The Latics kicked off the new campaign with an encouraging performance but a disappointing result against the European Champions and FA Cup winners Chelsea, going down 2-0 with both goals coming in the first 7 minutes wasn’t the start that we all wanted.
Chelsea new boy Eden Hazard looked a class act and in the opening exchanges, he got the better of the Latics defence having a hand in both the Chelsea goals, a superb turn and fantastic pass setting up Ivanovic for the opener, then the Belgium international’s trickery brought a rash challenge from Latics debutant Ivan Ramis to earn Chelsea a spot kick which Lampard just squeezed past Al Habsi
The Latics responded really well to the early set back and created quite a few good chances, Moses hit a screamer from an acute angle that Cech pushed away for a corner, Di Santo, Gomez and Koné all had good chances, but it wasn’t to be.
After the game both managers reflected on the action and gave their views on how the afternoon panned out, let’s take a look at what they had to say:
Latics boss Roberto Martinez – ‘In those first six minutes we looked exposed, created our own problems and were punished as a result.
‘It was the worst possible start but we used all our experience and personality to react in the right manner which was very pleasing.
‘We started with a low intensity and our approach was more resembling of a pre-season game than a league match’
‘The Premier League is ruthless in that respect and will punish you, especially when playing a side that has the quality Chelsea has.
‘Two-nil down after six minutes is a real test but I thought the players showed great personality and reacted to the situation in a way I’ve not seen in a Wigan Athletic team before.
‘We were unfortunate not to get a goal we deserved; you know how well Chelsea defend but we created good chances that didn’t quite find a way through.
‘So delighted with the reaction, disappointed we couldn’t start the game with the same high intensity as the response but it’s left us with many positives.
‘The new players came in and had an impact on the game which goes to show the strength of the team.
‘A goal would have given us a chance to get back in the game because I feel Chelsea were starting to lose control of the game, running the clock down and using their experience to see out the game.’
Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo – ‘Eden (Hazard) showed all his quality’
‘He was outstanding. He combined well with his team-mates, was a threat. He was exactly what we were looking for.
‘He’s got great technical ability, a burst of pace as well to get away from players; he can play with his back to goal. He has a lot of characteristics which he’ll bring to our team.’
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