LONDON (Reuters) – Conor Coady struck deep into time added on to snatch a 2-2 draw for Wolverhampton Wanderers away at Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday, as the Londoners’ prospective new owners looked on from the Stamford Bridge stands.
Coady headed home a cross from substitute Chiquinho in the 97th minute — almost the last action of the game — after Francisco Trincao had pulled a goal back following Romelu Lukaku’s double strike for Chelsea.
Todd Boehly, the man heading the consortium that has agreed terms to take over the club in a 4.25 billion pounds ($5.24 billion) deal, looked crestfallen after cheering Chelsea’s goals enthusiastically.
The London side have won only twice in their last seven league games and have been struggling defensively as they seek to cling on to a Champions League spot with three games to go.
“Of course the taste of the game is bad,” Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta told Sky Sports.
“We are conceding too many goals in the last couple of games which is putting us in a difficult position in the race for the Champions League.”
Wolves, sensing vulnerability at the back, always looked dangerous on the break but suffered a double blow when out-of-form striker Lukaku scored twice in two second-half minutes.
Lukaku, who had not scored in the league since December, claimed his first from the penalty spot in the 56th minute after a lengthy VAR check concluded he had been fouled by Romain Saiss just inside the area.
He put his second away with a fine strike from 20 metres after being put through by Christian Pulisic.
Chelsea had dominated much of the game with Timo Werner and Lukaku having efforts saved by Jose Sa.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek had the ball in the net in the 38th minute following a goalmouth melee but after a long VAR check it was ruled offside.
Boehly, who had celebrated the goal, shrugged and looked confused.
Wolves, eighth in the Premier league table and trailing Chelsea by 17 points, caused the hosts problems in the first half with runs from Rayan Ait-Nouri and Ruben Neves.
And While Wolves’ manager Bruno Lage did not travel with the team after testing positive for COVID-19, his bench’s substitutions brought fresh legs and fresh ideas.
The visitors grabbed a goal back in the 79th minute through substitute Trincao and then upped the pressure, giving Chelsea, who sit third in the table, four points above Arsenal, who play struggling Leeds United on Sunday, a nervous finish.
The terms of Chelsea’s sale to the consortium led by Los Angeles Dodgers’ part-owner Boehly and backed by a private equity firm Clearlake Capital were agreed earlier on Saturday.
The planned takeover, following Roman Abramovich’s decision to sell the club and the subsequent imposition of sanctions on the Russian billionaire by the British government, needs to be agreed by the Premier League.
($1 = 0.8106 pounds)
(Reporting by Clare LovellEditing by Toby Davis)