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Premier League

  • 19 August 2012
  • • 22:30
  • • The DW Stadium, Wigan
  • Referee: M. Jones
  • • Attendance: 19738
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Wigan 0-2 Chelsea: Ivanovic & Lampard ease Blues to victory as Hazard impresses on Premier League debut

Roberto Di Matteo's side claimed all three points in their opening game of the 2012-13 campaign with two goals in the first seven minutes still unchallenged by full-time

By Stephen Darwin

Chelsea got their English Premier League campaign under way with three points against Wigan as goals within the first seven minutes from Branislav Ivanovic and Frank Lampard secured a 2-0 win.

The Blues, who were beaten in the Community Shield by Manchester City a week previously, handed a Premier League debut to Eden Hazard, and the £32 million summer signing from Lille was the catalyst as the visitors flew out the blocks to take the lead after just two minutes at the DW Stadium.

In what was a swift counterattacking move, Hazard rolled Ivan Ramis in the middle of the pitch before releasing Ivanovic and the Serbian made no mistake as he fired home to leave Ali Al-Habsi with no chance.

BLUES OFF THE MARK

 FROM OUR LIVE COMMENTARY
2' GOALLLL! Ivanovic has got the opener for Chelsea just inside the second minute and Eden Hazard is instrumental in the goal, picking up the ball on the halfway line before delivering a lovely through-ball to put the right-back in one-on-one and he calmly slots past Al Habsi into the bottom right-hand corner. Great counterattacking football.
And Wigan were soon two behind as, with just six minutes gone, the Belgian again wrought havoc on the home side's defence, escaping a challenge from Maynor Figueroa before Ramis, enduring a nightmare start to his Latics career, came across and bundled the 21-year-old forward over for a penalty.

Lampard made no mistake from the spot, drilling the ball low underneath Al-Habsi's arms to put the Champions League holders two goals to the good. 

Wigan fashioned their first chance of the half after 18 minutes when Emmerson Boyce crossed over from the right towards Franco Di Santo and, although the former Chelsea man did well to climb between David Luiz and Ivanovic, he could only direct his header onto the top of the net.

Roberto Martinez's side came more and more into the game as the half wore on and Victor Moses, who could be on his way to Stamford Bridge before the transfer window closes, came close to pulling a goal back as he flashed an effort across goal but Petr Cech was on hand to divert the ball behind for a corner.

Chelsea were struggling to hit top gear in spite of their pulsating start to the match and Di Santo could have halved the deficit in stoppage time of the first half but, after racing onto a clever through ball from Figueroa, he failed to beat Cech when through one-on-one after a loose first touch narrowed the angle.

Wigan continued to push forward in search of a way back into the match with Di Santo and Moses both shooting wide shortly after the break but Fernando Torres then had the chance to put the game beyond the hosts with his first real sight of goal.

The Spaniard gambled in behind the Latics' defence after Ryan Bertrand had headed on but, despite touching the ball past Al-Habsi, Ramis successfully chased back to clear off the line.

Oscar was then introduced just after the hour mark for his Chelsea debut and, after replacing the impressive Hazard, he came close to opening his account for his new club but his low shot across goal drifted inches wide of the post.

Martinez's men refused to lie down and were looking the most likely as new signing Arouna Kone headed wide following a corner before Jordi Gomez acrobatically fired over the bar.

Luiz then came close to adding a third for the visitors but his header was comfortably claimed by Al-Habsi and the Blues, despite struggling to build on their impressive start to the game, saw out the final minutes to pick up the 2-0 victory.

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