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90′ + 4 – Yellow Card – Marko Marin (Chelsea FC)
90′ + 2 – Goal – Marko Marin (Chelsea FC) GOAL!
Marin scores with his first touch. Super-sub!
90′ + 2 – Well, the scoreline is perhaps harsh on
Wigan today, but the hosts have run away with it in
this second half and simply outlasted their bottom-
half opponents.
90′ + 1 – Substitution Eden Hazard Marko Marin
(Chelsea FC)
89′ – While questions will still be in the air about
Rafa Benitez’s future, there should be absolutely
no doubt about Frank Lampard’s. If Chelsea do not
renew the England midfielder’s contract, I’ll be lost
for words.
88′ – Substitution Gary Cahill Yossi Benayoun
(Chelsea FC)
87′ – Assist – Eden Hazard (Chelsea FC) Chelsea
have surely sealed victory now – Lampard’s 11th
Premier League goal this season and ninth in 14
games. Mata dummied the ball superbly and
Lampard took it upon himself to launch a plumb of
a shot from just outside the penalty area. Classic
87′ – Goal – Frank Lampard (Chelsea FC) GOAL! A
sensational strike from Lampard – no surprises
there, then.
85′ – Di Santo earns his side a throw – although he
would have hoped for more. The Argentine striker
has been a constant thorn in his former team’s side
but is yet to get his name on the scoresheet.
83′ – Substitution Ronnie Stam David Jones
(Wigan Athletic)
81′ – Kone fires a shot straight at Cech! The
goalkeeper wasn’t worried in the end but the home
fans will be worrying that it’s the away side
creating late pressure, not them.
79′ – Yellow Card – Maynor Figueroa (Wigan
Athletic) Figueroa makes a rash challenge on
Ramires and receives a booking – and a Chelsea free
kick in a dangerous position – as his punishment.
77′ – Substitution Oscar Juan Mata (Chelsea FC)
76′ – A lot of pressure from the away side now
and that late equaliser I alluded to early looks as
though it could still be coming.
75′ – Di Santo has a thunderous shot blocked and
Wigan get their fifth… and then sixth corner.
74′ – The away side now win their fourth corner
of the game and are looking as though there are
still signs of life in them.
73′ – The aftermath sees a penalty appeal turned
down for the visitors but a free-kick then given
inside the Chelsea half.
72′ – Di Santo is released down the left flank but
Cahill dispossesses him before losing the ball in a
similar manner to how he did against Brazil
71′ – Chelsea have been winning 2-1 late on quite
a lot recently.. They dropped points against both
Southampton and Reading from this position and
memorably lost 3-2 to Newcastle last weekend
thanks to a late Moussa Sissoko winner after
leading 2-1 as well.
69′ – It’s the home side with all the play once
again, now. They are dominating possession and
creating chances in abundance. That Maloney goal
is starting to look like the exception rather than
the rule – but it may still cost the hosts and how
Cech will rue rushing off his line if it does.
67′ – Azpilicueta comes under pressure from
substitute Kone in his own half but remains calm,
playing a long pass back to Cech, who sees away the
66′ – Ohhhhh, so close from Lampard! A great
turn from the England man and he fires Chelsea’s
20th shot of the game across goal but just wide of
the far post.
65′ – Demba Ba is warming up for the hosts.
Benitez is often shy with his substitutions but if he
ever does make changes – they seem to happen
between the 70 and 80 minute mark, so watch this
64′ – Yellow Card – Paul Scharner (Wigan Athletic)
Will there even be a next goal? We’ll have to wait
and see… There has been a booking for Scharner,
63′ – Understandably, play has slowed down
somewhat, though both sides are still pushing
eagerly for goals. Arguably, they both need the
next goal as much as each other.
60′ – Well, what a passage of play that was! Just as
the home fans would have felt confident they were
wrapping the game up, Maloney popped up to put
the visitors right back into the equation.
59′ – Substitution R. Espinoza Arouna Kone
(Wigan Athletic)
58′ – Assist – James McArthur (Wigan Athletic)
58′ – Goal – Shaun Maloney (Wigan Athletic) GOAL
FOR WIGAN! The game has really opened up here
and the visitors are straight back into the game
after a ball over the top finds Maloney, who
finishes from a tight angle after Cech rushes off his
line. Sergio Aguero mark two.
56′ – Assist – César Azpilicueta (Chelsea FC)
56′ – Goal – Eden Hazard (Chelsea FC) GOAL!
Hazard tucks the ball away for Chelsea. Just a few
moments after Di Santo’s dangerous cross, a long
ball up the park from Cahill finds Azpilicueta, who
turns and crosses it into the Belgian, who has acres
of space to convert a calm finish.
55′ – Di Santo smashes a low ball across the box
and almost finds a Wigan shirt; danger for Chelsea
and they can count themselves lucky that slack
defending was not punished by the visitors there.
54′ – Cech is forced into a save from a header and
it’s now the away side who are fighting for the ball
on every turn and keeping it well when they regain
53′ – Today’s performance so far cannot really be
expected to have a significant impact on Benitez’s
Chelsea future. His side have been average – but
they are winning, nonetheless.
51′ – How Roberto Martinez would love a late
Latics equaliser here. The way things are going –
with the home side content with keeping the ball in
a defensive capacity – the visitors could well have
the chance to sneak a goal back late on.
49′ – Lampard finds Ramires and the Brazilian is
almost clean through on goal for a second time, but
on this occasion a Wigan defender is there to stop
48′ – Slow start to this second 45 and possession
has been evenly shared.
46′ – We are off in this second half. Ramires’
typically Brazilian first-half finish remains the
difference between the sides but the visitors have
45 minutes ahead of them to try and grab some
vital points in their battle against relegation.
… – Stamford Bridge is almost ready for the
second half…
… – There is, of course, only one way to find out
what will happen… And only one place! Grab
yourselves a half-time cuppa then stay with us here
at for the second half, which will resume
in ten minutes or so.
… – Similarly, the Blues have had six shots on
target and will be encouraged by the effectiveness
of their attacking play. No one will know the
danger of letting a lead sleep better, however, and
they will be keen to avoid a repeat of recent history
by adding to their goal tally.
… – Wigan and Roberto Martinez will feel as
though they can still get something out of this
game, and they will be grateful to keeper Ali Al-
Habsi for limiting Chelsea to just the one goal.
45′ + 1 – HALF-TIME! Both sides head into the
break after one minute of added time, each having
reasons to feel positive.
45′ – Al-Habsi deals with the corner but a few
pinged passes eventually guide the ball to Oscar,
who curls his shot over the bar.
44′ – The ball has traveled straight up the other
end here and now the home side have a corner
after great attacking work from right-back
43′ – Another corner for the away side here. The
initial out-swinger came to nothing but the Blues
failed to clear their lines and Ramires was forced
into thumping the ball out for a second Wigan
42′ – And they have earned themselves a corner
for their efforts! Maloney whips is a very tasty
cross, which forces Azpilicueta into a headed
41′ – The visitors have seen more of the ball in
the last few minutes than the whole of the previous
twenty. Even more worrying for the home fans is
that they are slowly edging closer and closer to the
Chelsea danger area.
40′ – Surprisingly, here, the home side have
somewhat eased off on the stroke of half-time. If
they somehow go into the break on level terms
they will only have themselves to blame.
38′ – The hosts actually have five players starting
today who were involved in the England-Brazil
match on Wednesday. Two Brazilians – Ramires
and Luiz – are joined by three Englishmen –
Lampard, Cole and Cahill.
36′ – It has to be said – it’s hard to see a way back
for the visitors here. The hosts curl in another
corner, which then leads to… yet another corner.
Perhaps the away side will have more joy in the
second half.
35′ – Lampard rolls a harmless shot wide but his
incessant eye for goal is still applauded by the
home fans.
33′ – Al-Habsi makes another save from the
follow-up corner as Luiz fires a header in on this
occasion. Not quite the theatrics of the last one but
a save that needed to be made, nonetheless.
32′ – SAVE!! Al-Habsi produces a world-class
fingertip save to deny a Torres header. The
Spaniard is on fire but has so far been unable to
better the Oman international.
31′ – Meanwhile, time is running out for Hulk
Hogan’s prediction of 40-1 but’s very own
3-1 prediction is looking as though it could come
30′ – It’s all Chelsea now but something tells me
Benitez won’t feel at all calm as his side have
thrown away bigger leads than this so far this term.
27′ – Ivanovic now comes close! The
bombardment continues, with Lampard and Oscar
delivering crosses into the box from left, right and
centre – quite literally.
26′ – And the hosts almost double their lead as
Torres finds himself just yards away from a corner
but a last-ditch clearance stops the Spaniard from
turning goalscorer.
25′ – The goal has pretty much taken the sting out
of the visitors and you really get the sense that they
anticipate an uphill task from here.
23′ – Assist – Fernando Torres (Chelsea FC) Well,
the goal came pretty much out of nothing – and for
all of Wigan’s counterattacking threat, it was the
home side who showed their potential on the
break with a rapid end-to-end move. Torres’ pass
was simply brilliant and Ramires used his space
exceptionally well, curling a controlled shot
towards the far top corner and giving Al Habsi
absolutely no chance.
23′ – Goal – Ramires (Chelsea FC) GOAL!!! Ramires
scores with a fantastic finish!! Torres provides the
22′ – The home side’s playmakers attempt to
speed things up but it is Ashley Cole of all people
who ends up losing the ball in the opposition half.
21′ – We are witnessing a visibly slower passage
of play once again, now, and that will suit the away
side perfectly.
18′ – The visitors do look sharp on the counter,
however, and the Blues will have to be wary of
being hit on the break when their creative
midfielders are sat deep in the Wigan half.
17′ – The home side are pushing further and
further forward now and, although on this
occasion they are restricted to a shot from distance,
Oscar forces a save from the Latics’ keeper.
15′ – And Torres comes close yet again here! If the
Spaniard has ever wanted a chance to get a run of
form going, this is it. The number nine received the
ball on the edge of the area and turned
magnificently to create space. His finish was blunt,
however, and went straight into Al Habsi’s hands.
14′ – CHANCE! Torres flashes a header wide as
Lampard delivers a fantastic free-kick from an
advanced position. Ali Al-Habsi was rooted to the
ground but, fortunately for the shot stopper,
Torres headed just wide.
13′ – The hosts now making several attempts at
building slowly from the middle of the park and
working the ball into the box. A great switch from
Luiz guides the ball to Oscar but the Brazilian
eventually loses possession and it’s back to square
11′ – Torres surges down the left hand-side but is
expertly stopped by Scharner – who then draws a
foul out of the Spaniard. How the Wigan faithful
will be delighted to have the Austrian back at their
10′ – The game slows down for a brief moment as
a slow passage of play down the left hand-side
results in a couple of throw-ins for the visitors.
Certainly not the most exciting couple of minutes
so far!
8′ – It looks as though we’re going to continue at a
rate of a shot per minute here as Hazard receives
the ball in the area from a great pass but fires his
shot wide. A bit of a reflex hit from the Belgian – he
would surely have done better with a little more
7′ – Lampard has his first shot of the day – but it’s
not one of his more memorable ones. A nice turn
from the England man but his shot from 25 yards
was nowhere near as precise as the one he tucked
away against Brazil in midweek.
6′ – And Cech is forced into another save! Shaun
Maloney this time turning on the edge of the area
and curling a wonderful shot towards the far post.
Cech dives at full stretch makes it look easy in the
5′ – CHANCE! Franco Di Santo finds space in the
penalty box against his former club and gets a near
post shot away – Cech is equal to it but it was
certainly not an easy save to make for the Czech
4′ – Benitez has been famous for his rotation
policy over the years, but the Blues have struggled
without Mata’s talismanic presence – their home
defeat to QPR in January being a case in point. Ba
will also be missed (unless he comes on) but the
decision there has also been influenced by the
broken nose he is still recovering from.
3′ – An interesting line-up for the home side
today. Ivanovic, Luiz and Cahill all on the pitch
means one thing: Brazilian Luiz moves into
midfield. That allows Lampard (or Ramires) to
venture forward, while Mata has been sacrificed to
the bench as a result.
2′ – The first corner of the game goes to the hosts
as Ramires makes a strong run down the middle
and forces a block out of the Wigan backline.
1′ – And we’re off! The away side get us underway
and have the ball forward within 25 seconds,
Beausejour sending a cross in that is calmly
collected by Cech – who has overcome a calf injury
to make today’s game.

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