly, then fed
Hasselbaink on the shoulder of Craddock, and Jimmys
left-foot drive beat Oakes all ends up.
Local fans bemoan the fact
that the board opted for the West Brom, rather than Birmingham
approach to Premiership survival. Of their bargain-basement
summer purchases, pacy Camara looked liveliest without
causing any real concern, his one good chance in the first
half blocked by Lampard
The Wanderers fans, though,
were cheering every tackle like a goal and howling at
every refereeing decision that went against their struggling
team. As it was, referee Matt Messias had a very good
By the end of the game, the
same fans were sportingly applauding a masterful display
by the visitors.
Once the second goal went
in there looked no way back for Wolves. Butler was booked
for going though on Hasslelbaink, and the ludicrously
puffed-up Inces name taken for a petulant lunge
Any hope Dave Jones might
have had of consolidating and then nicking something back
seemed to disappear soon after the break as Chelseas
players, ticking to the tidy destruction work of Claude
Makelele (making his first Premiership start) found their
rhythm straight away.
The old Hasselbaink-Gudjohnsen
pairing looked back to its best as the Dutchman delivered
a superbly flicked pass into his partners path,
but Gudjohnsens well-timed run ended with a shot
straight at the keeper.
Then Makelele put in the
Icelander down the left. He rounded Irwin easily and slid
the ball sideways for Duff to stroke home his first Chelsea
At 3-0, Wolves suddenly had
a flurry of blocked half-chances, and eventually substitute
Cameron delivered their only shot on target.
Now Claudio Ranieri rang
the changes. Joe Cole earned his longest run in Chelsea
blue as sub for Jesper Gronkjaer, booked in the first
half and then visibly hurt on landing after challenging
for a header. Cole was busy, inventive and worked hard.
Still Chelsea came forward.
A delightful drag back from Gudjohnsen in midfield took
out two Wolves players, and his sweet pass to Hasselbaink
deserved better than the wide shot it finished with.
Now Hernan Crespo replaced
Hasselbaink. Wolves fans clapped appreciatively. But not
for long, as with his first touch he coldly thrashed home
Duffs driven cross into the box from 10 yards. It
is his first goal for Chelsea, but more was to follow.
Chelsea fans responding
to a tabloid newspapers exclusive that
Chelsea are targeting a well-known Swede as our next manager
sang, We dont need Eriksson!
Now Robert Huth came on for
the tiring Johnson, Gallas switching to right back as
Wolves started to pump it long across to their left. Huth
was soon booked for a foul on Ince, who had looked mad
with frustration all afternoon. Terry joined him in the
referees notebook for a block on Camara.
Wolves hit the bar twice
in the same late move when Chelsea failed to clear Butlers
inviting cross. Iversen, in particular, should have exploited
the visitors momentary confusion.
Crespo was looking the part
against the now feeble hosts. Gallas enjoyed one of those
pacy surges of his and fed Gudjohnsen, who cut the ball
back cutely, but it was cleared before reaching the prowling
Crespo, who was showing shrewd movement.
His second, and Chelseas
fifth, came after excellent work down the right by Joe
Cole. The Argentinian let the midfielders pass ball
curl towards his body on the edge of the box and stroked
it home with his right foot.
Even if it was more Barnsley
than Man Utd as far as our enjoyable 5-0 thrashings have
gone, this was lovely, inspiring stuff.
We are top of the league!
sang the 3,000 Chelsea fans amongst new Molineuxs
biggest ever crowd of 29,208. And theres absolutely
no doubt who is going to have the more enjoyable season.