As we approach our Premier League home fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers it’s time to take a trip down memory lane to the 2003/04 season and a classic encounter between the two teams.
Picture via premierleague.com
A season of much change at Chelsea with many superstars arriving in the summer after the take over by Roman Abramovich. Chelsea met Wolves earlier on in the season and ran riot at the Molineux Stadium with an emphatic 5-0 victory.
Match Day Programme: Chelsea v Wolves 27.03.04
You’ll probably notice from the Chelsea lineup (below) that certain players didn’t start the game or were substituted off. This was due to this fixture being sandwiched in between playing Arsenal over two legs in the Champions League.
Ambrosio, Melchiot, Terry, Gallas, Babayaro, Geremi (Hasselbaink 60), Lampard, Makelele, J.Cole (Parker 80), Crespo, Gudjohnsen (Duff 45)
Result: Chelsea 5-2 Wolves
Chelsea Goals: Melchiot (4), Lampard (70), Hasselbaink (77, 87, 90)
Wolves Goals: Camara (23), Craddock (57)
Chelsea were always tipped to win this game but looking back it wasn’t as easy as the score line suggested. I remember being at this match watching nervously at times from the Matthew Harding Lower stand.
Picture via independent.co.uk
Chelsea took an early lead through defender Mario Melchiot after slotting the ball confidently past the goalkeeper. Chelsea were very much dominating the game but Wolves got themselves back level after an out of character error from captain John Terry allowed Camara to equalise on 23 minutes.
The game was 1-1 at half time and Wolves had another chance to lead at the break. To everyone’s surprise Wolves took the lead through Craddock on 57 minutes after Chelsea goalkeeper Ambrosio came unnecessarily off his line to claim the ball from a corner and missed it.
Chelsea were still very much in the game but were probably still in shock that they were losing at home to the bottom team due to individual errors.
Picture via chelseafc.com
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink came on with half an hour remaining and that’s when the game really changed. However, it was Frank Lampard with a fine strike on his 100th consecutive Premier League match who drew Chelsea level with 20 minutes remaining. With the score now at 2-2 there was much more optimism around Stamford Bridge that we could go on to win the game.
Picture via mirror.co.uk
As we entered the final 13 minutes the game completely changed and it was rightfully remembered for a Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink masterclass. A hat trick for Jimmy with some great goals which secured a 5-2 Chelsea win. Wolves just couldn’t cope with him and can only be described as a phenomenal achievement. Jimmy goes down in Premier League history as one of six players to score a Premier League hat trick when coming on from the substitutes bench.
Picture via skysports.com
The classic fixture in 2004 was a top verses bottom clash at the time. 15 years on despite Wolves only just coming back into the Premier League as it stands it’s 6th verses 7th.
I predict a tough game but one Chelsea should win. Hopefully we can continue this positive run of results.
Come On Chelsea!
Written By Chris Wright