Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wigan Athletic 0 - 6 Chelsea

Drogba stars as champions embarass Latics

Nicolas Anelka
Nicolas Anelka celebrates his first and Chelsea's second
Wigan AthleticChelsea
Florent Malouda (34)
Nicolas Anelka (48)
Nicolas Anelka (52)
Salomon Kalou (78)
Salomon Kalou (90)
Yossi Benayoun (90)
Wigan AthleticChelsea
Shots (on Goal)15(5)11(8)
Corner Kicks00
Time of Possession52%48%
Yellow Cards12
Red Cards00
Stadium: DW Stadium
Attendance: 14,476
Match Time: 16:15 GMT
Mike Dean (Referee)

Updated: August 21, 2010, 7:30 AM GMT

Wigan had no answer to Chelsea's goalscoring machine as manager Carlo Ancelotti's side have already now hit double figures for the season after two games in defence of their Premier League crown.

Ancelotti content after 'tough game'

For the second successive Saturday Chelsea rattled home six, with Nicolas Anelka and substitute Salomon Kalou each bagging a brace, sandwiching one apiece from Florent Malouda and Yossi Benayoun.

It leaves Chelsea sitting pretty at the top of the table and the Latics propping it up, and with the possibility manager Roberto Martinez may now be fearing for his job.

The Blues have now scored a phenomenal 29 goals in just five league games, 14 of those against Wigan as they thumped eight past them on the final day of last season.

As for Martinez's hapless side, they have conceded 25 goals in six league matches, with 10 this season after starting out with a 4-0 home humiliation to Blackpool last weekend.

That had prompted bookmakers into offering staggering odds of 15-1 on a Wigan win, arguably forgetting the Latics had ended Chelsea's six-match winning start to last season with a 3-1 victory.

Certainly for the opening half hour Wigan's performance in contrast to a week ago was as different as night and day.

There was energy, effort and endeavour, and most crucially a lack of errors that was the main reason behind their embarrassing downfall against the Seasiders.

Striker Hugo Rodallega epitomised the difference as he was willing to chase balls out to the left wing, and when required he also tracked back to play his part in defence.

Rodallega was also the man who put Petr Cech under any pressure, although in fairness a 35-yard free-kick and 22-yard drive were meat and drink for a man of the Chelsea goalkeeper's calibre.

But for that initial 30 minutes Chelsea were kept quiet by Wigan's industry, with their only notable effort not really one to write home about as John Obi Mikel skied a 25-yard effort high over the crossbar.

However, Chelsea are not champions for nothing and in the 33rd minute they underlined why, stepping up a gear for the goal that broke the deadlock.

It was simple, incisive stuff as Didier Drogba and Ashley Cole combined down the left to tee up Frank Lampard for a close-range prod that was brilliantly tipped away by captain Chris Kirkland.

But from the rebound Malouda's reactions were too quick for Maynor Figueroa as he was on hand to tap home from a yard out.

Wigan's high work rate kept them in the game until the half-time break during which Martinez would undoubtedly have urged his side to keep it tight after the restart, whilst at least try and press for the equaliser.

But within the space of just over six minutes, such words will have counted for nothing as Wigan found themselves 3-0 down, and with the game over as a contest.

Two minutes and 29 seconds into the second half Chelsea had doubled their lead courtesy of a crisp, clinical strike from Anelka.

Collecting a raking ball from Mikel down the right, Anelka's cause was aided by Figueroa, Antolin Alcaraz and Kirkland pausing for a brief moment as the Frenchman strode into the area.

The trio gave Anelka just enough time to steady himself before he then unleashed a low right-foot shot beyond Kirkland inside his right-hand post.

Fewer than four minutes later Chelsea were heading back to London with all three points as Anelka scored his second.

After chasing a long ball down the left, Malouda chipped in a cross to the far post where Drogba turned the ball back across goal for Anelka to nod home from three yards.

To their credit Wigan refused to roll over, arguably playing some of their best football of the game, albeit all in vain.

Yet Rodallega and the returning Charles N'Zogbia, absent last week after Martinez had questioned his attitude, were denied by brave blocks by Chelsea captain John Terry and Alex respectively.

James McCarthy then saw a deflected effort hit the right-hand post, with Mauro Boselli flagged offside after tapping home the rebound.

Chelsea, though, were not done and after being on the pitch eight minutes after replacing Malouda, Kalou made it four in the 78th minute.

After Mohamed Diame was taken off on a stretcher, Chelsea then rubbed further salt into Wigan's wounds with Kalou making it 5-0 in the 89th minute and another sub in Yossi Benayoun adding the sixth in stoppage time.

  • Ancelotti content after 'tough game'

    Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti was content with his side's performance against Wigan but insisted that, despite the scoreline suggesting otherwise, the Blues endured a "tough game" at the DW Stadium.

    "Wigan tried to come back into the match and in the second half, there was more space for our strikers and we are doing very well in counter-attack now," Ancelotti said.

    "It was a tough game. We had a lot of difficulty in the first half, Wigan played very well. "Maybe they used a lot of energy in the first half and the second half was easier for us. The second half was very good, but in the first half, the match was open.''

    Striker Didier Drogba is hoping goal difference will not come into the equation in the Blues' Premier League title defence despite their second 6-0 win of the campaign.

    " It would be great if we could win the league with a lot of points, but this league is not going to be easy," Drogba told Sky Sports. "Today, Wigan showed it is going to be difficult to come here and take some points.

    "People do not have to look at the goal difference. Today Wigan played well in the first half; in the second half, we tried to improve our game.''

    "We scored six, but we suffered a lot in the first half. The game was difficult and the fact that we scored quickly in the second half made it easier for us.

    "We have known each other for such a long time, so we know what we have to do, we know what we have to do when the game is difficult and we know also what we have to do to make it easier.

    "As I said last week, we are going to have some difficult times, but we want them to come as late as possible.''

    Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, whose side lost 4-0 at home to promoted Blackpool last weekend, now faces the task of lifting his players after a dreadful start to the campaign.

    "Of course we are hurt and the players are hurt first and foremost," Martinez said. "But we need to understand the reasons. I can't fault the effort of the players and the good football in the first half. You need to be a little bit realistic in reading the game - 6-0 is not what it reflects.

    "It is understanding how we correct that and making sure we have something to build on. It was a real contrast. In the first half, I thought they played really, really well. The players gave everything and I felt we were very unlucky to go 1-0 down. But it was two different games.

    "Once we went 3-0 down, we gave everything and it was too difficult for us mentally to maintain the concentration. For me, the result is painful, but I am not taking that into the performance. Today, the performance until 3-0 was completely different and something we have got to build on. What we need now is just the [transfer] window to close and work every day.''
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