A hat-trick from Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Matheus Cunha again exposed Chelsea’s defensive frailties with the visitors coming from behind to record a 4-2 win at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
It was the second time in a week the big-spending London side had shipped four goals after losing 4-1 to Liverpool on Wednesday and the defeat piled pressure on coach Mauricio Pochettino.
Chelsea, who looked bright at the start, went ahead in the 20th minute through Cole Palmer, whose neatly-taken goal was his 10th for his new side in the Premier League. But two minutes later Joao Gomes found Brazilian compatriot Cunha whose shot took a big deflection off Chelsea defender Thiago Silva.
Wolves’ second just before halftime came from a shot by Rayan Ait-Nouri, which hit Axel Disasi and was given as an own-goal with Chelsea goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic wrongfooted.
Chelsea pushed forward but looked disorganised at the back. At the age of 39, Silva’s lack of pace is showing and his young defensive team mates looked short of experience and cohesion.
Cunha made it 3-1 midway through the second half, after Pedro Neto caught Chelsea on the break, and scored his third from the spot in the 82nd after being brought down by defender Malo Gusto.
Brazilian Silva scored a consolation header with four minutes of normal time remaining but by then many home supporters were already leaving the stadium.
The defeat piles pressure on coach Mauricio Pochettino with Chelsea dropping to 11th in the table and Wolves leap-frogging them to 10th.
He said the players were lacking in confidence and performances were not good enough. “We feel the pressure and the stress to win, to play well to perform. We didn’t have time to feel confident,” the Argentine said.
“I think we are all not good enough. At the moment this is the reality. Myself, also. What we are showing today is we are not good enough. We didn’t manage the situation properly.”
The former Tottenham Hotspur coach added that expectations were high and the players felt those expectations. “At the moment, we are not matching the history of the club… that is true. We need to accept and be critical. We will not give up.”
Several voices in the crowd started singing the name of former coach Jose Mourinho, recently sacked by AS Roma, who led Chelsea to three Premier League titles during his tenure. It was Wolves’ first win at Stamford Bridge since 1979 and the first top-flight double over Chelsea since 1975. They beat Chelsea 2-1 at home on Dec. 24.