Chelsea 1-0 Wigan
Chelsea laboured to the most unconvincing of victories against the EPL’s bottom club Wigan, providing the clearest evidence yet that they have conceded defeat in the defence of their EPL title.
The struggling visitors bitterly argued against the award of Florent Malouda’s close-range strike midway through the second half, with their manager Roberto Martinez calling the award a football crime.
The ball fell to the Frenchman on the edge of the six-yard box after Wigan’s in-form keeper Ali Al-Habsi was caught by the flailing arm of Chelsea substitute Fernando Torres as he attempted to punch away the cross.
Before Torres’s introduction, Chelsea struggled to make any worthwhile impact against the well-organised Latics.
Frank Lampard and Ramires both miskicked in front of goal in the opening ten minutes when well-placed. But Al-Habsi comfortably dealt with all other on-target efforts.
And Wigan nearly snatched an equaliser in a rare foray forward when Franco di Santo’s header from Ben Watson’s long-ball was tipped away left-handed by Chelsea keeper Petr Cech.
Torres could have finally broken his Chelsea duck, however, with two minutes remaining after being set up by a thrilling run from Yossi Benayoun. But Al-Habsi superbly saved the Spaniard’s rasping drive.
Tags: Chelsea, Wigan, Florent Malouda