Premier League: Chelsea 6-0 vs. Wigan Athletic: First West Brom now Wigan; Red-Hot Chelsea on a Roll
The Blues repeated last week’s success against West Brom and scored six goals again. With only two games into the new season, Chelsea are on top of the Premier League with 12 goals.
Wigan could take comfort in thinking they controlled the opening period of the first half, but the truth is, Chelsea were never threatened. The Blues were calm and collected as they got used to the pace of the game, and that’s when the goals started coming in.
Florent Malouda, who scored two goals in last weekend’s match, opened the scoring in the 33rd minute. Left back Ashley Cole played a beautiful ball to Frank Lampard, who made an attempt at goal. The shot was low and hard, but Wigan keeper Kirkland managed to save it. However, Malouda, who was waiting in the penalty area, pounced at the opportunity and clipped the ball in the opposition's net.
The second and third goals came from French striker Nicolas Anelka, who only a few days ago had been given an 18 match ban by the France Football Federation. Anelka’s response was classic. He claimed he had already retired from international football and called the FFF a bunch of clowns. He said the 18 match ban had him “dying with laughter.” Today’s performance just proved the saying he who laughs last, laughs best. And Anelka was doing a lot of laughing, after scoring 2 goals within 5 minutes and putting his team 3-0 up.
Watching the match, nobody could have thought that this was the same team that had stumbled to a 3-1 loss to Wigan at the DW Stadium in last season’s corresponding fixture. They more than made up for it at Stamford Bridge, where the Blues destroyed Wigan 8-0 in the last game of the season, winning the title with style.
Steve Gohouri and Maynor Figueroa from Wigan made some nice attempts, but those did not trouble Petr Cech too much. The clean sheet king had no problem swatting away their long balls. Charles N’Zogbia was arguably Wigan’s best player; he had been left out of the Blackpool game because of his poor attitude, but had to be called back in because of injury problems and tried his best to make up for it.
Chelsea’s defence, which was predicted to fall apart with the departure of Ricardo Carvalho, remained solid. Captain John Terry had a few slip-ups adjusting to new partner, Alex. But the Brazilian tank covered up for him, showing signs of a successful centre back partnership. Ivanovic and Ashley Cole were brilliant too, Cole going down the left flank as usual, creating chances and feeding the ball to potential goal-scorers.
Wigan did manage to score a goal, but it was ruled as offside and not given. James McCarthy’s long range effort beat Cech but ended up coming back off the post right in front of Mauro Boselli. Boselli, the new arrival from Estudiantes, tucked the ball in. However, it was offside and Cech maintained a clean sheet.
The fourth goal came by from a collective effort by the Ivoirian internationals, Drogba and Palou. Drogba singlehandedly beat much of the Wigan midfield and defence and ended up with the ball in front of the goal; however, he spotted fellow countryman, Kalou, closer to goal with a better chance to score. He unselfishly passed to him, and Kalou effortlessly scored.
The fifth goal was also possible because of Drogba’s vision and Kalou’s delivery. Drogba shot in a cross from the left, which Kalou headed in at the far post. Going into the match, Drogba had said that he was looking for his third successive hat-trick, which would have made him the first player in 64 years in the history of the Premier League to achieve that feat. However, during the match that seemed to be the last thing on his mind, as he scored none, but set up most of the goals.
Just when everyone thought the Blues were done, Benayoun scored the sixth. Right back Paulo Ferreira’s cross ended up at the former Liverpool player's feet and he neatly tucked it in the back of the net. The six goal victory today means that the Blues now have 12 goals in 2 matches, and 29 goals in their last four league matches.