BY PAUL LAGAN at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea got out of jail with a last gasp equaliser from Eden Hazard but blew a great chance to resurrect their season and charge for fourth place in the Premier League, instead they drew 1-1 at home to Wolves in a dismal, tepid and frankly embarrassing performance.
Wolves had one chance and took it, Chelsea only marginally had more and Hazard’s long-range right-footer covered over the cracks in their otherwise numbing display.
The visitors sat back, defended deep, threw themselves at the ball, when needed and generally showed more passion and strength.
Statistics will show Chelsea had 80 per cent of the ball, but the one stat that matters means the Blues stay in sixth place.
Chelsea dominated the opening exchanges, pilling pressure on the visitors with their possession, without creating too much discomfort for their defenders.
Excellent set-up play between Gonzalo Higuain and N’Golo Kante almost reaped dividends on 20 minutes but the Argentina striker’s right-footed angles shot, was parried away fo a corner by Rui Patricio.
Chelsea’s inability to break down a resolute defence saw one of the dullest 45 minutes in recent Stamford Bridge history.
There were no changes at half-time from either side.
Chelsea had a good shout fro a penalty on 50 minutes when Eden hazard has hacked down. But referee Michale Oliver judged the offence took place just outside. David Luiz’s free-kick was deflected away for a counter.
In Wolves first attack on 56 minutes they scored. A quick breakaway saw the Blues cut apart and Raul Jimenez clipped effort from six yards out took a slight deflection before clipping over a diving Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who was already warning up, to come on, instantly replaced Mateo Kovacic.
A long-range effort by Pedro, saw Patricio tip the blaster over the bar.
Higuain just missed a tap-in as the Blues put goal-pressure on the Wolves
Callum Hudson-Odoi was next to enter the fray, replacing Pedro on 61 minutes.
William was head coach Maurizio sarri’s last throw of the die on 71 minutes. He brought off Jorginho – much to the delight of a section of fans who cheered the Brazil-born Italian’s replacement.
Deep into added time, Hazard’s one piece of brilliance earned a point – his long-range right-footer zipped past Patricio and smashed into the back of the net.
Sarri’s position must come up for scrutiny again.
Next week the Blues face Everton away at Goodison Park.
Teams: Arrizabalaga, Rudiger, Jorginho, Kante, Higuain, Hazard, Pedro, Kovacic, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Emerson
Subs: Caballero, Barkley, Loftus-Cheek, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Willian, Christensen
Wolves: Rui Patricio, Doherty, Neves, Jimenez, Boly, Coady, Jota, Jonny, Saiss, Moutinho, Dendoncker
Subs: Rudy, Cavaleiro, Costa, Gibbs-White, Vinagre, Traore, Kidman
Referee Michael Oliver