Chelsea 4-1 Wigan
Frank Lampard provided another reminder of his enduring value to Chelsea by inspiring the victory over Wigan that ends a four-match winless run and eases the pressure on manager Rafael Benitez.
The midfielder scored Chelsea's crucial third to move within four goals of Bobby Tambling's club record of 202.
Goals from Ramires and Eden Hazard had put Chelsea 2-0 up, only for Shaun Maloney to pull a goal back for Wigan.
Lampard fired in Chelsea's third goal before Marko Marin headed in late on.
This was not a vintage Chelsea display but the result sees them leapfrog Spurs to reclaim third in the league table.
The two late goals put a gloss on the scoreline but in truth it was harsh on Wigan. For long periods, especially in the second half, Roberto Martinez's side threatened to make it another nervy afternoon at Stamford Bridge. Lampard's intervention ensured it was anything but.
The 34-year-old's fierce low shot for Chelsea's third goal capped a fine week and once again ensured the subject of his future at Chelsea was the talking point of the day. Lampard is now four goals from levelling Bobby Tambling's club record of 202.
For Wigan, the picture was altogether more bleak. Martinez will take the positives but now faces having to repeat last year's great escape to avoid relegation.
Stamford Bridge was once again subdued on a cold, damp day in London but having won just once at home since Aston Villa were beaten 8-0 before Christmas, this was both a welcome and overdue victory. With Juan Mata nursing a cold, Benitez unleashed David Luiz in midfield and the Brazilian captain thrived in the heat of the battle.
It was the Brazilian who swept Chelsea forward on their way to the opening goal, slipping beyond Roger Espinoza and finding Torres. The Spaniard's first time pass ran into the path of a rampaging Ramires and his shot flew high beyond Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi and into the net.
Maloney was the heartbeat of the Wigan side. His clever runs, tireless chasing and quick feet made him a constant thorn in Chelsea's side. Petr Cech denied him with a diving save early on, before his wicked cross was diverted behind by Cesar Azpilicueta with James McCarthy waiting to head in at the back post.
Franco Di Santo twice went close for Wigan but when Hazard thumped Azpilicueta's low cross beyond Al-Habsi to double Chelsea's lead 10 minutes into the second half, the game looked as good as over. History was stacked against Wigan, their only win at Stamford Bridge having come in the 1980 FA Cup.
Wigan clung to the hope that Chelsea might continue their recent habit of throwing away leads. Within a minute of falling 2-0 behind, Wigan hit back.
Hazard was caught in possession and Wigan broke with pace, Maloney beat the offside trap, rounded a charging Cech and steered the ball in from a narrow angle.
With the home support sensing another nervy afternoon, Wigan pushed again. The visitors appealed for a penalty when Ronnie Stam's shot thumped into Ashley Cole's arm in the penalty area only for referee Mike Dean to wave them away. With Wigan pushing for an equaliser, Chelsea then killed the game.
Hazard's cut back was dangerous and substitute Mata's clever dummy allowed the ball to run to Lampard 16 yards out. His unerring low shot flew into the corner of the net. With time ticking down and Wigan a beaten side, Marin was on hand to head in as Al-Habsi could only parry the impressive Azpilicueta's fizzing shot.
It was a bitter pill for Wigan to swallow but Chelsea march on.
Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez: "We said before, for us we have to win every game. It was a a good game, an open game and to score four goals is always positive.
"We had 27 attempts, which is quite good, and we had a lot of them inside the box. The team was attacking and creating and it was very positive. We deserved to win. Yes, we're making some mistakes, but we have a lot of positives. Today four goals could be six goals at the end."
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez: "I had to stretch the game, open up and leave ourselves exposed and on the counter-attack Chelsea took advantage of that. We were long enough in Chelsea's defensive third, and we had that presence there. I did feel that, if we'd got the equaliser, the ending would have been very interesting."
On the penalty claim: "Clearly the ball is travelling to the corner, to a place that will be very difficult for the goalkeeper. And it is blocked by Ashley Cole's hand. How much the defender knows about that, how much you can avoid having the arm in that position, I don't know. But that was a key moment in the game."
- 01 Cech
- 02 Ivanovic
- 03 Cole
- 04 Luiz
- 24 Cahill (Benayoun - 88' )
- 28 Azpilicueta
- 07 Ramires
- 08 Lampard
- 11 Oscar (Mata - 77' )
- 17 Hazard (Marin - 90' Booked )
- 09 Torres
- 22 Turnbull
- 19 Ferreira
- 34 Bertrand
- 10 Mata
- 21 Marin
- 30 Benayoun
- 29 Ba
- 26 Al Habsi
- 05 Caldwell
- 23 Stam (Jones - 83' )
- 31 Figueroa Booked
- 04 McCarthy
- 10 Maloney
- 16 McArthur
- 18 Espinoza (Kone - 59' )
- 22 Beausejour
- 33 Scharner Booked
- 09 Di Santo
- 01 Blazquez
- 25 Golobart
- 06 Jones
- 14 Gomez
- 02 Kone
- 11 Henriquez
- 15 McManaman
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee ends the match.90:00 +4:44
Inswinging corner taken by Juan Mata, clearance made by Paul Scharner.90:00 +4:10
Fernando Torres takes a shot. Ali Al Habsi makes a save.90:00 +3:48
Nascimento Ramires takes a shot. Save by Ali Al Habsi.90:00 +3:40 Booking
Booking Marko Marin is given a yellow card.90:00 +3:02
Cesar Azpilicueta takes a shot. Ali Al Habsi makes a save.90:00 +2:43
James McArthur takes a shot. Petr Cech makes a save.90:00 +1:22
The assist for the goal came from Cesar Azpilicueta.90:00 +1:22 Goal scored
Goal! - Marko Marin - Chelsea 4 - 1 Wigan Marko Marin finds the back of the net with a headed goal from deep inside the penalty area. Chelsea 4-1 Wigan.90:00 +1:04
Foul by Gary Caldwell on Fernando Torres, free kick awarded. Indirect free kick taken by Juan Mata.90:00 +0:02 Substitution
Substitution Eden Hazard leaves the field to be replaced by Marko Marin.89:53
Shot from just outside the area by James McCarthy goes over the bar.89:16
David Jones takes a shot. Blocked by Frank Lampard.87:39 Substitution
Substitution Gary Cahill goes off and Yossi Benayoun comes on.85:59
Assist by Eden Hazard.85:59 Goal scored
Goal! - Frank Lampard - Chelsea 3 - 1 Wigan Frank Lampard gets on the score sheet with a goal from just inside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Chelsea 3-1 Wigan.85:28
David Jones takes a shot. Blocked by David Luiz.83:22
The official flags Juan Mata offside. Indirect free kick taken by James McArthur.82:06 Substitution
Substitution (Wigan) makes a substitution, with David Jones coming on for Ronnie Stam.81:25
Arouna Kone takes a shot. Petr Cech makes a comfortable save.
Indirect free kick taken by Frank Lampard.78:48 Booking
Booking The referee cautions Maynor Figueroa for unsporting behaviour.78:33
Maynor Figueroa concedes a free kick for a foul on Nascimento Ramires.77:24
Unfair challenge on James McCarthy by Fernando Torres results in a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by James McCarthy.77:10
Arouna Kone is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Petr Cech.76:23 Substitution
Substitution (Chelsea) makes a substitution, with Juan Mata coming on for Emboaba Oscar.75:24
Arouna Kone concedes a free kick for a foul on Eden Hazard. Petr Cech takes the indirect free kick.75:02
Corner from the left by-line taken by Jean Beausejour, clearance by David Luiz.74:42
Jean Beausejour takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Gary Cahill.74:28
Franco Di Santo takes a shot. Blocked by David Luiz.74:09
Ronnie Stam decides to take a short corner.73:36
Ronnie Stam takes a shot. Emboaba Oscar concedes a free kick for a foul on Maynor Figueroa. Maynor Figueroa takes the indirect free kick. Branislav Ivanovic gets a block in.69:33
David Luiz takes a shot. Ali Al Habsi makes a save.66:05
Shot by Frank Lampard from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.64:25
David Luiz produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the crossbar.63:42
Free kick crossed by Frank Lampard.63:42 Booking
Booking Paul Scharner goes into the referee's book.63:29
Unfair challenge on Emboaba Oscar by Paul Scharner results in a free kick.62:19
Short corner taken by Eden Hazard from the left by-line.61:56
Corner taken by Eden Hazard from the left by-line, clearance made by Jean Beausejour.61:44
David Luiz takes a shot. Blocked by Maynor Figueroa.61:24
Cesar Azpilicueta sends in a cross.60:24
Shaun Maloney fouled by David Luiz, the ref awards a free kick. James McCarthy takes the free kick.59:44
James McArthur gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gary Cahill. Indirect free kick taken by Gary Cahill.58:47
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Luiz by Franco Di Santo. Gary Cahill takes the indirect free kick.58:32 Substitution
Substitution Arouna Kone replaces Roger Espinoza.57:14
Assist by James McArthur.57:14 Goal scored
Goal! - Shaun Maloney - Chelsea 2 - 1 Wigan Shaun Maloney finds the back of the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Chelsea 2-1 Wigan.57:06
Shaun Maloney sends in a cross.55:31
A cross is delivered by Cesar Azpilicueta,55:24
Assist on the goal came from Cesar Azpilicueta.55:24 Goal scored
Goal! - Eden Hazard - Chelsea 2 - 0 Wigan Eden Hazard scores a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Chelsea 2-0 Wigan.54:50
Emboaba Oscar fouled by Maynor Figueroa, the ref awards a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Gary Cahill.54:29
Franco Di Santo produces a cross.53:26
Cesar Azpilicueta challenges Franco Di Santo unfairly and gives away a free kick. Shaun Maloney takes the free kick.52:22
Branislav Ivanovic challenges Franco Di Santo unfairly and gives away a free kick. The ball is sent over by Roger Espinoza, Paul Scharner takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.51:35
Franco Di Santo has shot on goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.47:17
Nascimento Ramires takes a shot.46:58
Corner taken short by Frank Lampard.46:51
Frank Lampard crosses the ball, Shaun Maloney manages to make a clearance.45:01
The game restarts for the second half.45:00 +1:05 Half time
Half Time It is the end of the first-half.44:50
Shot from close range by Emboaba Oscar clears the bar.44:29
Emboaba Oscar takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Ali Al Habsi.43:59
Cesar Azpilicueta takes a shot. James McCarthy gets a block in.43:44
Maynor Figueroa produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the crossbar.42:42
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Shaun Maloney, clearance by Fernando Torres.42:19
Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Jean Beausejour, Fernando Torres makes a clearance.40:51
Foul by Maynor Figueroa on Nascimento Ramires, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Cesar Azpilicueta.40:02
Jean Beausejour is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Petr Cech.39:02
Gary Caldwell fouled by Fernando Torres, the ref awards a free kick. Gary Caldwell takes the direct free kick.38:04
David Luiz produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty area that goes harmlessly over the target.36:40
Corner taken by Eden Hazard, Franco Di Santo makes a clearance.35:56
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Emboaba Oscar from the right by-line, David Luiz takes a shot. Maynor Figueroa gets a block in.35:05
Long distance shot from Frank Lampard misses to the left of the goal.34:09
Cesar Azpilicueta delivers the ball.33:34
Ronnie Stam challenges Eden Hazard unfairly and gives away a free kick. Branislav Ivanovic takes the direct free kick.32:53
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Emboaba Oscar from the right by-line, Frank Lampard takes a shot. Save by Ali Al Habsi.32:08
Cesar Azpilicueta crosses the ball, Fernando Torres takes a shot. Save made by Ali Al Habsi.28:58
Unfair challenge on Eden Hazard by Maynor Figueroa results in a free kick. Emboaba Oscar restarts play with the free kick.26:48
Eden Hazard decides to take a short corner.25:20
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gary Caldwell by Fernando Torres. Free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.24:11
Roger Espinoza challenges David Luiz unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Frank Lampard.22:47
Assist on the goal came from Fernando Torres.22:47 Goal scored
Goal! - Nascimento Ramires - Chelsea 1 - 0 Wigan Nascimento Ramires finds the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the top right corner of the goal. Chelsea 1-0 Wigan.19:38
Fernando Torres sends in a cross.17:02
Emboaba Oscar takes a shot. Comfortable save by Ali Al Habsi.15:35
Fernando Torres takes a shot. Comfortable save by Ali Al Habsi.13:31
Ronnie Stam gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Eden Hazard. Frank Lampard delivers the ball, Header from close in by Fernando Torres misses to the right of the goal.12:15
Franco Di Santo is ruled offside. Gary Cahill takes the indirect free kick.11:21
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Paul Scharner by Fernando Torres. Indirect free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.7:32
Frank Lampard takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.7:16
The ball is sent over by Cesar Azpilicueta, clearance by Paul Scharner.6:29
Shaun Maloney takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.5:47
Corner taken by Shaun Maloney, clearance by Fernando Torres.5:23
Centre by Maynor Figueroa, Franco Di Santo takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.4:41
Ashley Cole fouled by Paul Scharner, the ref awards a free kick. Frank Lampard restarts play with the free kick.3:44
Jean Beausejour produces a cross, blocked by Nascimento Ramires.3:08
Free kick awarded for a foul by Nascimento Ramires on Shaun Maloney. Gary Caldwell restarts play with the free kick.2:31
Roger Espinoza crosses the ball, blocked by David Luiz.2:02
Eden Hazard takes the outswinging corner, James McCarthy makes a clearance.1:47
Nascimento Ramires takes a shot. Gary Caldwell gets a block in.0:34
Centre by Jean Beausejour, save made by Petr Cech.0:00
The referee gets the game underway.
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