Wigan Athletic against Chelsea, the title decider. It should have been so much different, but an offside goal and a sending off killed what looked to be a great Latics performance early on, but hey were still in the Premier League and we will be stronger for the experience.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE – Stamford Bridge – Sunday May 9th 2010
Anelka 6, 56
Lampard 32 (pen)
Kalou 54
Drogba 63 (pen), 68, 80
Cole 90

An end of season extravaganza at Stamford Bridge. A win for Chelsea and they would be crowned Barclays Premier League Champions but if Manchester United bettered their result then the title would be heading to the North West.

Wigan fans grew in numbers over the weekend with Manchester United fans routing for the Latics and wanting a massive favour from the team from the DW. With the Latics being massive underdogs and some bookmakers offering around 50/1 for a Latics win the odds were definitely stacked against the Latics.

A new look Latics formation was unveiled for the travelling fans, 5-4-1, which provided enough cover when defending but two extra players when attacking. This signalled Wigan’s intent to go for a win and limit any Chelsea damage.

Wigan got off to a bright start, taking the game to their opponents. Hugo Rodallega with the first meaningful Latics attack with a shot on goal but this was blocked by Chelsea’s Alex. This was one of Latics’ only chances throughout the game as within 6 minutes Chelsea had the lead. Florent Malouda provided the ball to allow Nicolas Anelka to get the Blues’ first goal of the day and Chelsea’s first towards the title.

Not downbeat from the setback Wigan went straight back on the attack. Charles N’Zogbia saw a left footed effort sail just past the left post. The Latics ace cut in from the right hand side, similarly to his effort at home against Arsenal, but this time was just off target.

Wigan, with their new formation, managed to soak up much of the Chelsea dominance with ease and there was not to much for the defence to worry about. With so much defending to do there was little chance to attack but fans and players alike could accept this against such a magnificent opponent.

Then came a moment of controversy on 31 minutes. Gary Caldwell was adjudged to of brought Frank Lampard down in the area and saw red for his challenge. Replays may suggest that the red card was harsh and the implications of the sending off would have a massive effect on the outcome of the game. Lampard duly dispatched the penalty past Mike Pollitt to give the hosts a two goal cushion.

What was to follow was an onslaught from the hosts. Didier Drogba was providing fellow country man Steve Gohuri and Emmerson Boyce with all kinds of problems and was unfortunate not to benefit with a goal himself after 34 minutes.

The Latics managed to see out the half with only two goals against them and after a sending off it can be said that the half time score was not to bad.

At the start of the second half both teams exchanged chances but it was Chelsea who put the final nail in the Latics coffin. Salomon Kalou made it 3-0 with a shot deep inside the Latics area past Pollitt and into the corner. Chelsea soon went into cruise control mode. Nicolas Anelka grabbing the fourth and Chelsea were out of sight after 56 minutes of the game.

A highlight for all was the Chelsea fan who made his way on to the pitch with the corner flag. He ran from the Shed End to the centre spot with the flag and tried to implant it in the centre. He failed and made a mad dash for the other end of the ground, only to be wrestled to the ground by some of London’s finest police.

After the fourth it seemed as if Wigan had finished. 63 minutes saw Drogba get his first with a lovely headed goal and Chelsea’s fifth of the game. His second soon followed on 68 minutes and Chelsea were six to the good. The afternoon was starting to get a little embarrassing for the Latics. Drogba completed his hat-trick and collected the golden boot on 80 minutes with his third and Chelsea’s seventh. Chelsea were deservedly Champions and celebrations were already in full flow with the Bridge well and truly rocking.

There was still time for one more goal. Ashley Cole managed to get his name on the score sheet on 90 minutes with a well driven shot into the bottom left corner of the Latics goal to give the hosts an emphatic 8-0 lead.

After conceding 9 at White Heart Lane the Latics faithful were used to such a score line and the capital this season hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Latics.

After the final whistle celebrations got into full flow with the lifting of the Trophy which many Latics fans stayed for and showed their appreciation for such a fantastic team this season.

Report by Simon Gregory

Cockney Latic Man of the Match: Momo Diame

Referee: Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire)
Attendance: 41,383
1 Petr Cech 12 Mike Pollitt
26 John Terry 25 Mario Melchiot
33 Alex 17 Emmerson Boyce
3 Ashley Cole 5 Gary Caldwell
2 Branislav Ivanovic 31 Maynor Figueroa
8 Frank Lampard 2 Steve Gohouri
15 Florent Malouda 14 Charles N’Zogbia

Michael Ballack

27 Mohamed Diame
39 Nicolas Anelka 8 Ben Watson
11 Didier Drogba 24 James McCarthy
21 Salomon Kalou 20 Hugo Rodallega
40 Henrique Hilario 13 Vladimir Stojkovic
19 Paulo Ferreira 6 Hendry Thomas
35 Juliano Belletti 39 Jordan Mostoe
18 Yuri Zhirkov 21 Tomasz Cywka
24 Nemanja Matic 7 Paul Scharner
23 Daniel Sturridge 9 Jason Scotland
10 Joe Cole 11 Victor Moses
6′ Goal Nicolas Anelka    
31′     Red Card Gary Caldwell
32′ Goal Frank Lampard (pen)    
41′     Yellow Card Steve Gohouri
49′     Yellow Card Charles N’Zogbia
54′ Goal Salomon Kalou    
55′ Yellow Card Salomon Kalou    
56′ Goal Nicolas Anelka    
58′ Player Off Salomon Kalou
Player On Joe Cole
58′ Player Off Branislav Ivanovic
Player On Juliano Belletti
61′     Player Off Ben Watson
Player On Hendry Thomas
63′ Goal Didier Drogba    
68′ Goal Didier Drogba (pen)    
70′ Player Off Michael Ballack
Player On Nemanja Matic
72′     Player Off Mohamed Diame
Player On Paul Scharner
74′ Yellow Card Didier Drogba    
80′ Goal Didier Drogba    
82′     Player Off Hugo Rodallega
Player On Victor Moses
90′ Goal Ashley Cole    

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