Wolves beat wasteful Chelsea 2-1 on Christmas eve

Wolves, who are unbeaten at home in the league since September, moved up to 11th with 22 points

By Reuters

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Wolverhampton Wanderers' Gabonese midfielder Mario Lemina celebrates after scoring his team's first goal. — AFP
Wolverhampton Wanderers' Gabonese midfielder Mario Lemina celebrates after scoring his team's first goal. — AFP

Published: Sun 24 Dec 2023, 8:17 PM

Wolverhampton Wanderers continued their stellar home form to heap misery on Chelsea on Christmas eve with a 2-1 win in the Premier League on Sunday, thanks to second-half strikes from Mario Lemina and Matt Doherty.

After a goalless first half, Lemina headed in a Pablo Sarabia corner six minutes after halftime to give Wolves the lead before Doherty secured the win with a second goal in added time while Christopher Nkunku scored his first goal for Chelsea.

Wolves, who are unbeaten at home in the league since September, moved up to 11th with 22 points, level with 10th-placed Chelsea but trailing the London side on goal difference.

Chelsea have now lost four away games in a row as Mauricio Pochettino's side fell to their eighth league defeat of the season.

"We feel very disappointed because we deserve much more. We are not clinical enough. We created chances and had the possession," Pochettino said.

"It is a young team and many players are in the Premier League for the first time. They need to adapt. We need to learn from these games. We are in a position Chelsea should not be in."

Chelsea's best chance of the first half fell to Raheem Sterling who stole the ball from last man Joao Gomes and sprinted into the Wolves box with only the keeper Jose Sa to beat.

Sterling went for the finish himself despite having two team mates including Cole Palmer unmarked to his right. The shot was blocked by Sa, laying waste to the three-on-one opportunity.

Chelsea paid for their wastefulness six minutes after halftime when Lemina was left poorly marked and his header from Pablo Sarabia's corner sailed into the net.

"It's amazing, the support we have here is fantastic. I hope we can keep pushing on and making the fans happy," Lemina told Sky Sports.

Wolves doubled their lead when Benoit Badiashile failed to deal with Hugo Bueno's cross and an unmarked Matt Doherty guided his shot past Chelsea keeper Djordje Petrovic.

"(The second goal was) very important because they nicked a goal at the end. I tend to have a knack over my career of being in the right place at the right time and I slotted it away," Doherty said.

"The kind of atmosphere that's generated around the stadium. Our record against top six teams is good. We've beaten most of them here and away. We're doing really well."

Christopher Nkunku netted a consolation goal for Chelsea, his first for the London club since his close-season move, but they could not find an equaliser.

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