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Shearer defends Wolves and slates Sarri

Alan Shearer has again defended Wolves, this time savaging Chelsea boss Mauricio Sarri’s criticism of Nuno Espirito Santo’ side for ‘not wanting to play’.

Wolves drew 1-1 at Stamford Bridge thanks to Raul Jimenez’s goal which was their only on-target effort and one of only two attempts for the visitors all match.

In contrast Chelsea had 76 per cent possession and 22 efforts, of which six were on target, including Eden Hazard’s last-gasp equaliser.

Sarri said: “We had to play against a team that didn’t want to play. They stayed in the last 35 metres of the pitch.

“They defended very low (deep) without playing. But we needed to move the ball faster and run more off the ball because it’s impossible to score against 10 players in 20 metres. No, they were not organised. They defended very low (deep) so they didn’t need any organisation.”

But pundit Shearer, who has regularly praised Wolves this season, said on BBC’s Match Of The Day: “There’s only Liverpool and Man City with a better defensive record away from home than Wolves. They were well organised.

“Chelsea didn’t beat Wolves because of Chelsea’s poor play, not because Wolves weren’t organised.

“They were too slow and ponderous and too many times, instead of having width or passing the ball forwards, they decided to go sidewards and backwards and not move Wolves around enough.

“The system Wolves play is five at the back and three in midfield. They’re tight and compact and if you’re going to get through them, it’s got to be quick.

“If you want to beat Wolves, stretch them and get out wide and get balls into the box but Chelsea didn’t do that.

“They didn’t do it quickly enough at all. I mentioned them taking too many touches and look at Jorginho; he should have played it forward, not do what he does here, take a touch, another touch, and decide he’s got to go back now, because that will suit Wolves, and it did.

“They did this brilliantly and Raul Jimenez was magnificent up front. He held the ball and showed great centre forward play.”

Diogo Jota and Jimenez combined brilliantly for Wolves’ goal and the duo have combined directly for the team’s last three Premier League goals.

Ryan Bennett said in a recent interview with BBC Radio 5Live that Wolves had tried to move Diogo Jota closer to Jimenez to give the team more of a strike duo.

Shearer said: “When you play that way, you need a centre forward able to hold it up and someone else who’s willing and can run and can get in and around him and can his pace, and I thought they were very good. They’ve got a system they stick to, and they’re excellent at it.”

In contrast, Shearer was highly critical of Chelsea striker Gonzalo Higuain.

Singling out the Argentina international over his movement, the Premier League’s 260-goal record scorer said: “Watch Higuain here. There was no ball into the box but the reason why was there was no one in the box. He should have been 10 yards further forward, he isn’t.

“Then he should have been 10 yards further forward for the ball to come into the box again but he wasn’t.

“There was no one in the box do they couldn’t put it in there. So what did they end up doing?

“They went sidewards and backwards, and Wolves won the ball again, comfortably. In the second half, that didn’t change at all.

“There was then one person in the box with three people marking him. No wonder they didn’t put it in because they weren’t going to win anything.

“Still, no movement from any player, and what happens? It went sideways, backwards, allowing Wolves to close them down, give them no space and take the problem away. And I thought they were brilliant at that.”