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Wolves 2 Chelsea 1 – player ratings

By Tim Spiers | Wolves | Published:

Wolves correspondent Tim Spiers rates the players after a 2-1 win over Chelsea.

Wolves' players and staff celebrate in front of the South Bank (© AMA / Sam Bagnall)

Rui Patricio

A return to form after a couple of dodgy weeks. His main contribution was to produce a truly excellent save to tip Willian's free kick over the bar. That's why they paid the big bucks for him. 7/10

Ryan Bennett

Dropped at Cardiff but responded to his instant recall with a superb performance. A game-changing moment came when he raced back quicker than Usain Bolt/Adama Traore to catch Willian and deny him a free shot at goal with a thunderous and perfectly-timed sliding tackle that took man and ball. Exceptional. And what about those long throws?! Wolves' answer to Tessa Sanderson has produced, from nowhere, an alternative route to goal. He wasn't just floating them in either – they had dip and bend and caused Chelsea problems. More clearances (five) and more headers won (five) than anyone in the side. 9/10

Conor Coady

Unlucky with the goal – he's trying to block the shot and it's skimmed off him into the corner. A couple of really important blocks and interceptions on a generally solid evening. 7/10

Willy Boly

A couple of errors in the first half but he improved after the break and was crucial to Wolves seeing this through. Lucky not to concede a penalty when stopping Morata from tapping home. 7/10

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Matt Doherty

Three assists for the season for Doherty whose ball across goal for Jota to slam home was perfectly placed and weighted. Defensively he coped very well with Hazard, whose dazzling feet must have had him seeing stars at times. Like the team, a return to form. 8/10

Joao Moutinho

Rediscovered his mojo with a gutsy performance. Tireless work ethic (he was certainly flagging towards the end) and he combined well with Saiss. Good strength to beat the limp Willian to the ball in the build-up to the winner. 7/10

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Morgan Gibbs-White

Became the youngest player to set up a Premier League goal against Chelsea since Francis Jeffers for Everton in 1999. Gibbs-White wasn't even born then. A huge responsibility was on his shoulders, playing in a new role against such quality opposition, but the 18-year-old played with the carefree nature of a kid down the local park. His enthusiasm, positivity and energy are all infectious and we've got used to it over the last couple of years, but it's the serious quality Gibbs-White is now showing that's really impressing. Two moments stand out – that gallivanting first-half run when he took on two players and of course the game-changing assist when he dropped the shoulder and picked out Jimenez with a perfect pass. Only 27 touches but boy did he make them count. This kid can be a star. 9/10

Romain Saiss

Restored to his familiar midfield position and gave an excellent display, protecting the defence with tenacity. Considering he had players the standard of Willian, Hazard and Kante to deal with, Saiss performed admirably and has given Nuno something to think about for Sunday. He was the ideal foil for Neves last season and Saiss showed here that he can do a job in the Premier League too. 8/10

Ruben Vinagre

A big improvement on his last two appearances. Combined well with Jota and he swung over a couple of teasing crosses in the first half. How he was booked for that ball-winning tackle we'll never know. Needs to work on his distribution but this display shows he has the tools in his locker to play at this level. 7/10

Raul Jimenez

A fourth goal of the season for Jimenez who after a couple of poor games with shots flying all over the place struck his effort low and true to beat Kepa. Gave the ball away too often but worked his socks off for the team. 8/10

Diogo Jota

Diogo is back! Not only did he finally net his first goal since April, arriving in familiar fashion at the back post to slam home Doherty's low cross, but he also caused Chelsea numerous problems with a galvanising attacking performance. Gave absolutely everything to the cause and epitomised the 'never give up' approach Nuno had called for. His best display of the season. 8/10

Substitutes

Helder Costa (for Gibbs-White, 72)

Wasted a golden opportunity with Wolves four-on-two when he ran down a cul-de-sac. Otherwise he did well to stretch play and help relieve pressure on the defence. 6/10

Leander Dendoncker (for Jimenez, 81)

He exists! An unexpected and long-awaited Premier League debut for the £12m Belgian who enjoyed a rousing first minute when he harried Loftus-Cheek and won a free-kick, earning the instant adoration of the Molineux faithful. Hopefully he can kick on and launch his Wolves career from here. N/A

Ivan Cavaleiro (for Jota, 88)

Helped close out the game. N/A

Subs not used: Ruddy, Hause, Traore, Bonatini

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

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