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Chelsea 4 Wigan 1

Chelsea got back to winning ways, at Stamford Bridge, although they left it late to wrap up the points.

Team News - With John Terry out injured, Rafa Benitez started with Azpilicueta at right-back, with Ivanovic partnering Cahill at the heart of the defence. In midfield, fresh from his exertions with Brazil in midweek, was given a place in midfield with Hazard returning from suspension to also claim a place. Up front, Torres was given the nod ahead of broken nose victim Demba Ba who was on the bench. Juan Mata was also on the bench after struggling with a virus. Petr Cech, despite fears to the contrary, started between the posts despite that broken little finger picked up last time out.

First Half - Wigan started a little brighter than Chelsea keeping possession better and had the first chance when Di Santo saw his effort, from ten yards out, kept out by the foot of Cech. The keeper then had to save well to deny Maloney as Wigan continued their bright start.

Chelsea responded with a Lampard shot that flew over before Hazard, who had started brightly, saw an effort blocked by Figueroa. Wigan wouldn`t concede ground and a cross from Beausejour just evaded Espinoza.

Torres, latching onto a Lampard free kick, saw his header go the wrong side of the post with Al Habsi stranded. Torres then beat Scharner, with a neat turn but his shot lacked any decent power.

Against the run of play, probably, Chelsea took the lead when Luiz broke forward, a deft touch from Torres found Ramires and the Brazilian curled his effort into the top corner. Torres and Cole, trying to get on the end of a Ramires ball, were denied by Caldwell and from the resulting corner Oscar`s delivery almost found Ivanovic.

Azpilcueta then provided a great cross that Torres met only to see Al Habsi turn the ball over the bar. Chelsea now had the impetus and Lampard saw a shot sail over the bar as they continued to push forward.

As half time approached, Maloney delivered a lovely cross but Azpilicueta rose to the occasion to produce a clearance to deny McCarthur.

Second Half - Neither side made any changes at half time. Pushing for that crucial goal it was to be Eden Hazard, with his 9th goal of the season who was to get it we he turned in a ball from the advancing Azpilicueta.

But those defensive frailties returned shortly afterwards, two minutes later to be precise, when Shaun Maloney beat the offside trap, evaded Cech and, from an acute angle, found the net with Cahill desperately trying to retrieve the situation.

Boosted by the goal Martinez brought on another striker in the shape of Kone. As Chelsea pushed forward Luiz had an effort that cleared the bar before a shot from Lampard skipped past the post. Wigan then had a penalty appeal waved away when Cole looked to have handled after the ball was struck at him from very close range by Stam.

With concerns about Chelsea letting yet another lead slip, Benitez introduced Juan Mata in place of Oscar on the 77th minute. Kone, freed by Caldwell, shrugged off the challenge of Azpilicueta but his shot, thankfully for Chelsea, was straight at Cech.

Chelsea put the game to bed, with a Frank Lampard goal, the 198th of his Chelsea career, with the veteran midfielder beating Al Habsi with a shot from the edge of the box after Mata stepped over Hazard`s cut back.

Chelsea netted a fourth win Marin headed home his first Chelsea goal, very late-on, from a chance that was created when Azpilicueta saw his effort parried by Al Habsi.

There could have been a fifth but Al Habsi did very well to deny Ramires and Torres. Three welcome points.

Chelsea - Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill (Benayoun-88), Ivanovic, Cole, Lampard, Luiz, Ramires, Oscar (Mata-77), Hazard (Marin-90), Torres

Unused Subs - Turnbull, Ferreira, Bertrand, Ba,

Chelsea Scorers - Ramires (23), Hazard (56), Lampard (86), Marin (90)

Chelsea Yellow Cards - Marin

Chelsea Red Cards - Nil




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The Journalist

Writer: Merlin Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday February 9 2013

Time: 4:56PM

Your Comments

ceasar man of the match !!!
I hate CR7
That's 100 goals scored by chelsea so far this season. Thought I'd throw that stat in
Chelsea ken
Luiz in midfield and azpi on the wing made the difference. I think Azpi had 2 assists and won duels with Di Santo and Kone. Has to play every game, or at least 1st choice RB. We were not caught on the counter in this game - our major bane and that is because we had a presence in midfield. Hazard is awesome, Oscar had a terrific game. Lampard was pinging passes like Alonso from deep, Ramires had space to run into, Torres didnt score but did play well, amazing stop denied him at the end. Ivanovic had an eventless game - as it should be. Finally a Chelsea matchday after which i could sleep soundly. Moses in place of Ramires makes us even better.
Mia Maynard
It was so nice watching the game.time to celebrate with 3 pnts in the bag.
blue5
Lampard is a rubbish player.Only 3 goals from outside the box in 7 days.Önly 98 goals from the midfield him.Sell him.
cfc250
Glad for Marin maybe rafa will think twice about playing a left back on the left wing, have a change of heart and play him ahead of bert on the left wing instead. well just maybe!
pego sama
relieved
ansh04
Marin is the shortest player to score a header in the history of the premier league - maybe. Did Wright Phillips score a header?
Mia Maynard
Lol @cfc250
Chelsea ken
Frank situation is becoming a serious issue.from his performance,i think the board should atleast give him one year
blue5
Glad for the win first of all. Need to sure up third. Wigan were in no way outplayed overall and gave us a game to the limits of their ability.Cesar, Torres, Hazard and Oscar played really well and created all the chances. Torres of course will never be acknowledged by the mob for his contributions. Luiz was very positive in midfield for me and made some key interceptions. He also allowed Ramires and the other "midfielder" to player higher up without the consequences that a better team would have ensured we felt. If you can stroll about on a pitch for 90 plus minutes doing next to nothing and get a goal then you must excellent teammates. I would like to see a lot more of Yossi, he's a player I have lots of respect for...not only because of the gesture at Juan's arrival but his good honest work rate and commitment to any team he plays for. He can pass and keep posession and we need a midfielder like that right now. More of this please Rafa and sort the midfield out when Mikel and Moses return.
had2bg
It was not a comfortable win, we looked vulnerable to counter attacks as always, if they had better attacking players then score could have been different. I was so hoping to see Ba play this match, Cesar still needs to keep improving as Di Santo went around him too easily & Kone nearly scored.
B2K420
Lampard is going to score a hat-trick in the next 30 days.
cfc250
Lamps, Cahill, Terry, Azpi, Cole, Hazard, Ba, & Moses should be rested for the City game. Rafa should play Cech Paulo-Iva-Luiz-Ryan Oscar-Mikel Yossi-Mata-Marin T9 on Thursday.
SameX
Feels really good to be back in winnin ways..oh 3points! how i missed u
Ken4CFC
Rami should also be rested
SameX
If we play Benayoun in his proper position (no. 10) then he will find Torres more times (with his first time passes) than other Chelsea players do, the issue is they think he is too old for Chelsea. We should play Marin against Brentford so that he can teach them a lesson on a proper football pitch and let Ba start in that game as Marin had a stinker at Brentford.
B2K420
Agree 100% with that line-up SameX.
cfc250
Perhaps Ake instead of Luiz or Ivan?
CalculatedKalou
Why the hell did Benitez introduce Benayoun before Marin?What is this guy on-Marin is in his peak years and could do well for Chelsea for the future,while Benayoun is already a done deal and as soon as the season ends he will be disposed of.Marin deserves to start versus Sparta on the left wing,because we all know that that is his best position.Although Hazard Scored a goal and provided a assist his performance still wasn't satisfactory enough.The Wigan defenders did very well against him and he was force to pass the ball back or sideways most of the time.Oscar on the other hand was brilliant.He showed part of the class which he usually displays when the Brazilian national team play,bt yet he does play better from as a CM ,not in a more advanced position in midfield where he usually doent get the kind of space he needs to distribute the ball.
Simeon23
Scousers at Anfield,United at OT,City at the Ethiad,Spurs,Swansea and Evertön at the Bridge.Looking at the fixtures and our manager,I would be surprised if we finish in the top four.
cfc250
The problem with some people is they hate Torres & lamps so much, no matter how weel they player, they still manage to find faults, they never seem to understand that theyplay for chelsea...
shaf86
I am very happy with the win, having leap frogged the snarling spurs, I have this image of rottweilers going back into their cage as we win this game, they were ready to come in here and rant about our club, sorry to disappoint u guys........ This team still has a lot of things to do, if we were playing a quality side it would be same old story, if chelsea have an adequate replacement to take over from rafa sack him now, with today's performance it is obvious his leopard can't change its spot, he did nothing tactically, I just hope the afcon contingents would come back with the trophy so it would boost their morale for the final shift of the season, do u notice the bridge was a bit quiet at some point? And some seats were empty, or was it wigan's? I am ecstatic about all the goals, they were beautifully taken, marin did a good job and shows an attacking instinct to score that goal, Ba I guess is regretting ever signing for chelsea with this coach at the helms of affairs, from 2nd in the epl top scorers log to 4th? Or 5th? I am waiting to see what the outcome of our game with city will be like, arsenal and spurs gathering momentum
Desmondadonis
I am very happy with the win, having leap frogged the snarling spurs, I have this image of rottweilers going back into their cage as we win this game, they were ready to come in here and rant about our club, sorry to disappoint u guys........ This team still has a lot of things to do, if we were playing a quality side it would be same old story, if chelsea have an adequate replacement to take over from rafa sack him now, with today's performance it is obvious his leopard can't change its spot, he did nothing tactically, I just hope the afcon contingents would come back with the trophy so it would boost their morale for the final shift of the season, do u notice the bridge was a bit quiet at some point? And some seats were empty, or was it wigan's? I am ecstatic about all the goals, they were beautifully taken, marin did a good job and shows an attacking instinct to score that goal, Ba I guess is regretting ever signing for chelsea with this coach at the helms of affairs, from 2nd in the epl top scorers log to 4th? Or 5th? I am waiting to see what the outcome of our game with city will be like, arsenal and spurs gathering momentum
Desmondadonis
Oscar had a very great game. I will like to see him and Mikel in the Pivot on Thursday
SameX
I was very happy to see how players were happy for Marin when he scored.
zg2000fs
Man City 2 goals down
blue5
Lampard scores...Torres doesn't score...Chelsea doesn't want to sign Lampard...Chelsea wants Torres to play every game....Chelsea board decision making at its best...
lamarochs
Been a while i had this feeling that am having. The wigan goal got me all panicking. This 3points is so so important considering that spurs and arsenal won. So Rafa gets to stay. Well while the winnings last. If we can be more consistent with the winnings from now till May, then no problem. In a great mood to start preparing for tomoro 6pm......
Chelz Akamz
i kinda miss the day when " we won , so feck anything else " .
start discussing anything else tomorrow ...
JackSufre
Very happy we baged the 3 points at stake. We won the match out of sheer quality of the players. A nerve-racking game. Benitez clueless as always. Azpilicueta was MOTM in my opinion. Luiz was splendid in midfield with that extra magic touch. Hope Cahill didnt pick an injury (couldnt make anything out of his sub). We definitely need more bodies fit with the hefty fixtures to come. It is getting tougher and tougher. The board has to be firm and take a decision on Rafa. The big question is, will he make it to top 4? If no, he should face the axe. There is no point in keeping an interim who can't quarantee a top 4 finish.
emperorzert12
we could be in with a chance at 2nd place !
Blue_Mel
What does Lampard do in midfield? He's a striker. Never a midfielder.
foreign_viewer
FV: do you ever quit moaning about Lampard? Are you deranged?
RadioactiveD
Great game by the team today.I hope we maintain the consistency which would see us atleast 3rd place come May.My MOTM Azpi was superb today and finally we managed to win a match without Mata scoring or assisting.
bluekid
Lampard have done from midfield 130 assist in his carrer
Lakupiippu
All corners and freekicks for more than 10 years = ±130 assists
foreign_viewer
As far as the performance goes today, we looked really lethargic the first 20 or so minutes. I can accept that the squad was nervous, but isn't it the manager's job to help them overcome it? Rafa is totally out of his element, and I still contend that this season is all about damage control. But on the upside, we were much better in the second half. Torres simply can't beat a defender one-on-one, but otherwise his movement and passing was good. Azpi and Lamps were outstanding. If FV can't see what Lamps did today in MIDFIELD he's even dumber than I ever thought. Lamps was very aware, played some lovely passes, and his movement was outstanding. Hazard was dangerous but he's still far too indulgent in his play. I hope that changes with maturity. And I'm delighted for Marin. He looks good on the left, and he deserves more playing time than Rafa's giving him.
RadioactiveD
Radio, sport is sport. Perspective.
foreign_viewer
FV talking about "perspective"--now that's hilarious. You're so blinded by this bizarre and limited bias of what a midfielder ought to be that you overlook the kinds of glaring evidence that even a child could point out. Your perspective doesn't make you special or insightful. You just come off as a massive idiot and a troll, and I'm convinced that you're both.
RadioactiveD
Radio, I don't do "debates" and the ad hominem thing. I'm not interested.
foreign_viewer
We need to give Yossi, Paulo, Ake, Marin & Ryan more game time as we have so many games to play. No need to play Hazard, Moses, Mata, Azpi, Luiz..... until they become seriously fatigued.
SameX
a very good win no doubt although the scoreline flatters to decieve...i dont wanta starting bi.tching but I saw reasons to be worried...I hope my worries are allayed subsequently...I tot Ba and Torres are supposed to be sharing minutes...so how come rafa never plays ba?....hmm....I just hope this single appointment of interim coach does not ruin us...i am scared...very scared...I hope we pull through and finish the season with a champion's league position.
layorh12
and KDB scored some nice goal today as well....
layorh12
at 2-1 and with cole's hand ball,things could have been different...thank God we pulled through and got the points.
layorh12
Man city goes down 3-1.are we playing them next weekend?
blue5
Oops..and city lost,as painful it feels manure might well be crowned champions by april if the chasin packs continue to falter on weekly basis
Ken4CFC
Had we preserved our lead in some games and won easy games like QPR @home we would have been comfortable in 2nd place by now.
SameX
@bluekid: We scored 2 goals when Mata was on the pitch, with his linkup play, when he is on the pitch it lifts up the whole team.>>>Also I heard we are offering AM 45m+Courtois for Falcao.
B2K420
is it me or the goals we scored could be classified as keeper's error because lampard's shot and hazard's looked weak.. good game anywayu
Don capon
I'm going to go against the grain here: how vital was this win today, extremely vital. Back above spurs but closer to city. I'm of the belief that 2nd is still very much alive. We can go to etihad with no pressure, and it all to play for, for city especially. Belief is a strong word, we had it last year so lets have it again. Belief in the team, not the manager- this team is capable of getting second. It won't be through rafas doing but through the players wanting it. On wards and finally looking upwards. Lets stuff'em at city!!! :-)
Blue1989
Nat Chalobah too scored for watford last night.
blue5
Well done Marin, I'm so pleased for him to score. Hopefully he can now push on from it. Well played Eden as well. He could have easily let what's happened get to him, but I saw him play well today.
Blue1989
FV: You don't do "thinking" either. That much is obvious.
RadioactiveD
Lampard thrugly deserves his 1 year contract extension. The guy has earned it some fantastic goals for CFc in this hour of need. Besides he was awesome today. Kept pinginh those long ball evrywhere on the pitch today$ Wigan players did noy close him down and they rightly paid for thoei arrogancre
Dwonder
FV and Radio - let's discuss the game shall we as opposed to abusing each other? You are both better than that.
djdutts
djdutts: I've discussed the game. FV's only agenda is to abuse Lampard. He has a history of this. No matter the subject, no matter how well Lampard plays, FV will insult him. I won't enable him by being silent.
RadioactiveD
Nothing wrong with Radio putting FV in his place. FV finds every opportunity to throw insults at Lamps. Its understandable to be critical with good reasons,but in this case there's absolutely no reason whatsoever to be insult a player who gave his all on the pitch today. Lamps had a pretty good game today and scored a brilliant goal that got us off the hook from a potential slip up,and its pathetic anyone can still find faults.
nelyvanile
Did anyone in here watched Malaga's game today? plz inform us about Piazon's performance.
EliteBlue
paizon did ok but played on right winger until he came to the middle.it seems his position is no.10 or play behind striker.And 4 lamps lovers ,where will he play if fellaini benat kdb and essien come.i hope isco comes too.will club pay big wages 4 d sake of experience,mentorship n benchwarming players.this has to stop for the club to comply with FPP.
mzee69
Keep Malouda as well. On his current wages too. Why should he go? He was still scoring goals so why is he not playing every week?
foreign_viewer
Like I said in some other thread Lampard in midfield especially in the pivot does more harm to the team than good, fine he scores one or two goals here and there but if you watch our games critically most of the goals we 've conceded especially to counter attacks are because Lampard was never in his position. And most of the time he does not mark the opposing player he just stands not knowing who to mark, like the third goal we conceded against Newcastle he just stood stranded instead of closing down Sisokho. And for todays match sorry for disappointing you guys apart from the goal Lampard scores go and rewatch the match he did basically next to nothing to help the team except I have watched a different match. Overall Lampard might be a CFC lengend but he should be used in his right position i.e in AM or just behind the striker, he affects the team nagatively when he plays in the pivot role. (Mind you he is also my chelsea best player of all time) but for the present dispensation the truth must be told.
sojofjand
If we want to beat city, we should start by resting players intelligently from now, I don't see a reason why mata should play on thursday or hazard starting, let hazard,cech, mata,ba, luiz all take a good rest on thursday, and get only few minutes in the cup game along with the returning afcon returnees, a week and a half rest would make them fit and in peak condition, go to the etihad with guns blazing, if we don't get a win atleast we must get a draw and if we want to get anything from that game, we need to start Ba in that game, rafa selection would play an important role in our EPL top 4 push. City will come out with all guns blazing and we can't afford to slip up anymore, a point is too small a lead to get tottenham off our backs and with the way they play this days, I think we have the right to be worried, rafa no more torres in the EPL starting lineup, je can bring torres in the 2nd half, Ba must start all the remaining PL games
Desmondadonis
Thibaut courtois says he is ready to be back to chelsea in the summer, but won't mind staying in spain to play in the champions league with athletico madrid, if we want to loan him to athletico madrid for the 3rd year in a roll, then we should tell him to sign another 5 year extension of his current contract www.touchlinetalk.com/chelsea-stopper-reluctant-to-talk-about-the-future/29896/
Desmondadonis
People can easily forget things. At the heat of the moment, love him or hate him, Lampard always unite us all with his performance especially with his goals. The next day, the trashing continues. No worries though, as the man will keep on uniting on matchdays
Gaban
Okay FV.Lampard is a striker.Happy now?As we don't have a striker,you can consider him as a "striker".Happy now?
cfc250
@sojofjand, i agree with ur point....I have been also saying the same point...He is not doing a gud job in pivot...but that doesn't mean he is a bad player...change the formation to 4-3-3 and you can see the difference...He needs a Defensive midifielder behind him, so that he can make those runs to box...now wtih him in pivot,once he makes that runs to box, he is not back to the position..If we play 4-3-3, i think we can see more of the runs from ramiries from midfield...We are seeing less of his runs now since benitez has taken over as i think he is asked to be in defensive postions..Yesterday, he was laying as winger, he scored ok...But to be fair, he is not winger...he needs to play in midfield...As for luiz, there is real difference once he is in midfield...His presence made sure that we were not overrun in midfield completely in second half, which was the case in previous matches...Lets hope cahil is ok, otherwise luiz wud be back in defence again...
Chelseaforlife567
Damn if we hadn't dropped those stupid points to Southhampton, Reading and (yes), Newcastle we would be bloody second by now!!! Come on Rafa, we need a good run of wins now...
Slippy G-19
QPR are going down with 5 of our points.
foreign_viewer
Desmondadonis, I always thought Courtois would need to be part of any Falcao deal to reduce the financial outlay, but if he's as good as everyone says I'm beginning to think we should bring him back here and send Cech to Atletico Madrid as part of the deal.
CobhamBlue
Slippy G-19, It is so frustrating. We hosed away 3 points to QPR, 2 to Southampton, 2 to Reading and at least 1 to Newcastle. 8 points gone. We should be comfortably in 2nd place but instead we are in danger of not making the top 4. If we had been 2nd we could have had a real crack at the Europa League but as it stands now we just can't take the risk with our top 4 slot. Another trophy chance slips away.
CobhamBlue
great game yesterday.... I thought Lamps was brilliant and made some outstanding passes. Torres was better. Rammy and Azpi were exceptional!
Ess...DaBison
The performance wasn't half as good as the score. There is no improvement so far. We won, okay, but against lowly Wigan that is.
1970Blue
flattering scoreline for me which masks the underlying issues that we have seen in recent games, anyhow a win is a win,so pleased with that...our next league game is away at citeh, and if we can win that we get to within a point of 2nd place...and thats just by chalking up two wins in a row...if only we could put a run together...
JohnnyOz
Lowly wigan! Didnt we lose and drew against lowest QPR,lowly Southampton and lowly reading??
Ken4CFC
We have played better in other games and have been very unfortunate to lose or draw,we had 25 goal attempts yesterday,is thats not enough to win a game by 4,5 or 6goal margin??tbh i dont agree the scoreline was flatterin,we got what we deserved after all we ve been through in past games...we played well but there is stil much room for improvement.it we really need to start takin our chances so we can ease the pressure on the defence line..when they pulled 1 back it got nervy but kudos to the boys for rattlin back and sealin the game in the last few minutes(which is a contrast to what we have been served in past games)..
Ken4CFC
Dream on if u think it was an outstanding performance..... Then pray we play this way against city, tottenham, man utd, everton, liverpool etc
Desmondadonis
Dream on if u feel the scoreline was flatterin...then moan when we play better and draw or lose against the likes of QPR,swansea,southampton and reading
Ken4CFC
Cesar is proving to be a nice player and hope he is always given a chance to prove that he is worth the chances he is getting at the moment
Kendemsblue
 

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