Date: 10th February 2013 at 12:38pm
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Yesterday’s visit to Stamford Bridge to play Chelsea saw a much better performance by the Latics than last time out, but we are at the stage of the season when it’s results that matter and a poor result isn’t what we deserved but it was what we ended up with, going down four goals to one

Latics started the game with the same eleven that had started last Saturday’s draw with Southampton, meaning that the returning Arouna Kone was welcomed back from the ACN with a seat on the bench. In the opening ten minutes we looked very bright, both Di Santo and Maloney testing Cech with good efforts, especially Di Santo’s which brought a smart save from the Chelsea keeper

It was the home side that took the lead though on 23 minutes, David Luiz sprung a counter attack with a through ball to Torres, his first time pass found Ramires who ran into the Latics box and coolly slotted past Al Habsi to give Chelsea a one goal advantage, 1-0

Following the half-time break the Latics were almost level, on 52 minutes Di Santo did well to skin Ivanovic and race to the dead-ball line, he crossed low and hard and the ball flashed across the Chelsea goal, both Maloney and Beausejour were in the box but neither had read Di Santo’s intentions and the chance was gone. Within a minute Chelsea doubled their lead

Azpillicueta broke down the Chelsea right, he picked out Hazard who had stole a yard in the box, the Belgium international fired low and smart past Al Habsi, 2-0

On 58 minutes the Latics found the goal that they had been threatening, a fantastic ball from James McArthur put Shaun Maloney through on goal, Cech was out in a flash, Maloney’s first touch took him wide and he drew Cech with him, the little Scot then hit a fantastic finish from a very acute angle to give the Latics some hope of a comeback, 2-1.

Arouna Kone was brought on for Espinoza as the Latics went in search of an equaliser, the Ivory Coast man nearly grabbed the headlines when he out muscled three Chelsea defenders to turn on the edge of the box to fire in a shot, unfortunately Cech was well placed to gather up safely

With 84 minutes on the clock Chelsea got a third goal and put the game to bed, Hazard knocked a ball across the edge of the Latics penalty box, Mata did a step over and the ball fell invitingly at the feet of Frank Lampard who side-footed home from 18 yards, 3-1

The score-line was increased deep into stoppage time and gave an unrealistic reflection of the game when Chelsea sub Marko Marin stole in at the far post to head unmarked into an empty net, 4-1

The performance was much improved by the Latics, but at this stage it is the results that matter
Teams
Chelsea-Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill (Benayoun 88), Cole, D Luiz, Lampard, Ramires, Oscar (Mata 77), Hazard (Marin 90), Torres
Unused subs – Turnbull, Ferreira, Bertrand, Ba

Latics – Al Habsi, McCarthy, Caldwell, Di Santo, Maloney, McArthur, Espinoza (Kone 59), Beausejour, Stam (Jones 86), Figueroa, Scharner
Unused subs – Robles, Henriquez, Gomez, McManaman, Golobart

 

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