Wolves 2 (Podence 66, Neto 90) Chelsea 1 (Giroud 50)
Wolves fought from behind against Chelsea to earn their first Premier League win in three matches with an injury time winner from Pedro Neto.
With the game goalless at half-time, it was the visitors who took an early lead into the second period through Olivier Giroud’s close-range effort, but Wolves were not disheartened and showed great fighting spirit to get themselves back into the tie.
Firstly, Daniel Podence levelled the scores when he twisted and turned in the box before firing into the back of the net, and with time running out, Wolves caught Chelsea on a swift counter attack, and Neto raced through the visitors’ defence to fire a perfectly placed hammer effort into the bottom corner.
Reverting to a back five following four consecutive matches playing a four-man defence, Wolves had to soak up the early Chelsea pressure before launching an attack of their own.
Nelson Semedo used his pace down the right to weave in between the Chelsea midfield to get to the edge of the box before taking a pot-shot at goal from 20 yards out, but the ball deflected behind for a corner. From the resulting set-piece, Romain Saiss headed over the crossbar and into the North Bank.
Moments later, Conor Coady was the next player in gold and black to attempt a shot at Edouard Mendy’s goal, after a Neto cross found its way to the captain, but his long-range effort flew well wide of the upright.
The visitors had their first glaring opportunity to open the scoring go begging around the 20-minute mark as Giroud headed over from about four yards out after meeting a Ben Chilwell corner.
That chance for Chelsea didn’t throw Wolves off their attacking stride, as Neto brought a good save from Mendy following a really well worked team move. Intricate interplay between the old gold forward line saw the Fabio Silva flick the ball into the path of his Portuguese teammate who let from with a left-footed strike, only to see the Blues keeper palm his effort around the post.
Var had its first decision to make with just over ten minutes to go until half time when the video assist reviewed whether Coady had handled the ball in the box. Although the ball did hit the Wolves skipper on the hand, it was decided that there was nothing Coady could do to avoid the collision, with Giroud climbing on his back and heading the ball onto the Liverpudlian’s hand from close range.
Chelsea had another opportunity to take the lead moments before the half-time whistle blew when, from a corner, Kurt Zouma leaped highest in the box before thumping a header on goal, but the ball bounced back off the crossbar before deflecting away for a goal-kick.
Half-time: Wolves 0 Chelsea 0
At the half-time break, Wolves introduced USA international Owen Otasowie from the bench in place of Leander Dendoncker, with the 19-year-old Academy graduate making his Premier League debut in gold and black.
However, it took the visitors fewer than five minutes of the second-half starting to take the lead. Moments after Reece James had wildly wiped the ball over from 25-yards, Giroud made no mistake from close-range as he slammed the ball goalwards at the near post, and despite his best efforts, Rui Patricio was unable to keep his effort out.
Silva had the ball in the back of the net for Wolves on 55 minutes, but the youngster was denied his first senior goal for the club after being adjudged to have been offside when he connected onto Neto’s shot-cross at the far post and tapping the ball past Mendy.
Wolves continued to put pressure on the visitors and their way back into the game came through Podence. Moments after Boly had hit the ball over from a corner, from the resulting set-piece, the ball found its way to the feet of Podence from Otasowie, and the forward cut onto his right before faking and shot and then firing home at the near post, with a deflection wrongfooting the Chelsea stopper.
The hosts had the chance to take the lead with just under 15 minutes left on the clock when Adama Traore played in Semedo. The wing-back raced his way into the box, but instead of unleashing a shot himself, the Portuguese international cut back and passed to Otasowie whose effort was blocked and cleared away by Chelsea.
Minutes later, Wolves were handed a penalty when Neto went over in the area under a challenge from Reece James, but after a review from VAR, and consulting his pitchside video screen, referee Stuart Atwell reversed his decision.
As the five minutes of additional time arrived, both sides were pushing for the winning goal, and it fell to Wolves. From a quick break, substitute Vitinha played in Neto down the left and with Traore acting as a decoy, the Wolves forward raced through on goal and powered his shot across Mendy and into the bottom corner of the net.
With seconds left on the clock, Chelsea pushed all their players forward to get the equaliser, but Wolves held strong and broke again with Neto, but after running the entire length of the pitch and bearing down on goal, the forward hit his shot over the crossbar. The final whistle blew immediately which made sure all three points were safe for the side in gold and black.
Full-time: Wolves 2 Chelsea 1
Wolves: Patricio, Semedo, Boly, Coady, Saiss, Marcal, Neves, Dendoncker (Otasowie 46), Neto, Podence (Vitinha 90), Silva (Traore 61).
Unused subs: Ruddy, Hoever, Ait-Nouri, Kilman.
Chelsea: Mendy, James, Zouma, Silva, Chilwell, Kante, Mount, Havertz (Kovacic 71), Werner, Pulisic, Giroud (Abraham 71).
Unused subs: Kepa, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Gilmour, Jorginho.
Referee: Stuart Atwell