Wolves 2-1 Chelsea: Hosts end run of six games without victory
Highlights and report as goals from Raul Jimenez and Diego Jota move Wolves up to 12th
By Oliver Yew
Last Updated: 06/12/18 7:36am
Wolves ended a run of six games without a win in the Premier League by coming from a goal down to beat Chelsea 2-1 at Molineux on Wednesday evening.
The hosts found themselves behind in unfortunate circumstances when Conor Coady inadvertently diverted Ruben Loftus-Cheek's shot past Rui Patricio in the 18th minute.
However, Nuno Espirito Santo's side roared back after the break as Raul Jimenez (59) brought them level before Diogo Jota's first Premier League goal soon after (63) secured Wolves a much-needed three points.
Victory moves Wolves up to 12th in the Premier League table while Chelsea, who are now 10 points behind league leaders Manchester City, drop down to fourth following Tottenham's 3-1 win over Southampton at Wembley.
Wolves: Patricio (8), Doherty (7), Bennett (8), Coady (7), Boly (7), Vinagre (7), Saiss (6), Moutinho (7), Jota (7), Gibbs-White (8), Jimenez (7).
Subs: Costa (6), Dendoncker (n/a), Cavaleiro (n/a).
Chelsea: Arrizabalaga (6), Azpilicueta (7), Christensen (6), Rudiger (6), Alonso (6), Fabregas (7), Kante (7), Willian (7), Loftus-Cheek (7), Hazard (6), Morata (5).
Subs: Giroud (6), Pedro (6), Kovacic (6).
Man of the match: Morgan Gibbs-White
Wolves, who had lost their previous six matches heading into the game, were given an early warning of the threat posed by Chelsea when N'Golo Kante's cut-back picked out Eden Hazard in acres of space at the far post. The Belgium international took the shot on first time but could not generate enough power to beat Patricio.
Patricio had no chance of keeping out the visitors' opener though as Coady could only divert Loftus-Cheek's shot into the bottom corner, wrong-footing the Portuguese goalkeeper in the process.
Willian thought he had doubled his side's lead five minutes later but Patricio scrambled across goal to make a superb one-handed save to keep out the Brazilian's free-kick.
Wolves remained a threat on the counter-attack with Morgan Gibbs-White the main danger and the youngster was denied a clear shooting opportunity by a brilliant last-ditch tackle by Cesc Fabregas, before Ryan Bennett produced one of his own at the other end on Willian just before the break.
Nuno made three changes from the Wolves side that lost 2-1 to Cardiff last Friday. Ryan Bennett, Morgan Gibbs-White and Diogo Jota came in for Helder Costa, Adama Traore and the suspended Ruben Neves.
Chelsea made five changes from the side that beat Fulham last Sunday. David Luiz, Jorginho, Matteo Kovacic, Pedro and Olivier Giroud were replaced by Andreas Christensen, Cesc Fabregas, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Willian and Alvaro Morata.
Despite the scoreline, there were plenty of positives from the first half for Wolves but they could have been further behind but for a brilliant last-ditch tackle from Willy Boly to deny Alvaro Morata.
The visitors were made to pay for that missed opportunity as Wolves scored two goals in four minutes to turn the game on its head.
First, Gibbs-White did well to hold off a couple of challenges before picking out Jimenez, who drilled the ball through Kepa Arrizabalaga and into the back of the net.
Then, Willian lost out to Joao Moutinho, who slid the ball through for Doherty and his low cross was converted at the back post by the unmarked Jota.
Maurizio Sarri threw on Olivier Giroud, Pedro and Mateo Kovacic as he looked for a response from his side but Hazard shot over and Fabregas sliced off target as Chelsea chased an equaliser which never came.
- Wolves have won a top-flight game played on a Wednesday for the first time since beating Chelsea 1-0 at Molineux in January 2011.
- Wolves have defeated 'Big 6' opposition in the Premier League for the first time since February 2011 against Manchester United (2-1) - they were winless in their previous 18 such games.
- Chelsea have lost consecutive away games against newly promoted sides for the first time since December 1999 (vs Watford and Sunderland).
- Each of Wolves' last nine league goals at Molineux have been scored in the second half.
- Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek has scored three goals in his last three Premier League games, as many as in his previous 48 combined in the competition.
- Raul Jimenez has been directly involved in 53% of Wolves' goals in the Premier League this season (8/15).
Man of the Match - Morgan Gibbs-White
Nuno handed Gibbs-White his first Premier League start and the 18-year-old repayed his manager's faith with a performance of real promise.
He was a constant threat to Chelsea with his pace as Wolves looked to counter-attack at every opportunity.
It was his assists that sparked Wolves turnaround. He used his strength to hold off a couple of challenges before playing a perfectly-weighted pass for Jimenez to strike past Kepa.
He was eventually replaced in the 72nd minute by Helder Costa and he left the field to a standing ovation from the Wolves fans.
Wolves' Morgan Gibbs-White (18 years and 312 days) became the youngest player to assist a Premier League goal against Chelsea since Francis Jeffers for Everton in November 1999 (18 years and 298 days).
Nuno Espirito Santo: "I think everybody enjoyed it," he said. "Everybody from Wolves that is. I thought it was a good performance, honestly. Even though, in the first half we were behind the result, the way we stayed organised and compact. That was totally a credit for the boys, the way they work, and the fans, the way they became so noisy and pushed the team. We got the result but we have a long way to go."
Maurizio Sarri: "Of course, after this match we lost confidence but maybe it is better because sometimes my players show me they have too much confidence. It is more important to talk about our attitude after the first goal. We were not the same team as before, we were another team."
Wolves are back in Premier League action on Sunday, live on Renault Super Sunday on Sky Sports Premier League, when they take on Newcastle at St James' Park at 4pm.
Up next for Chelsea is a clash against league-leaders Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday at 5.30pm.