Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Wolves inflict Christmas misery on Chelsea — Sport — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News – Guardian Nigeria


Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Northern Irish defender #02 Matt Doherty (R) shoots and scores his team second goal during the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Chelsea at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on December 24, 2023. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)
Wolves inflicted a fourth defeat in six matches on Chelsea on Sunday, beating the London side 2-1 in the first Christmas Eve Premier League match since 1995.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men dominated possession at Molineux but wasted their chances in a captivating game, littered with careless mistakes by the visiting side.
Mario Lemina and Matt Doherty put Wolves 2-0 in front but they were made to sweat when Christopher Nkunku pulled one back on his Premier League debut.
The defeat means a miserable Christmas for inconsistent Chelsea, who are stuck in 10th place in the Premier League after their fourth defeat in six league games, with Wolves behind them only on goal difference.
There were chances at both ends early in the game.
Nelson Samedo burst forward but could not find Matheus Cunha on the left before Armando Broja stumbled on the ball in the box at the other end when well placed.
Chelsea’s Nicolas Jackson was also guilty of failing to make the most of some good openings.
Chelsea wasted a gilt-edged opportunity to take the lead shortly after the half-hour mark when Raheem Sterling caught Joao Gomes in possession 40 yards out and drove forward.
The England forward was one-on-one with Jose Sa with two players to his right but he opted to shoot rather than pass and it was saved by the Wolves goalkeeper.
Wolves had a chance to break the deadlock in the closing moments of the half when Hwang Hee-chan burst through but he blasted over from an angle.
The home side started the second half brightly and came within a whisker of taking the lead when Chelsea’s Lesley Ugochukwu deflected Joao Gomes’s shot onto the outside of the post.
But they broke the deadlock in the 51st minute when Lemina did not even need to get off the ground to head a Pablo Sarabia corner home.
Substitute Nkunku came agonisingly close to equalising when his shot was hacked off the line.
Instead, Wolves doubled their lead in stoppage time.
Substitute Hugo Bueno crossed and Chelsea were only able to block the ball as far as the waiting Doherty, who finished calmly from close range.
France international Nkunku pulled one back when he headed home in the 96th minute but Gary O’Neil’s side hung on to take all three points.

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