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Hazard denies Wolves victory at the death

Chelsea 1 Wolves 1

Wolves were denied a rare double over Chelsea and a first victory at Stamford Bridge in 40 years after Eden Hazard equalised in time added on.

Raul Jimenez gave Nuno Espirito Santo’s side a 56th-minute lead with the visitors’ only shot on target and it looked like being enough, only for the Belgian to drive Chelsea level at the death.

In truth it was a fair result with Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio denying Gonzalo Higuain and Pedro after Wolves had taken the lead.

The result kept Wolves in seventh place on 44 points – already a club record in the Premier League – 13 behind sixth-placed Chelsea with eight games to go.

It also meant Wolves remain unbeaten in London over six games this season, becoming the first promoted side to do so since Blackburn in 1992-93 with three wins and three draws, while Jimenez joined Steven Fletcher (2011-12) on 12 goals as the club’s joint record scorer in a Premier League season.

Wolves made five changes to the team that beat Cardiff 2-0 eight days ago, with Patricio, Matt Doherty, Jonny Castro Otto, Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho replacing John Ruddy, Ryan Bennett, who is suspended, Adam Traore, Morgan Gibbs-White and Ruben Vinagre.

Higuain had the first effort on target, and Patricio took no chances, gathering a low, tight angled drive at his near post.

The Argentina international wasted another chance when he glanced Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross comfortably wide.

Predictably, Chelsea had most of the possession in the first half, but Wolves defended brilliantly to limit Patricio’s work to that one save.

Mauricio Sarri’s side continued to boss things after the break and David Luiz’s free kick right on the edge of the box was blocked for a corner after Doherty fouled Hazard and Chelsea fans screamed for a penalty.

Doherty also escaped a booking when it looked like he could have been more heavily punished for the challenge.

But Wolves shocked their hosts by taking the lead with a superb move on the counter attack which has become a hallmark this season.

Neves seized on Willy Boly’s hooked clearance and he fed Jimenez, who exchanged passes with Diogo Jota, before the Mexican’s shot took a deflection and trickled over the line.

The goal meant Jimenez has become Wolves’ joint record scorer in a Premier League season, joining Steven Fletcher from 2011-12 on 12.

Desperate to reply, Chelsea threatened quickly and Patricio got down low to deny Higuain, before getting his fingertips to a long-range effort from Pedro.

Wolves’ hearts were in their mouths at the resulting corner, which arrowed right across the face of goal with Higuain unable to connect at the far post.

Chelsea won plenty of set-pieces as the game wore on, but Patricio and his defence dealt with everything thrown at them, with Boly in particular perfectly positioned to throw his body in the way of shots and crosses.

Nuno, looking to shore things and protect the lead, introduced Morgan Gibbs-White with nine minutes left for Jota, who again linked up impressively with Jimenez.

Chelsea continued to seek an equaliser and substitute Willian forced a full-length save by Patricio with a curling effort from the edge of the box, before fellow replacement Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s shot deflected off target.

Wolves were desperate to hold on to their lead but Hazard had other ideas and, following a short corner, got away from Neves and unleashed a powerful low drive through a crowd of players and into the bottom corner from 25 yards to level with a moment of real quality.

 

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Emerson, Jorginho (Willian 72), Rudiger, Kante, Kovacic (Loftus-Cheek 57), Pedro (Hudson-Odoi 61), Hazard, Higuain.

Subs not used: Caballero, Christensen, Barkley, Giroud.

Wolves: Patricio; Saiss, Coady, Boly; Doherty, Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho, Jonny; Jimenez (Traore 88), Jota (Gibbs-White 82).

Subs not used: Ruddy, Kilman, Costa, Cavaleiro.

Referee: Michael Oliver.

Attendance: 40,692.