English Premiership

Mata lifts Chelsea's spirits

2011-11-26 19:15
Mata (File)

London - Chelsea winger Juan Mata gave under-fire boss Andre Villas-Boas the perfect tonic as his superb display inspired a comfortable 3-0 win over Wolves at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Villas-Boas has come under heavy criticism in recent weeks following Chelsea's woeful run and some reports claimed he could be sacked by owner Roman Abramovich despite only joining the club from Porto in the close-season.

Abramovich responded by insisting the 34-year-old would be allowed time to build a team capable of winning the Champions League.

But after three defeats from their last four league games and a Champions League loss at Bayer Leverkusen, this much-needed victory - secured thanks to goals from John Terry, Daniel Sturridge and the majestic Mata -- went someway to easing the pressure on Villas-Boas.

There were two changes from the side that succumbed to defeat in Germany with Ashley Cole returning in place of Jose Bosingwa while Frank Lampard was dropped to the bench for Oriol Romeu.

Wolves have struggled of late as their manager Mick McCarthy has also seen his position come under scrutiny.

And the former Republic of Ireland coach was left furious after a mistake from Nenad Milijas allowed Chelsea to take a sixth minute lead.

The Serbian was dispossessed in midfield by Ramires, whose shot was tipped around the post by Wayne Hennessey.

Then from the resulting corner Terry headed home unmarked from Mata's delivery as Villas-Boas and the majority of Stamford Bridge breathed a sigh of relief.

Villas-Boas was made to feel even better when Sturridge scored a second in the 29th minute to finish a neat move.

Cole fed Raul Meireles who teed up Mata. He danced his way into the box and crossed for Sturridge, who poked home from close range.

The England striker then had an effort from 25-yards that drew another good save from Hennessey.

Soon after McCarthy had substituted the ineffective Milijas but the change did little good for Wolves, as Mata made it 3-0 just before half-time when he stroked home from Cole's cross after Wolves had failed to clear their lines.

The visitors, who were toothless in the opening 45 minutes, looked marginally better after the break, although only briefly as Stephen Ward went close.

But they almost paid a price for throwing players forward as Sturridge surged down the other end only to be denied by Roger Johnson.

Hennessey then made two excellent saves in quick succession to deny Sturridge and Mata.

Chelsea sensed this match was over and Villas-Boas introduced Lampard. But the home fans started chanting the name of 50 million striker Fernando Torres.

And the Spain international was given a little under 15 minutes to impress as he replaced Didier Drogba.

The former Liverpool man looked lively and had a curling effort that was plucked out of the air by the impressive Hennessey, who did not really deserve to be on the losing side after this performance.

Read more on:    epl
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Maritzburg floor Ajax

2014-04-18 20:41

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which team do you think will win the English Premiership?

 
 
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.