CHELSEA 2-1 WIGAN
Well, I predicted a hard fought game and for once, I wasn’t wrong.
Steve Bruce has got to take credit for the job he’s done with Wigan, even with his two best players sold from underneath him, because a draw probably wouldn’t have flattered them. However, unlike a lot of sides in the Premier League, they hadn’t come for a draw and gave our defence a bit of a torrid time in the first half and Petr Cech did an outstanding job of keeping them out.
John Terry’s superb scissor-kicked goal was totally against the run of play, although even that might not have caught Kirkland out if it hadn’t been for Emmerson Boyce’s head. Mind you, even if that was against the run of play, that’s not to say we were finished there, because we created our fair share of chances and certainly Lampard could have had a couple before half-time.
Didier Drogba, who gets his fair share of criticism from me, has to get a mention because he might not have got himself on the score sheet but at least in this game it wasn’t for the want of trying. In fact, if it hadn’t been for an outstanding performance from Titus Bramble, I’ve no doubt he’d have found the back of the net.
Then, in the 82nd minute, I’ve no doubt we all thought – as I’m sure Wigan did – that Olivier Kapo’s equaliser had seen s drop even more points at home this season. But the resurgent ‘never-say-die’ attitude that’s been sorely missed around Stamford Bridge made sure that didn’t happen as Frank Lampard went up against Chelsea old-boy Mario Melchiot, winning the header and looping it over Kirkland with 91 minutes on the clock.
Exit an unhappy Steve Bruce who felt hard done by as far as the ref’s decisions went. He felt a foul should have been given against Mikel in the build-up to Terry’s opener and whilst he may well have had a point, there was way too much time between the incident and the goal to lay any blame on that directly. As for Lampard’s winner and any contact between him and Melchiot, even from someone who thinks Brucie’s pretty sound, it has to be said he was clutching at straws.
As for Chelsea, well we celebrated like we’d won ourselves some silverware but then bearing in mind the win put us up to second in the table when only a couple of weeks ago we were looking like we could end up out of the top four altogether, then fair play to the lads.
CHELSEA: Cech 6, Mancienne 5 (Quaresma 81min), Alex 6, Terry 8, A Cole 6, Kalou 5 (Belletti 75min), Mikel 6, Ballack 5, Lampard 9, Drogba 7, Anelka 6
WIGAN: Kirkland 6, Melchiot 6, Boyce 5, Bramble 8, Figueroa 6, Kapo 6, Scharner 6, Brown 5, Cattermole 6 (Rodallega 69min), N’Zogbia 6, Zaki 6 (Sibierski 90min)