Hazard Hurts Latics On Debut (Sky Sports)
Wigan Athletic 0 Chelsea 2
New Chelsea signing Eden Hazard played a starring role as the European
champions got their Premier League campaign off to a bright start with a 2-0
victory at Wigan.
It went from bad to worse for the hosts just five minutes later, when Hazard
was hauled down by the struggling Ramis in the penalty area and referee Mike
Jones pointed to the spot.
Frank Lampard powered the penalty past Ali Al Habsi to fire Roberto Di
Matteo's men two goals ahead and despite their best efforts, the Latics were
unable to respond.
Roberto Martinez's side dominated much of the rest of the game and pressed
hard for a goal, with Chelsea target Victor Moses, former Blue Franco Di
Santo and new striker Arouna Kone all forcing decent saves from Petr Cech,
but they could not make the breakthrough.
Hazard was Chelsea's highest-profile signing of the close season and it took
the Belgian less than two minutes to show why the Blues splashed out a
He turned Wigan's Ramis rather too easily in midfield and played a perfect
ball through for the onrushing Ivanovic.
The defender was not in his natural territory but he showed impressive
composure to run on and slot the ball past Ali Al Habsi.
Wigan and Ramis' afternoon soon got worse as the former Real Mallorca
defender crudely upended Hazard in the penalty area and Lampard tucked away
The Latics have endured 6-0 and 8-0 defeats by Chelsea in recent seasons and
the DW Stadium must have feared the worst, but those were to be the European
champions' only two shots of the first half.
Wigan captain Gary Caldwell found a way of stopping Hazard, chopping down
the midfielder to earn himself a yellow card in the 11th minute, but the
home side began to settle and dominate possession.
Di Santo, who before the match received Wigan's golden boot award for his
seven goals last season, headed just over from an Emmerson Boyce cross,
while the home fans felt Cech had handled the ball outside his area but
referee Mike Jones disagreed.
In the 38th minute Cech was called upon to make his first proper save from a
rasping Moses effort, the winger showing why Chelsea have been pursuing him
Di Santo had Wigan's clearest opening of the half in injury time when he was
played in by Maynor Figueroa but his first touch allowed Cech to close him
down and a combination of the keeper and David Luiz cleared the danger.
The influential Shaun Maloney was forced off only three minutes into the
second half and replaced by Jordi Gomez, but the pattern of the game did not
For all Wigan's pressure, Chelsea came within millimetres of making it three
in the 63rd minute as Fernando Torres, who had been very quiet, finally
found some space and his shot beat Al Habsi but Ramis redeemed himself a
little by clearing off the line.
Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo then replaced one new signing with another,
Oscar coming on for Hazard, while Kone made his Wigan debut in place of Di
Oscar showed his pace immediately by sprinting past Ramis and firing in a
shot from the edge of the area that flew just wide of the far post.
Gomez had a good chance at the other end when he got his head on a searching
Figueroa cross but he did not make the contact he would have wanted and the
ball dropped harmlessly behind.
The Spaniard did better with a free-kick from 20 yards out after he was
felled by Lampard but Cech was behind his well-struck shot.
Kone, who scored 15 goals in the Primera Division for Levante last
season, should really have opened his account in the 84th minute but powered
a header wide from Gomez's corner.
And moments later the Ivory Coast international forced Cech into a good save
before Gomez acrobatically volleyed the rebound just wide.
Wigan Athletic Al habsi, Alcaraz,
Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, McCarthy, McArthur (Watson 79), Ramis, Moses, Di
Santo (Kone 66), Maloney (Gomez 47)
Subs Not Used Politt, Jones, Crusat, Boselli
Booked Caldwell, McArthur
Chelsea Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Mikel,
Lampard, Hazard (Oscar 63), Mata (Meireles 81), Bertrand, Torres
Subs Not Used Turnbull, Ferreira, Cahill, Essien,
Booked Luiz, Lampard
Goals Ivanovic 2, Lampard (pen) 7
Referee M. Jones