Chelsea 2 (Palmer 19, Silva 86) Wolves 4 (Cunha 22, 63 & 82, Disasi OG 43)
Wolves produced a stunning away performance, inspired by hat-trick hero Matheus Cunha, to win at Stamford Bridge for the first time in 45 years and move into the top half of the Premier League table.
The Old Gold recovered from Cole Palmer’s opener with a couple of deflected goals to turn the game around. Cunha fired home the equaliser via Thiago Silva, before Rayan Ait-Nouri’s effort came off Axel Disasi for an own goal on the stroke of half-time.
Wolves then turned on the style and Pedro Neto brilliantly set up Cunha to slam home the third. The Brazilian was then brought down in the area and dusted himself off to complete his hat-trick from the spot, before Silva headed home a late consolation on a memorable afternoon for the visitors.
Gary O’Neil made three changes in West London in a bid to freshen up his side and it had the desired effect, as Wolves started well and could have been ahead in the opening minutes. Neto and Cunha both tested home goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic in the first five minutes.
Six weeks ago Christopher Nkunku scored a consolation at Molineux and he thought he’d bagged again when he nipped in ahead of Jose Sa, only to be denied by a retreating Craig Dawson on the line. Palmer then had a shot deflected wide, minutes before he broke the deadlock.
Moises Caicedo found room in the middle of the park to size up his pass and slip in Palmer, who’d got between Toti and Ait-Nouri, and the former Manchester City man slotted beyond Sa with his right foot.
However, like on Thursday night, Wolves came back. Joao Gomes robbed Caicedo of possession and Neto sent him charging through the middle of the pitch, and once he picked out Cunha, the in-form attacker came inside and let fly with an effort which cannoned off Silva to wrong foot Petrovic. Wolves were back level within two minutes.
The game was in the balance and both sides threatened from set pieces. Raheem Sterling blazed over following a training ground routine, while Cunha headed Pablo Sarabia’s free-kick on to the roof of the net.
Instead, it was Ait-Nouri who’d have the telling say on the first half. Nelson Semedo sent Neto scampering down the right, not for the right time, and his pass was met by the run of Ait-Nouri, whose scuffed effort took another big deflection off Disasi before nestling in the back of the net.
Half-time | Chelsea 1-2 Wolves
Chelsea did threaten soon after the break, when Sterling shot wide following a smart move, but instead it was Wolves the bigger threat throughout. Sarabia curled a free-kick into the side netting and Palmer shot wide, before Wolves moved to take the game away from the hosts.
Not for the first time this season, Neto was incredible down the right. Burning past Silva, looking up and squaring for the onrushing Cunha to slam home into the back of the net.
Cunha then, rather than going for his third, set up Sarabia to volley over, while Nicholas Jackson should have scored when heading wide at the back post.
Like Neto, Cunha was unplayable, and once he used his pace to get the wrong side of Malo Gusto, the Chelsea defender took his legs away and gave no option but for the referee to point to the spot. After a lengthy wait, Cunha dusted himself down and calmly sent Petrovic the wrong way for 4-1.
Silva did pull one back for the hosts, when he glanced into the far corner beyond Kilman. The Wolves captain was able to ensured there was no nervy final moments however, with a brilliant piece of defending to slide in on Jackson and then block Conor Gallagher’s effort while grounded.
An incredible afternoon, as Wolves’ first win at Stamford Bridge since 1979 sees O’Neil’s side move into the top half.
Full-time | Chelsea 2-4 Wolves
Chelsea | Petrovic, Gusto, Disasi, Silva, Chilwell, Caicedo (Jackson 63), Gallagher, Fernandez, Sterling (Mudryk 72), Palmer, Nkunku (Chukwuemeka 72).
Unused subs | Bettinelli, Bergstrom, Badiashile, Madueke, Casadei, Gilchrist.
Wolves | Sa, Semedo, Kilman, Dawson, Toti, Ait-Nouri (H Bueno 87), Gomes (Doherty 90), Lemina, Sarabia (Doyle 72), Neto (Bellegarde 72), Cunha.
Unused subs | Bentley, S Bueno, Griffiths, Chirewa, Fraser.