Wolves stun Chelsea with amazing comeback win

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  • Loftus-Cheek scores for third-straight PL game
  • Jimenez, Jota scored for Wolves
  • Second defeat in three games for Chelsea
  • First victory in seven for Wolves

Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Chelsea 2-1 at Molinuex on Wednesday, as they stunned Maurizio Sarri‘s with a four-minute spell in the second half.

Chelsea led through Ruben Loftus-Cheek‘s deflected first half goal, but Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota scored in quick succession to deliver a famous victory for Wolves.

With the win they move up to 12th place on 19 points, while Chelsea slip to fourth place on 31 points and are now 10 points behind leaders Man City who they play on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

Chelsea had the majority of the ball but Wolves threatened on the break as N'Golo Kante gave the ball away and a poor touch at a pivotal moment let down Diogo Jota.

But it was Chelsea who took the lead. Loftus-Cheek picked up the ball on the inside left channel, drove towards goal and hit a shot which Conor Coady nodded past his own goalkeeper to put the visitors 1-0 up. The goal was eventually awarded to Loftus-Cheek, as his positive impact continued.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Willian went close with a free kick before the break as Rui Patricio tipped his superb curling effort over the bar as Chelsea dominated the first half.

Wolves had no answer to wave after wave of Chelsea attacks, although they did improve slightly before the break as Raul Jimenez headed just over. Willian should have made it 2-0 in the first half but Ryan Bennett made a wonderful last-ditch tackle.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

In the second half Eden Hazard played in Loftus-Cheek and his perfect cross towards Alvaro Morata saw Willy Boly dive in and somehow deny the Chelsea forward who wanted a penalty kick.

Morata was probably correct as Boly’s challenge from behind was reckless, and the Spaniard then headed a glorious chance over from a cross as Chelsea knocked at the door for a second.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

But it was Wolves who came roaring back, as they hit Chelsea twice in four minutes.

First, Jimenez was played in by youngster Morgan Gibbs-White and he slammed the ball straight at Kepa Arrizabalaga and it somehow went in to make it 1-1.

Moments later Wolves were 2-1 up as Matt Doherty was found on the right and he found Jota at the back post to slot home and spark wild scenes among the home fans in Wolverhampton.

Chelsea went close through Marcos Alonso and Cesc Fabregas late on but the Blues lost in the PL for the second time in the last three games.

Championship Focus: Wolves go 10 clear; playoffs race logjam

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Wolverhampton Wanderers’ most likely path to not winning — and running away with — the 2017-18 Championship title required a defeat to second-place Bristol City on Saturday. Alas, in dramatic fashion, it wasn’t to be and their lead only ballooned larger.

Once again, the Championship is beginning to sound a lot like the PL.

[ PL ROUNDUP: Chelsea leapfrog Man United for 2nd ]

Wolves extended their unbeaten run to 11 games (nine wins) by winning away to Bristol, 2-1, in the two sides’ top-of-the-table clash. The victory, which sent Nuno Espirito Santo’s side 10 points clear of now-second-place Derby County, was sealed by a 93rd-minute winner scored by Ryan Bennett after Wolves erased a 1-0 deficit courtesy of Barry Douglas’s 65th-minute equalizer. It was the first time Wolves had trailed a league opponent since losing to Queens Park Rangers on Oct. 28, the game which preceded their current unbeaten run.

In the Championship, the difference between chasing the second automatic-promotion place and the logjam of the playoff battle is roughly… oh, one or two bad results. Take, for example, the last eight days for Cardiff City.

The Bluebirds were riding high — second in the league, just four points back of Wolves, and unbeaten in six league games — before three straight defeats, including a disastrous showing against 22nd-place Bolton just before Christmas, erased their four-point lead in the race for second and tossed Neil Warnock’s side two spots down the league table, now 11 points back of the runaway leaders.

Outside of the current top-two, the league’s in-form team of the moment is eighth-place Preston North End, winners of five of their last nine and unbeaten during that stretch; Brentford have climbed all the way up to 10th after spending the first two months of the season stuck in the bottom half of the table, and the Bees are suddenly just four points off the playoff places and six clear of the bottom half.

[ PL SUNDAY: Man City go for 19 straight; WBA-Arsenal ]

After 25 of 46 rounds…

Place Team Points GD
1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 58 +27
2 Derby County 48 +18
3 Bristol City 47 +14
4 Cardiff City 47 +12
5 Leeds United 42 +9
6 Sheffield United 41 +9
7 Aston Villa 41 +9
8 Preston North End 40 +5
9 Middlesbrough 38 +8
10 Brentford 37 +7
11 Ipswich Town 36 +3
12 Fulham 36 +2

Premier League 2015-16 season team-by-team reviews: Newcastle to West Ham

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All week at ProSoccerTalk we are reviewing the dramatic 2015-16 Premier League season.

From dishing out awards to looking back at the highs and lows in the as 20 teams battled it out, we’ll have every angle covered.

MORE: All 2015-16 PL season reviews ]

For the full archive of our review content, just hit the link above. Now we are looking at the individual teams alphabetically and analyzing how they fared.

Here’s a look at the 10 teams from Newcastle United down to West Ham United.


Newcastle United

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Newcastle United playes show their dejection after Bournemouth's first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and A.F.C. Bournemouth at St James' Park on March 5, 2016 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Position: 18th
High: Georginio Wijnaldum scored four goals against Norwich in a 6-2 win.
Low: Being relegated for the second time in a decade. A club of this size?!?
Star man: Andros Townsend — With respect to Chancel Mbemba, who also missed plenty of time, Townsend’s arrival in January reinvigorated a miserable attack.
Coach: Steve McClaren proved that many who wander are lost, and Rafa Benitez would need to have almost zero missteps to save the club. He had one big one, a 0-0 draw against Villa.
Grade: F

Norwich City

NORWICH, ENGLAND - MAY 11: Ryan Bennett of Norwich City looks dejected during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Watford at Carrow Road on May 11, 2016 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Position: 19th
High: The 3-2 win over Newcastle on April 2 had the Canaries feeling ready for safety.
Low: The 3-0 loss to Sunderland three weeks later all but ruined those plans.
Star man: Robbie Brady — Their season could’ve been as poor as Aston Villa’s, honestly, had Norwich not bought the Hull City star.
Coach: Alex Neil didn’t save the Canaries, but he came close despite a lack of top-end talent.
Grade: D

Southampton

SWANSEA, WALES - FEBRUARY 13: Southampton players celebrate their team's first goal by Shane Long (obscured) during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Southampton at Liberty Stadium on February 13, 2016 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Position: 6th
High: Thumping Arsenal on Boxing Day or  Spurs on the season’s penultimate match day.
Low: Bouncing out of the Europa League at the hands of Midtjylland.
Star man: Virgil Van Dijk — There were a lot of wonder workers at St. Mary’s this season, but the former Celtic center back was stout, strong and fearsome.
Coach: Ronald Koeman was absolutely the right man to take over for Mauricio Pochettino, even if many of us scratched at our heads at the hiring last season.
Grade: A

Stoke City

Jack Butland of Stoke City during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City at The Hawthorns on January 2, 2016 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Position: 9th
High: Beating Manchester United 2-0 on Boxing Day.
Low: Allowing 12 goals over three-straight losses in April.
Star man: Jack Butland — It’s no coincidence that Stoke’s turn in form was very close to coinciding with his season-ending injury.
Coach: Mark Hughes‘ defense fell apart after a very promising smart. Injuries certainly hurt his chances, but better is needed to take the next step.
Grade: B-

Swansea City

SWANSEA, WALES - MAY 01: Andre Ayew (L) of Swansea City celebrates scoring the opening goal with Gylfi Sigurdsson during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Liverpool at The Liberty Stadium on May 1, 2016 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

Position: 12th
High: Battering West Ham and Liverpool in successive May fixtures.
Low: Getting two points between Halloween and Dec. 20.
Star man: Gylfi Sigurdsson — Andre Ayew was the new shiny toy, but Icelandic star Sigurdsson had plenty of big moments in lifting Swans out of its relegation-threatening funk.
Coach: Garry Monk felt like a hard-luck sacking with Swans in the drop zone, but Francesco Guidolin’s work proved that a fresh take in the team room was all the talented Swans needed to thrive in the PL.
Grade: C+

Sunderland

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - MAY 11: DeAndre Yedlin and Patrick van Aanholt of Sunderland celebrate staying in the Premier League after the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Everton at the Stadium of Light on May 11, 2016 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Position: 17th
High: Beating up on miserable Everton to seal PL safety with a 3-0 win in May.
Low: Going winless from Opening Day until October 25
Star man: Lamine Kone — Jermain Defoe caught fire and scored some massive goals, but Kone stabilized a very leaky back line.
Coach: Big Sam Allardyce isn’t much of a tactician, but his work in the January transfer market kept the Black Cats up.
Grade: C-

Tottenham Hotspur

(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Position: 3rd
High: Walking all over Manchester United 3-0 in a Top Four tilt on April 10.
Low: Throwing away a 2-0 halftime lead and any remaining title chances in a messy, card-filled 2-2 draw at Chelsea in May.
Star man: Harry Kane — Lots of worthwhile players here — Mousa Dembele is criminally underappreciated — but Kane is so much more than a finisher and took his game to new heights this season.
Coach: Mauricio Pochettino should be lauded for a wonderful season, but fans will be licking their wounds after Arsenal passed them on the final day. Twenty-one straight seasons below their rivals. Woof.
Grade: A-

Watford

WATFORD, ENGLAND - APRIL 30: Troy Deeney of Watford celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Watford and Aston Villa at Vicarage Road on April 30, 2016 in Watford, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Position: 13th
High: Clobbering Liverpool 3-0 in December at Vicarage Road, or upsetting Arsenal in the FA Cup.
Low: Losing 4-0 to that same Arsenal side two weeks later.
Star man: Troy Deeney — For scoring and captaining the side, the big man gets the nod over electric striker Odion Ighalo and shotstopper Heurelho Gomes.
Coach: Quique Sanchez Flores did a fantastic job, and is not coming back. Safety first, stability when?
Grade: B-

West Bromwich Albion

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 09: Tony Pulis manager of West Bromwich Albion gestures during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion at the Etihad Stadium on April 9, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Position: 14th
High: Beating Arsenal on Nov. 21 at the Hawthorns.
Low: Upset in the FA Cup by Reading.
Star man: Johnny Evans — Slim pickings here, but Evans was huge given what Tony Pulis wants from his charges.
Coach: Tony Pulis kept his side safe again… at the expense of entertainment. And it’s not like he doesn’t have talent! This is a personal beef of mine, but the Baggies supporters I know expect better football from their club.
Grade: D

West Ham United

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 10: Winston Reid of West Ham United celebrates as he scores their third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester United at the Boleyn Ground on May 10, 2016 in London, England. West Ham United are playing their last ever home match at the Boleyn Ground after their 112 year stay at the stadium. The Hammers will move to the Olympic Stadium for the 2016-17 season. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Position: 7th
High: Winning a London Derby 2-0 at Arsenal on Opening Day was nice, but the final match at the Boleyn Ground was a night for the ages. The fact that it was a thrilling win over Manchester United helped, too.
Low: May 7’s loss to Swansea City cost the Hammers dearly in the race for the Top Five.
Star man: Dimitri Payet — Quite simply sensational.
Coach: Slaven Bilic is that rare breed to make the transition from club playing hero to club managing hero. A near impeccable job from the granite-jawed Croatian, who showed West Ham that their “We can do better than Big Sam” theories were fair.
Grade: A

Crystal Palace 1-0 Norwich: Eagles secure first win of 2016

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Crystal Palace beat Norwich City 1-0 at Selhurst Park on Saturday as the Eagles finally secured their first win of 2016 in the Premier League.

The game winning moment arrived in the second half as Jason Puncheon curled in the winner, but Norwich had plenty of chances to score in an end-to-end game in south London.

With the win Alan Pardew‘s side move to 37 points, while Alex Neil‘s Norwich remain just outside the bottom three on 31 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Palace started brightly with Yannick Bolasie racing down the wing and his cross couldn’t quite find Dwight Gayle, then Puncheon missed an absolute sitter.

Norwich started decently but all of the big chances were falling to Palace.

Dieurmerci Mbokani blocked Yohan Cabaye‘s goalbound effort amid plenty of bodies in the box as the Canaries were hanging on.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Norwich felt they should have had a penalty kick as Matt Jarvis latched onto a loose ball in the box and collided with Damien Delaney but referee Michael Oliver waved away the calls.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

In the second half Palace started well and should’ve been ahead as a corner was flapped at by John Ruddy under pressure from Mile Jedinak but Scott Dann somehow fired over the bar at the back post.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

Palace finally took the lead in the 68th minute as Puncheon cut inside and curled home into the bottom corner. 1-0.

Moments later Wayne Hennessey saved superbly from Ryan Bennett‘s free kick and Robbie Brady‘s shot was blocked brilliantly by Pape Souare.

Wilfried Zaha had a drilled shot saved by Ruddy as the game opened up late on, with Yannick Bolasie having a shot cleared off the line by Jonny Howson.

Norwich pushed for an equalizer late on with Bennett again going close, but they couldn’t find one as Alex Neil’s side lost for the first time in four games.

Swansea 1-0 Norwich: Swans win relegation six-pointer

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  • 9 point cushion for Swans
  • No win in 9 for Canaries 
  • Sigurdsson wins it with cool finish

Swansea City beat Norwich City 1-0 at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday to make it two wins in a week and ease their relegation fears.

The only goal of the game came from Gylfi Sigurdsson in a nervy encounter in South Wales. Norwich went close on multiple occasions but couldn’t equalize as they’re now eight games without a win.

With the win Swansea move on to 33 points and sit in 16th place, while Norwich remain on 24 points and is in 18th place.

[ MORE: Watch full match replays

A tense encounter played out in the early stages with both relegation battlers unwilling to take the game to the other.

Swansea did force the issue a little more by Andre Ayew headed harmlessly wide and at the other end Nathan Redmond had a shot on target, the only one of the first half.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Norwich were forced into a sub in the first half as Robbie Brady had to come off and Ryan Bennett came on in his place with Russell Martin slotting into center back in a defensive reshuffle.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings

With an hour on the clock the first goal of the game arrived as Sigurdsson was found inside the box by substitute Leroy Fer with a sublime pass and the Icelandic international coolly slotted home. 1-0 to the Swans.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Norwich responded by sending on two strikers in Dieumerci Mbokani and Patrick Bamford and the Canaries put Swansea’s goal under intense pressure.

Redmond clipped the post in the 89th minute after a shocking clearance from Wayne Routledge and Bamford went close, but the Swans held on for a vital three points with their manager Francesco Guidolin still not on the sidelines after suffering a chest infection.