Chelsea 1 Wolves 1: Last-gasp Hazard strike rescues Blues

Wolves was cruelly denied at the death as Chelsea earned what may yet be a crucial point in the race for the Premier League's top four.

Eden Hazard pulls the trigger and scores, to rescue a point for Chelsea.   -  Getty Images

Eden Hazard's last-gasp strike rescued a 1-1 draw and potentially salvaged Chelsea's top-four ambitions in a lacklustre showing against Wolves on Sunday.

The home team was staring down the barrel of a costly defeat courtesy of Raul Jimenez's textbook counter-attacking goal in the second half.

But Chelsea's genius forward drilled home in injury time to secure a point that meant the momentum garnered from three straight wins over Tottenham, Fulham and Dynamo Kiev was not totally lost.

Maurizio Sarri's side can only be as far as four points adrift of the top four after Manchester United visits Arsenal on Sunday, while Wolves miss out on a first league double over Chelsea since 1974-75.

Chelsea enjoyed a near monopoly in terms of possession in the first half, but clear-cut chances were at a premium.

Gonzalo Higuain did get in behind only to be easily foiled from a tight angle by Rui Patricio, while tentative claims for handball after a mis-control from Jimenez in the area fell on deaf ears.

Wolves had not managed an effort on goal let alone on target, but its patience was rewarded with a classic counter for the opener after 56 minutes.

Diogo Jota and Jimenez combined brilliantly in midfield before the former had the wherewithal to play in the Mexico striker, whose prodded effort hit Cesar Azpilicueta and squirmed past Kepa Arrizabalaga.

That sparked Chelsea into life and Pedro's dipping try tested Patricio, while Higuain just failed to get a touch from close range from the resulting corner.

A diving Patricio kept out Willian's bending effort but, just when it looked like Wolves was home and hosed, Hazard struck.

The Belgium forward – who was otherwise a peripheral figure – was afforded too much space and Chelsea's talisman clinically found the bottom-right corner from 20 yards for his 50th Premier League goal at Stamford Bridge.

What does it mean? Chelsea clinging on in race for fourth

Tottenham's untimely domestic wobble has blown the remaining two spots for the top four wide open. Defeat here could have seen Chelsea finish the day as far as five points off fourth, but Hazard's rescue act keeps Sarri's men firmly in the hunt.

Jimenez strikes against top six again

Jimenez has proved quite the scourge for the 'big six' this season. No player outside of those teams has been involved in more goals against them (six – four goals, two assists). His 12 Premier League goals are also the joint-most in a single campaign for Wolves, level with Steven Fletcher.

Hapless Higuain

Chelsea failed to really penetrate the Wolves defence and Higuain was as culpable as anybody else for that fact. The Argentine striker showed some decent touches, but rarely posed a goal threat.

What's next?

Chelsea, leading 3-0 from the first game, will look to complete the job against Dynamo Kiev in Thursday's Europa League last-16 return leg, while Wolves – perhaps slightly deflated by the late goal – has an FA Cup quarterfinal with Manchester United to prepare for.

Key Opta Facts

- After a five-game winning run against promoted sides at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea has now failed to win two of its last four such home matches in the Premier League.
- Wolves is now unbeaten in six league games in London this season (W3 D3), its longest such run in the capital in the top flight since November 1974 (11 games).
- Only Cesc Fabregas (six) has assisted more Premier League goals for Chelsea’s Hazard than Willian (five).
- Wolves duo Jota (one goal, two assists) and Jimenez (two goals, one assist) have directly combined for each of their sides' last three Premier League goals.

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