Eden Hazard was at the rescue on Sunday as Chelsea came from behind to grab a late point against Wolves to keep the hunt for a top-four place alive.
A second-half Raul Jimenez goal looked to have won the match before the Belgian wideman salvaged a draw in the dying moments.
The Blues went into the game in top form on the back of the debacle in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley while the visitors had a great record against the big boys to uphold.
The style adopted by Wolves was the exact same one they have used in those high-profile fixtures as they suffocated Chelsea’s attacks at every opportunity. Gonzalo Higuain and Pedro had the first sightings of goal but neither of their attempts came to anything.
The deep Orange block made it hard for the home side to fashion any chances which led to a rather drab opening 45 minutes which could only get better after the interval.
David Luiz had the opportunity to break the tightly-sealed deadlock with a 20-yard free kick just after half time but it failed to inspire as it clipped the wall on its way over the bar. But after not really getting out of their half for 55 minutes, it was the visitors who managed to get their noses in front.
Raul Jimenez started the counter-attack before finding Diogo Jota who returned the ball to his strike partner as he raced into the penalty area. As the Mexican came face to face with Kepa in front of goal, he was tackled by Cesar Azpilicueta which saw the original shot deflect over the goalkeeper and into the net to send the Wolves fans wild behind the goal. Not only was it one of their first forays in the Chelsea half, it was also their first shot on target of the match.
That goal sparked Maurizio Sarri’s men into life and after Pedro forced a great save from Rui Patricio, Higuain somehow failed to turn home the flicked corner when it looked harder to miss. The visiting defenders were ready to deny everything being thrown at them and they were doing very well as there wasn’t a single pass or shot getting through their resolute wall of players.
The Blues’ failure to break through had turned into deja vu for the home supporters but just as it looked as though they wouldn’t equalise, Hazard produced a moment of magic in stoppage time. He engineered a yard of space just outside the box for the first time in 90 minutes and without needing a second invitation, the 28-year-old curled a fantastic strike beyond Patricio and into the far corner of the net.
It salvaged an important point but it has to be said that those draws will need to be turned into wins if Chelsea want to return to the Champions League next season. They must now look ahead to their Europa League second leg clash with Dynamo Kiev before a trip to Everton on Sunday.