Wolves 1 Chelsea 0: Carlo Ancelotti future in grave doubt after Jose Bosingwa

06 January 2011 09:05
Clad from tip to toe in black, Carlo Ancelotti had obviously dressed for the occasion.

Save for a very dark blue shirt and matching tie, the Italian's sombre attire reflected Chelsea's mood as the champions of English football trudged dejectedly away from a tumultuous Molineux.

Taking control: Wolves stunned Chelsea after taking the lead on five minutes through Jose Bosingwa's own goal

The colour of his clothing may be symbolic, too, as the Italian's weakening grasp on his job matched that of his side's hold on their Barclays Premier League crown.

Never mind beating Manchester United in March. Defeating a Wolves team that was bottom of the pile proved beyond Ancelotti and his increasingly disillusioned bunch, who look anything like title contenders.

Short of confidence, lacking in defence and attack, there was none of the swagger that has been the trademark of Chelsea sides of the past.

Passes went astray, chances were missed and offered up more in keeping with teams in relegation trouble. And now it just remains to be seen just how long and how deep the slump is.

Under fire: Carlo Ancelotti's position as Chelsea manager is far from secure after dropping yet more points

The title has surely been conceded.

Nine points behind leaders United, who have a game in hand, and Sir Alex Ferguson would have enjoyed his claret last night as the final score filtered through.

Not that Wolves didn't deserve it. Given the fillip of Jose Bosingwa's fifth-minute own goal after defending at a corner that would have embarrassed schoolboys, Mick McCarthy's side chased down these points as a starving dog would trail a juicy bone.

Ancelotti trotted out the normal platitudes. Yes, he was convinced about the character of the players. Yes, he thought that quality would shine through.

But as must be pointed out, after one victory in nine and 10 points from the last 11 games, it looks as though the only place it is being demonstrated is on the training fields at Cobham. This is the club's worst run since 1995-96.

Firing blanks: Saloman Kalou slides the ball past Wayne Hennessey but wide of the goal

Why, Chelsea's boss even guaranteed this victory in the pre-match build-up. He looked a little sheepish after the final whistle. McCarthy wore a wry smile. 'I did mention it,' he said when quizzed.

'I made a mistake,' said Ancelotti, 'but I did say that. I said it because I know this team very well. I don't see there is a problem in this squad. They are working hard with a good spirit but I think it's not enough. We have to maintain confidence.

'I'm sure that this moment will change and we will be able to fight for everything. But it's not a good season. We can still fight for a lot of things . . . it's difficult to come back in the Premier League. But we still have the FA Cup and the Champions League.'

Asked about his own situation he added: 'What can I say? I would be surprised (to be sacked) but it is not my decision. I hope I can continue in this job because I'd like to stay here because I have a good relationship with the players and the club.'

For the visitors, it was a similar defeat to that suffered in November at St Andrew's. At least, the scoreline was similar.

Tempers flare: Didier Drogba (third right) clashes with Stephen Hunt after the full-time whistle

There were chances. At least three in the second half that, when the confidence is flowing and finishing is instinctive rather than considered, would have been put away.

But Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey only really enjoyed one hairy moment towards the end of the first half, fortunately sticking out his right boot to deflect a slowly rolling ball around the post.

Three opportunities - good ones - came and went as two one-onones ended with shots being screwed wide. Didier Drogba smacked a post with the other.

It took more than a regulation stop from Cech as early as the fourth minute to prevent Ronald Zubar, Wolves' right back, finding the net with a 30-yard drive off his less favoured left foot.

All gold: Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey (left) and George Elokobi (right) celebrate after the final whistle

The defender controlled Branislav Ivanovic's header clear from a weak corner before swinging a shot that took a deflection and forced Chelsea's keeper to push the ball for another corner.

If that was slack, what followed was even worse. Hunt's corner kick carried just about enough strength to reach the near post. Somehow it evaded Ashley Cole, who appeared to jump out of the ball's way.

It bounced before deflecting into the net off the knee of Bosingwa, no more than a yard from goal. McCarthy was scarcely able to believe his luck.

'Look, we are more than likely only going to have 10 really good days in a season,' said the Wolves boss. 'The rest of the time we are going to have to put up with feeling absolutely rubbish in the morning. So let's enjoy this. It was a fantastic effort and fantastic result for us. John Terry said we shouldn't be in the bottom three as we were coming off and I happen to agree with him.

'But let's have it right. We go to Manchester City next. That should be a piece of cake, shouldn't it?'

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Source: Daily_Mail