Wigan errors gift Chelsea four-goal win
Chelsea ran out 4-0 winners at home to Wigan Athletic on Saturday afternoon. A Frank Lampard free-kick opened the scoring for the Blues, before Arjen Robben made it two and then scored a third, credited to a Chris Kirkland error. Didier Drogba scored a fourth in injury time.
The set-piece was curled in on 13 minutes by Lampard, and with Wigan goalkeeper Kirkland indecisive, it went straight into the far corner without ayone taking a touch.
The second, in the 63rd minute, was also the fault of Wigan. Kristofer Haestad played a poor back-pass toward Kirkland, picked up by Robben. The Holland international rounded the shot-stopper and finished.
On 70 minutes the third goal came as Robben attacked from the left and reached the goal-line before attempting a low ball across. The ball struck Kirkland on the underside of the body and into the goal.
The rout was completed when Drogba headed home deep in injury time.
A dour first half at Stamford Bridge began under great tension, given Chelsea's recent relatively poor run. As the news filtered through from Old Trafford of a lead for Manchester United, the crowd grew even more restless.
Just before the second goal went in, however, Wayne Bridge gave them something to shout about. He made his way to the left corner of the area and played a low cross to Didier Drogba at the near post, whose first-time shot was just over the bar.
Two minutes after nerves were settled as Lampard's kick crept into the far post, only moments after news of a second United goal.
Salomon Kalou and Arjen Robben, playing off Drogba at the head of the attack, sought to find ways in behind a tough Wigan defence from out wide, but were often frustrated.
There was little more coming from either team in the opening half, only a clever free-kick orchestrated between Lampard and Drogba. Standing near the corner flag on the left side, the Ivorian disguised a ball inside for the England man to shoot hard and low, saved by Kirkland at the near post.
Lee McCulloch and David Cotterill were both booked for the visitors as they cynically brought Ricardo Carvalho and Bridge to the ground respectively.
The second half did not bring much more excitement, apart from the goals. Kalou and Robben both had shots saved low down by Kirkland as Wigan kept things tight.
Haestad was also booked after a full body challenge felled Robben, who hurt his throat on the ball while falling.
That did not stop him from finishing Wigan off with aplomb, during perhaps the best performance of anyone on the pitch.
Drogba also was not to be denied, sending a diving header into the far corner after some great play and cross by subsitute John Obi Mikel to give the supporters a final souvenir for their money.