Latics could have been 3-0 up by half time but for great defending and a hell of a lot of luck on Chelsea’s side, but in the end it was a good performance and a very well deserved victory for Latics who didn’t really need to get out of second gear.
I can see the ‘media’ match reports now twisting how Chelsea were unlucky or under par or put in a really bad performance or whatever else they want to spin to try to justify that one of the big four darlings just weren’t good enough to play against a team that is still learning it’s way with their new manager.
Chelsea might not have played as well as they could do, but again I say that this because we played them off the park, never gave them time on the ball and ultimately deserved the 3-1 scoreline, in fact the score flattered the Blues.
The game opened up with Latics taking it straight to the Premier League leaders but didn’t get their own way as Chelsea tried to turn the screw like they had done in the previous six games. But Latics soon got over being put on the back foot for the initials ten minutes and then got a grip on the game.
N’Zogbia was the first to get a telling shot off which drew a good save from Cech and our first corner. The corner was taken short to N’Zogbia who put in a pin point cross for Bramble to plant a header into the bottom corner. The not so loud Chelsea fans were even quieter now and as the half went on they saw their team out played out muscled and out thought, they were very lucky not to go in 3 or 4 nil down.
Chelsea tried the tatctic of trying to roughen Latics up but it was to no avail as we cleanly swept our opponents away, Scharner was unlucky not to double the lead when only a fine save from Cech again stopped hie rasping shot.
The Austrian was relishing his midfield role (in place of Gomez) as he again shaved the crossbar with another shot before setting up Scotland, only for the strikers shot to go high over the bar. Scharner had probably the best chance of the game on 40 minutes, but as he was about to pull the trigger he slipped and the ball went harmlessly out of play.
The half was rounded off by a wild free kick after the very impressive Hendry Thomas was hacked down.
The second half didn’t start off too promising as a massive mistake by Kirkland gave Chelsea an equaliser barely 2 minutes in, but the team reacted well and started piling on the pressure again. The pressure paid off just 5 minutes later as Rodallega was fed the perfect pass but for Cech to floor him as he was about to put the ball into the empty goal.
Cech was sent off for bring the last man and Rodallega duly dispatched the penalty past Hillario the Sub Blues keeper. The half went on with Latics piling pressure on, but shots from Hendry, Scharner, Rodallega and Scotland weren’t testing the ten man Chelsea team, on the flip side the Blues didn’t really get any more chances to draw level either.
It was just a matter of time before we broke through again and it was the workhorse (did I really just say that) Scharner who wrapped it up in the last minutes, tapping in a Figueroa cross that would probably have gone in anyway.
All in all it was exactly what the moaners have been asking for, but let’s see if they can find anything to whinge about from that performance. Martinez at last has realised that Gomez isn’t up for the fight yet and until he is let’s see more of the same please.