Late Hazard strike denies Wolves all three points at Stamford Bridge


A late Eden Hazard strike cancelled out Raúl Jiménez’s second-half opener as Wolves were forced to share the spoils at Stamford Bridge.

The away side looked destined to leave west London with all three points but the Blues’ Belgian talisman sent Chelsea fans home happy as Maurizio Sarri’s team secured a late point.

Wolves are known as the giant-killers when it comes to facing the top-six but Nuno Espirito Santo’s side sustained early attacks from the hosts.

The home side’s first sight of goal came in the 11th minute, Gonzalo Higuain having a shot deflected wide. Pedro failed to reach a Jorginho through ball not long after as the Blues began to build pressure on Rui Patricio’s goal.

Higuain had the best chance of the half on 19 minutes, testing Wolves’ Portuguese keeper into a save at his near post.

Wolves looked dangerous a couple of times on the counter but were thwarted by the ever-reliable N’Golo Kante.

Jiménez’s handball within the penalty box was ignored by referee Michael Oliver as claims for a penalty continued to ring around Stamford Bridge.

Wolves’ best chance of the half came as Diogo Jota was played through by compatriot Ruben Neves, only for the 22-year-old to handle the ball when trying to control, sparking fury from Santo on the sideline.

The away side had stayed resolute and despite Chelsea have the majority of possession and all of the attempts on goal, the teams went into the break all level.

Emerson’s mazy run started the second half as Chelsea looked to ensure they didn’t live to regret their first-half dominance.

Eden Hazard’s run not long after had the home fans appealing for a penalty as the Belgian got hurled down by Matt Doherty on the edge of the box. Doherty was perhaps fortunate to avoid a second yellow card after picking up his first also fouling Hazard early in the first half.

David Luiz’s resulting free-kick was struck straight into the Wolves wall as Sarri’s side continued to fail to breach the away team’s defence.

With Wolves’ first shot on target they were ahead. A breakaway started by Neves saw Jota and Jimenez exchange passes before culminating in the Mexican’s shot being deflected by Cesar Azpilicueta past Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Wolves had stolen the lead at Stamford Bridge despite not attacking for large periods of the contest.

Higuain almost hit back immediately but a full stretched Patricio denied him.

Pedro then had a long-range effort tipped over just as the hour mark past. Argentinian international Higuain somehow failed to tap home the resulting corner, the Blues looking for an instant response to the shock opener.

Callum Hudson-Odoi has introduced much to the home fan’s delight, the young Englishman looking to attack Jonny at every opportunity.

Frustrations continued as we entered the final 15 minutes, Willian introduced for Jorginho to ironic cheers from the home crowd.

A free-kick from the Brazilian was blocked as Chelsea repeatedly forced set-pieces to no avail.

Any decision given to the visitors was celebrated wild by the travelling supporters as time ticked away on what would be another impressive scalp for Wolves.

Willian’s curling effort was well saved by the busy Patricio with 87 minutes played.

The Chelsea equaliser came in stoppage time. A Ruben Loftus-Cheek corner made it’s way to Willian who immediately fed Hazard. The Belgian shifted the ball onto his right foot before unleashing an unstoppable strike across goal and past the despairing Patricio.

After a solid defensive display Wolves could consider themselves unlucky to concede so late but Chelsea will feel they got the reward for all their attacking play.

Attendance: 40,692

Chelsea XI: Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK), Cesar Azpilicueta (C), Antonio Rudiger, David Luiz, Emerson, Jorginho (Willian, 72), N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic (Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 57), Eden Hazard, Pedro (Callum Hudson-Odoi, 62), Gonzalo Higuain

Chelsea unused substitutes: Willy Caballero (GK), Andreas Christensen, Ross Barkley, Olivier Giroud

Wolverhampton Wanderers XI: Rui Patricio (GK), Matt Doherty, Conor Coady (C), Willy Boly, Leander Dendoncker, Jonny, Romain Saïss, João Moutinho, Ruben Neves, Diogo Jota (Morgan Gibbs-White, 81), Raúl Jiménez (Adama Traoré, 88)

Wolverhampton Wanderers unused substitutes: John Ruddy (GK), Rúben Vinagre, Max Kilman, Ivan Cavaleiro, Hélder Costa,


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