Top teams always respond.
And with every passing performance – win, lose or draw – you’d have to say Wolves look a formidable outfit.
They lost in the most painful way imaginable in the week and having gone behind again today, it was all the more impressive they came roaring back to take Chelsea’s place in the top half of the table.
Joao Gomes was back in the side doing Joao Gomes things – wrestling back possession high to create the opening for Matheus Cunha to equalise.
And what a day for his compatriot, packaging everything we’ve consistently seen from him of late to unleash a devastating haymaker of a performance.
Premier League goal number seven of the season owed to good fortune, but his timing for number eight and composure from the spot for number nine – having won the penalty himself with a typically penetrating run – marked him out as the elite attacker on display.
Pedro Neto might have something to say about that, I suppose. He was the architect for two of the goals, most notably rinsing Thiago Silva for the third, to further enhance an already huge reputation.
The mind boggles when considering the combined value of Cunha, Neto and Hwang in the current market. Have three individuals ever enhanced their value so much in a 20-odd game stretch?
They must credit Gary O’Neil for that upturn in fortune because the shape, style and tactics of the team suit those forwards perfectly.
Chelsea paid more for their two central midfielders than we did for our entire team but I wouldn’t swap them for Gomes and Lemina. They are an efficient and effective unit, covering the ground, stepping in at the right times and feeding passes to the front line.
Ait-Nouri is another unique talent – one I still struggle to understand or quantify – but the hybrid role given to him by O’Neil in this fluid Wolves shape suits his game perfectly. He might have scuffed his shot that somehow found it’s way into the goal anyway, but the fact he was arriving there in the first place will do for me. If he adds some quality to his final ball, there’s no ceiling to his career.
Add on top a back three that have the necessary combination of grit, power and technical ability to keep us afloat at the other end and all the components are there for a performance and result like this one.
A first win at Stamford Bridge in 45 years. A first double over Chelsea in 49 years. A first Premier League hat-trick for any Wolves player away from Molineux.
Records to enjoy but more to pursue.
This team can go further.