Monday, 20 February 2017

Molineux Stadium

Wolves 0-2 Chelsea

18th February 2017

The scoreline here may perhaps suggest a fairly routine win for the Premier League side this evening, but in reality it was anything but.

As, for an hour or so, I felt Wolves matched their illustrious visitors, and it was only once they had began to run out of first steam, and then ideas, that the likes of Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Nathaniel Chalaboa began to exert their grip on the midfield.

It could all have been so much different though, had George Saville put away his 5th minute opportunity.  Bad Luck some might suggest, after his shot came back off the Chelsea post but in reality, given a free-swipe from eight metres out, his failure to hit the real target was little less than criminal.

During the rest of the first half the hosts gave the Chelsea defence more than a few scares, with John Terry, Kurt Zouma and Nathan Aké each enduring their own panicky moment.

But momentum appeared to incrementally shift in  favour of the visitors after the break, and the sole tactic Wolves appeared to be left with was hopeful punts up field in the general (often very general) direction of Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.  Much to Aké's delight and relief , I am sure.

Chelsea took the lead on 65 minutes, PEDRO heading in unmarked after the unfortunate David Edwards had been left attempting mark both the goalscorer and Fabregas, once his defensive colleagues had all been drawn out towards the ball on the Chelsea right.  Diego COSTA's strike in the dying minutes put a deserved gloss on things for the visitors, who were by this point well in control.  Indeed had been for half-an hour.

Panorama of Molineux Stadium.

I really liked Molineux, finding it pleasantly jarring to come across the massive golden yellow edifice in the middle of a residential area opposite ASDA.

I am aware the place was uncharacteristically chock-full to the gunnels this evening, but nevertheless, I should imagine the atmosphere inside, even when half-full could be rather special.  Here, both ends made a sufficient din to more than make up for the rather more sedate folks who appeared to populate the Billy Wright Stand.  And when Costa's 89th minute goal went in the home support, rather than making the traditional mass exodus, burst out in spontaneous applause for their side.  Which I really rather admired.

The Chelsea support, for their part were generally so subdued, it was only once they celebrated their side's opening goal did I realise the whole front tier of the Steve Bull Stand had also been given over to the visiting fans.

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