Chelsea 1-1 Wolves – Hazard rescues Blues in stoppage time to salvage important point

Two points dropped despite dominating the match

Eden Hazard scores a stoppage-time equaliser to rescue what could possibly be a crucial point for Chelsea against Wolves at Stamford Bridge.

Despite dominating for pretty much the entire match, the Blues were unable to penetrate the visitors’ deep defensive line and frustrated Maurizio Sarri’s side until Hazard’s well-driven shot from 18 yards to get the hosts a point.

Photo Source: @ChelseaFC (Twitter)

Chelsea was looking to maintain momentum after three successive victories in all competitions following their Carabao Cup final defeat against Manchester City.

But against the run of play, Wolves surprisingly took the lead on a windy afternoon in south-west London, with Raúl Jiménez (56) breaking the deadlock with the visitors’ only shot on target, with a heavily-deflected strike that crept over the line.

Jimenez’s goal jolted Chelsea into action, with Pedro and Gonzalo Higuaín going close, but it took a dramatic intervention from top-scorer Hazard to finally breach the Wolves backline.

The point was not enough to move Chelsea back into the top four. Had they won they would have moved fourth, two points behind Tottenham. Nonetheless, the Blues still have a game in hand against Brighton (Date TBA) so there is still a good chance of a top 4 place being obtained at the end of the season and thus… Champions League secured for next season.

Match Statistics

Possession (%) – Chelsea 76%, Wolves 24%
Shots – Chelsea 22, Wolves 2
Shots on Target – Chelsea 6, Wolves 1
Corners – Chelsea 13, Wolves 0
Fouls – Chelsea 8, Wolves 14
Offsides – Chelsea 1, Wolves 2
Yellow/Red Cards – Chelsea 1/0, Wolves 4/0

(Bonus Stat) 20 – With Eden Hazard equalising in stoppage time, the Belgian has singlehandedly contributed to 20 of Chelsea’s 57 points in the Premier League so far this season. Influential.

Post-Match Thoughts

• Perfect opportunity to capitalize on teams around us wasted.
• Two points dropped; not one point gained.
• Zero blame towards Sarri; all falls on lack of quality from the players.
• Nothing but frustration from today.

Chelsea Player/Manager Ratings

Starting XI
Kepa – 6, Had a quiet game and once again not at fault for conceding a goal.
Azpilicueta – 6, Offered nothing going forward and didn’t help the right-hand sided players when necessary. Don’t believe he suits this style of football.
Rudiger – 5, One of his worst performances of the season. Clear signs that his form has dipped in recent weeks. maybe it’s time for Christensen to get a run of games in the league.
David Luiz – 6, Nothing bad, but nothing good either.
Emerson – 6, Offered a decent amount going forward but wasn’t at his best in defence.
Kanté – 6, Not his day today. Looked uncomfortable with the ball and slow without.
Jorginho – 7, Solid on the ball as always and worked hard to help from a defensive perspective when needed. Sarcastic cheers towards him when substituted were unacceptable.
Kovačić – 5, After recent weeks of good performances, that form came to an alarming halt. Offered nothing both defensively and going forward.
Pedro – 6, Felt like we witnessed his display against Dynamo Kiev, just without scoring. Wasteful with the ball and played far too deep.
Higuaín – 5, Poor display. Looked off the pace and offered nothing.
Hazard – 7, MOTM. If there was a game to showcase how dependent we are on his ability, it was today. Team looked toothless, inept and lost without him saving us at the death. Absolutely vital we keep beyond this season.

Substitutions
Loftus-Cheek (58′ for Kovačić) – 7, Showed enthusiasm and dynamism when he came on and showed why he’s become important to our style of play and a must-pick for the starting line-up. Shame his back issues are holding him back at the moment.
Hudson-Odoi (62′ for Pedro) – 6, Once again showed glimpses of what he was capable of, but had a more frustrating time trying to break down the Wolves defensive line. His movement and pace off the ball did help in a positive manner nonetheless.
Willian (72′ for Jorginho) – 6, Did a decent amount for the time he had on the pitch.

Manager
Maurizio Sarri – 7, Totally faultless for today in my opinion. Completely down to the players’ lack of quality in the final third to break down Wolves’ resolute defensive display until Hazard’s piece of individual brilliance in stoppage-time. Changed the system up in-game, all the subs were the right choices at the right time… he threw the kitchen sink at the game.

All down to the players today, not him.

Terry Sazio

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