Delightful Deco Downs Unlucky Latics

Wigan Athletic 0-1 Chelsea

A sumptuous Deco free-kick after just three minutes saw Chelsea go top of the table and condemn an unlucky Wigan side to their second close defeat in as many games...

Chelsea secured a comfortable 1-0 win away to Wigan Athletic at the JJB Stadium, though Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men were unable to assert the attacking game that served them so well against Portsmouth in their opening Premier League encounter.


Chelsea started the game brighter than their opponents, and within four minutes Deco had given another demonstration of why Scolari was so insistent that the club secured his signature this summer. The Portugal international stepped up to take a free-kick from 25-yards out, curling the ball with sublimne precision round the wall and beyond Mike Pollitt in the Wigan goal. It was a sensational start for the visitors, and Deco took a further step towards adulation from The Blues’ fans in only his second game.

Wigan battled back as they gained control of possession, Wilson Palacios looking particularly lively and almost catching Petr Cech out with a miscued cross that sailed just over Chelsea’s goal.

The Premier League runners-up from last season had seemingly taken their foot off the gas, and Steve Bruce’s men took advantage with on-loan Amr Zaki driving a shot towards goal which was parried away by Cech.

Anelka, operating further forward as per Scolari’s pre-season statements, went close with a header after 36 minutes, with Ashley Cole’s swooping cross from a dangerous free-kick reaching the Frenchman, but his effort was just a yard over the bar.

The former Bolton Wanderers striker then had a penalty claim turned down as he cut inside before seemingly being caught by Emmerson Boyce, but the replays show Alan Wiley was correct in waving on play, much to the Chelsea players’ dismay.


Wigan emerged from the dressing room with renewed impetus, Palacios going close once again with an effort from 12-yards, but Cech was on hand to save to his right comfortably.

Scolari’s men continued to press for a second, however, Bosingwa’s persistent running down the right caused the Wigan defence problems. Anelka found himself with a some free space in the penalty area, but just as he was set to release his shot, Boyce tracked back to clear the danger.

Similarly, just before his substitution, Joe Cole swung in an inch-perfect cross that Lampard managed to connect with, but Pollitt was able to get his full body behind the ball to keep his side within touching distance.

Scolari introduced Solomon Kalou, a sign that rather than settling for a marginal victory his side were going to continue with their attacking pursuits, but both sides struggled to create any clear-cut chances as the game progressed.

There was a major scare for The Blues with just minutes to go as Henri Camara unleashed a powerful daisy-cutter which had Cech at full stretch, but the Czech Republic international was able to get his fingertips to the ball to send it behind.

The Latics were also awarded a free-kick from 30-yards out in injury time, though Heskey’s driven effort rebounded off the wall before the Chelsea defence were able to force the ball clear.

Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Carvalho, Terry, Ashley Cole, Ballack, Essien, Lampard, Deco, Anelka, Joe Cole. Subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Malouda, Bridge, Kalou, Alex, Belletti.

Wigan: Pollitt, Melchiot, Boyce, Bramble, Figueroa, Valencia, Cattermole, Palacios, Koumas, Heskey, Zaki. Subs: Sibierski, Kilbane, Brown, De Ridder, Kapo, Camara.


Chelsea: Deco (4’)

Wigan Athletic: None

New signing Deco scored a stunning free-kick just after 3 minutes at the JJB stadium.

4′ [0 - 1] Deco

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Delightful Deco Downs Unlucky Latics Reviewed by admin Ucop on 8:46 PM Rating: 5

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