Chelsea down Wolverhampton Wanderers 5-2

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Substitute Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's late hat-trick gives Chelsea a 5-2 win over relegation strugglers Wolverhampton Wanderers in the English Premiership.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:06 IST
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Substitute Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink celebrated his 32nd birthday by scoring a late hat-trick to give Chelsea a 5-2 win over relegation strugglers Wolverhampton Wanderers in the English Premiership on Saturday. The west London side had looked to be heading for a shock defeat as Wolves took a 2-1 lead shortly into the second half, before Frank Lampard equalised and then Hasselbaink's three late goals ensured victory. Chelsea are second in the table, just six behind league leaders Arsenal but having played a game more. Wolves are bottom and look to be heading back down to the First Division. Saturday's newspapers in England were once again full of speculation regarding the future of Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri - namely that the national coach Sven Goran Eriksson is already lined up to replace the Italian at the end of the season. So the visit of the bottom side in the Premiership, Wolves, seemed like a perfect opportunity for Ranieri's men to give their manager a boost with three points. And all appeared to be going to plan when Mario Melchiot strode on to Joe Cole's through-ball to open the scoring in only the fourth minute. Wolves clearly hadn't read the script, though, as they equalised midway through the half. Chelsea skipper John Terry was dispossessed by Henry Camara, who then slotted the ball in for his second of the season. Amazingly, in the 57th minute Wolves took the lead. From Mark Kennedy's corner, Jody Craddock powered home a header - and on sheer effort it was no less than they deserved. Ranieri sent on Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink for his 200th Premiership appearance on his 32nd birthday - and shortly after, Chelsea equalised, Frank Lampard drilling the ball in from 25 yards. And Ranieri's decision to bring on the Dutchman proved to be a masterstroke. In the 77th minute he collected a pass from William Gallas before rifling a brilliant drive into the top corner. Brave Wolves were finally killed off after 87 minutes as Hasselbaink took a pass from Damien Duff and coolly scored his second and Chelsea's fourth to take his Premiership tally past 100. And the Dutchman made it a perfect birthday present, completing his hat-trick in stoppage time. (AP)

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