Football News

Wolves edge Chelsea in historic Christmas Eve duel

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 15:00, 24 December 2023

The second-ever Premier League game to be staged on Christmas Eve saw Wolves run out 2-1 winners against Chelsea at Molineux this afternoon.

It’s been 28 years since Leeds was victorious over Manchester United with Gary O’Neil’s men joining this very exclusive group.


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The game’s most pivotal moment came in the 51st minute when Mario Lemina converted Pablo Sarabia’s corner. Furthermore, the Blues have now conceded via this method on five occasions in the league this season – only Burnley, Sheffield United and Bournemouth (six) have conceded more.

It was also Lemina’s third Premier League goal this season, as many as he netted in his opening four campaigns in England’s top division combined (three), but whenever the dynamic Gabonese midfielder does strike it proves to be critical as five of Lemina’s six goals in the Premier League have either been an equaliser (two) or put his team ahead on the scoreboard (three).

As the Blues pushed forward they remained susceptible and Matt Doherty punished them in stoppage time but immediately soon Christopher Nkunku, on Premier League debut, pulled one back though it was too little too late. Doherty’s first goal for Wolves since March 2020 ensured the club registered back-to-back wins over Chelsea for the first time since a run of three between 1973 and 1975.

Nkunku’s consolation meant Chelsea has now scored 21 of their 57 big chances in the Premier League this season, failing to convert more than any other side (36), indeed only Man Utd (-9.5) have a bigger negative differential between Expected Goals and goals scored than the Blues (-6.8), who have netted 29 goals from an xG of 35.8, which should concern Mauricio Pochettino who saw his team lose four straight on the road.

It’s 23 years since the West London club last failed away from home more consecutively (five consecutive road game losses under Claudio Ranieri). Also from a historical standpoint, Wolves have scored in each of their last 16 top-flight home matches, they last went on such a run between August and March in 1969/70.

This victory ended a two-game winless run, and only their second in five games, subsequently leaving Wolves level on points with Chelsea (22) with the Blues situated in 10th place and them one behind.

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