Chelsea 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers: Hazard netted the 92nd-minute equalizer to earn Chelsea a point but chance to move into the Premier League top four.
Knowing they had a chance to end the day back in fourth with a win, Chelsea struggled to conjure a late surge as Wolves grew in confidence after taking the lead, and despite Hazard’s late strike this must be considered a big opportunity missed to gain ground in the race for a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Sarri made six changes to the Chelsea team that beat Dynamo Kiev 3-0 in the Europa League in midweek, with Hazard, N’Golo Kante and Antonio Rudiger among the regulars recalled. Pedro, a scorer in two of his previous three appearances, was preferred to Willian on the right flank.
Wolves arrived at Stamford Bridge having kept just two away clean sheets in the Premier League this season, and it quickly became clear that Nuno Espirito Santo was determined to improve that record.
Hazard succeeded in causing panic in the Wolves defence soon after the break, combining neatly with Higuain and forcing a combination of Romain Saiss and Matt Doherty to bring him down just outside the penalty area. David Luiz’s free-kick caught the top of the Wolves wall before flying high and wide.
But as Chelsea were weighing up how best to pick apart their stubborn opponents, Wolves got the opportunity they had been waiting for.
Wily Boly’s aimless clearance found Ruben Neves, who brought it down and released Jota and Jimenez to drive at the backpedalling home defence. They dovetailed brilliantly, picking their passes to each other as the Chelsea defence parted until Jimenez bundled the ball beyond Kepa Arrizabalaga and in.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Palmieri; Kante, Jorginho (Willian 72), Kovacic (Loftus-Cheek 57); Pedro (Hudson-Odoi 61), Higuain, Hazard.
Subs not used: Caballero, Barkley, Giroud, Christensen.
Wolves (5-3-2): Patricio; Doherty, Saiss, Coady, Boly, Jonny; Dendoncker, Moutinho, Neves; Jota (Gibbs-White 82), Jimenez (Traore 89).
Subs not used: Ruddy, Cavaleiro, Costa, Vinagre, Kilman
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