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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
August 19, 2012
• 8:30 AM
• The DW Stadium, Wigan
Referee: M. Jones
• Attendance: 19738
B. Ivanović 2'
F. Lampard 7'
So that brings an end to our play-by-play coverage today folks, thank you for joining me and stick around on site for all the post-match news and reaction.
Finally, just a quick word on both Eden Hazard and Oscar, who both enjoyed their Premier League debuts today. The Belgian was lively during his time on the pitch, playing a part in both goals, while the Brazilian's cameo late in the second half was very bright and bodes well for the future.
While the blistering start may have had Wigan fans worrying about how many they may let in today, Chelsea rarely got out of second gear from then on. The visitors were professional and did what they had to do, showing that they have the ability to grind out results when they're not at their best, a hallmark of all good title challengers.
It's full-time at the DW Stadium now and Chelsea have emerged as the victors with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Wigan meaning that they now haven't lost an opening game of a new season since 1998.
Moses flings one last ball into the box and while Boyce gets above Cole, his header is miles over the bar.
Terry wins the ball well with a sliding tackle to intercept the ball from the onrushing Watson as Wigan continue to chase a late goal.
Chance! Lovely flowing move from Chelsea here, with Oscar and Ivanovic playing a beautiful one-two, and when the right-back pulls the ball back across goal, it goes just behind Torres and Boyce hacks it clear just before Oscar can latch on to it. I've been very impressed with the Brazilian since he's come on.
Moses gets away from Cole on the right but his ball in is cleared away by Terry again and the Chelsea skipper has had a very good game today.
That's more like it from Torres as he races onto a pass from Meireles down the right before dipping his shoulder and winning a free-kick right on the edge of the box on the right after being tripped by Ben Watson. From the resulting ball in, Luiz headed an effort straight at Al-Habsi.
Chance! Moses beats Ivanovic for pace down the left and his cross into the box is nodded on by Kone and Gomez fires just wide with an ambitious bicycle kick from 10 yards out.
Better from Wigan as they knock the ball around neatly down the right forcing Bertrand to concede a corner and from it, Kone goes close, getting in front of Terry but nodding just wide. Cech was absolutely nowhere there.
Careless from Cech as he tries to roll the ball out to Luiz but with the defender's back turned, it goes to Gomez, who on the stretch, can't quite get it to Kone and the goalkeeper gratefully collects.
This has been a bit of a training exercise for Chelsea at times, as they knock the ball around without any real pressure on the ball.
Dodgy defending from Cole as he gets caught on the ball going towards his own goal by Gomez, and with Wigan players swarming around him, he just about recovers and wins a free-kick after getting the best of a couple of challenges.
With Ramis and Gomez stood over the ball, it's the latter who steps up and as it curls underneath the wall, Cech gets down to easily collect and there wasn't an awful lot of power on that strike.
Lampard goes in late on Gomez and Wigan have a free-kick in a promising position, 30 yards out from goal.
Yellow CardFrank Lampard
Lively little cameo from Oscar so far and he appears to have kicked this side into life, spreading the ball across the pitch with ease to Bertrand.
Chance! What on earth is Jordi Gomez doing there? Great ball in from Figueroa and the Spaniard is all alone in the box, 12 yards from goal and as he attempts to guid the header into the top corner, he gets it all wrong and it sails over the bar. That was awful.
Chance! Torres superb cushioned header into the path of Oscar sees the Brazilian stretch his legs and show a sharp turn of pace as he beats Ramis on the outside before drilling a shot just wide of the left-hand post after surging into the box. Promising signs for the future for Chelsea fans.
An interesting battle now between Kone and Terry looks to be on the cards, with the former Levante striker's movement sure to cause problems.
Franco Di Santo
Two new boys are on the pitch amongst all that action - Oscar for Chelsea and Arouna Kone for Wigan.
Tell you what, if Torres had gone down under that challenge there from Caldwell, he definitely would have won a penalty.
I should have moaned earlier, the game has just sparked in to life. Firstly, Bertrand nods on Lampard's flaoted pass into the path of Torres, who goes past Caldwell before toe-poking it past Al-Habsi, but his effort is cleared off the line by Ramis. Then Wigan attack right up the other end and Moses plays in a lovely ball for Di Santo, who forces a corner out of Cech with a smart stop.
Both sides struggling to retain possession at the moment and there haven't really been any clear-cut chances during this second period just yet. One for the purists.
Up the other end, Di Santo has a crack from the edge of the box which flies wide and he didn't really have any other option there. The midfield area is very congested at the moment and both team's strikers are looking isolated.
Loose pass from Alcaraz at the back and Bertrand is onto it as quick as a flash, but the attack fizzles out with little to no support arriving to help out the Chelsea man.
Yellow CardJames McArthur
Very little going on at the moment and the tempo, what there was of it anyway, has practically disappeared.
It's all getting very scrappy at the moment and Wigan could do with being a bit more direct if you ask me.
Luiz plays a lovely ball in behind the Wigan defence for Torres, but it's in an awkward position and he plays it wide to Mata who crosses it in and when it break to Cole on the edge of the box, his volley goes harmlessly wide.
Chelsea appear to lack a bit of cutting edge in the final third at the moment and Mata has been very quiet today.
Shaun Malonet trudges off the pitch with a groin injury, shame, because he's been a bright spark for the hosts today. Jordi Gomez on in his place.
We're underway in the second half and a bright start from Wigan already, as they sling in a couple of crosses which put Chelsea under pressure, but just when it looks as if there's a half chance, Di Santo's touch at the back post lets him down again.
Hopefully we might get to see Oscar in the second half too, with Hazard likely to tire in the second period. Lord knows Chelsea need to get their foot on the ball a lot more.
Wigan's plan today appears to be to work the ball out wide and get it in early, but Di Santo isn't good enough in the air to make the most of the service, which admittedly, has been pretty ropey. Arouna Kone and Mauro Boselli could play a part in the second half now.
The onus on Fernando Torres to deliver this season is massive but he's cut quite an isolated figure up front today, with Lampard and Mikel struggling to gain a foothold in midfield against McCarthy and McArthur and provide a platform for both Mata and Hazard to create chances higher up the pitch. The Belgian on his debut has been fairly lively so far, though, setting up the first goal and winning the penalty for the second, with the Wigan players routinely taking lumps out of him every chance they get.
Mike Jones bring an end to the first half and Wigan have dominated for long spells but they're weak at both ends and that's cost them again today. Chelsea have been poor since going two goals up inside the opening seven minutes, but they appear to be playing well within themselves at the moment.
Wigan break at pace with Moses threading a good ball across the pitch to Figueroa who plays a fantastic first-time ball into Di Santo in behind the defence, but his first touch is heavy and Luiz gets back to block with Ivanovic mopping up. Toothless up top at the moment, the hosts are.
Good play from Moses again as he flicks the ball up over his head, and beats Cole for pace again, but his cross into the middle is wild and goes out for a throw-in on the opposite touchline.
Wigan have had 55% of the possession so far, but they've not done an awful lot with it to be honest.
As Ryan Bertrand knocks the ball out for a throw-in, he reminds me for the first time that he's still on the pitch - what exactly does he do? Flavour of the month.
Excellent from Moses here as he picks the ball up wide on the right, runs at pace on the edge of the box before dipping his shoulder and driving his way past Ashley Cole, forcing a decent save out of Cech with a fierce strike from a narrow angle.
Hazard is down again and this time, he really shouldn't be as McArthur wins the ball, tapping the Chelsea player's head as he runs past - apparently that's enough and he goes down.
Yellow CardDavid Luiz
Luiz goes in on the back of Di Santo near the halfway line and gets booked - bit of inconsistency there from referee Mike Jones.
Hazard is brought down by James McCarthy on the right and the Wigan midfielder is walking a very fine line now, he should have been booked already after a series of awkwardly-timed tackles. That's also about the 12th time someone has fouled Hazard this game so far.
Chelsea really have taken their foot of the peddle here, absolutely cruising and it already looks like job done at the moment.
Decent attack from Wigan as they zip the ball around at pace, but the move comes to an end when Figueroa's cross down the left is just aimlessly thrown into the box and Chelsea get it clear.
Bit of controversy as Cech races to collect the ball, but when he does, his hands look like they're slightly out of the area. Torres up the other end of the pitch is crowded out by four Wigan defenders on the break shortly after.
Hazard carries the ball up the pitch well at pace, throwing in a couple of stepovers for good measure as he rounds McArthur, but his pass to Mata is loose and easily cut out by Figueroa. Bright start from the Belgian, mind you.
Corner to Wigan after Ivanovic can't prevent the ball going behind after Figueroa cleverly played it off him, but after a short corner, the hosts waste their chance.
The Torres of old? Mata slips Boyce down the left and gets in a great low cross but the Spaniard only makes a half-hearted run to his near post to try and get there and Al-Habsi collects.
Pressure from Wigan as Moses wins a free-kick wide on the right, and after a series of crosses into the box, Chelsea get the ball clear. They dealt very well with a bit of an aerial bomardement there, David Luiz winning everything against Di Santo at the moment.
Maloney has been Wigan's best player on show already, like a slippery little eel as he glides past John Obi Mikel again before spraying the ball out wide to Emerson Boyce - the defender's ball in is nodded over by Franco Di Santo, though. The hosts best chance of the game so far.
Things just settled down a bit now and Wigan are getting on the ball a bit more, but the atmosphere is non-existent at the moment, very flat.
Much better from Wigan now as they manage to get a couple of balls into the box from Figueroa on the left, keeping the ball nicely with Maloney heavily involved.
Yellow CardGary Caldwell
Tell you what, Hazard has made a bright start here, setting up the first goal and winning the penalty for the second, but Wigan are kicking lumps out of him already, with Gary Caldwell the latest to go right through the back of him. Welcome to England, as they say.
Wigan knocking the ball around nicely in Chelsea's half, but they do look vulnerable at the back, acres of space in behind that back four at the moment with Figueroa and Boyce pushed so high up the pitch. It is still 3-4-3, but it's not working so far.
Penalty GoalFrank Lampard
GOALLL! Lampard steps up, puffs his cheeks out and drills it with power straight down the middle, with the ball going underneath the diving Al-Habsi. Chelsea off to a dream start here, two goals to the good already.
Wigan coming into it a bit more now, but with Chelsea on the break again, Ramis gives away a penalty bringing Hazard down with a very clumsy challenge on the right-hand side of the box. Terrible start for the hosts.
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 counter-attacking football.
And we're underway at the DW Stadium, Chelsea have had most of the ball so far.
Also looks from the side that's been selected by Roberto Martinez, which also includes five defenders, that he may have abandoned his hugely successful 3-4-3 formation that kept them up last season, although that will be clearer once we get underway.
On the face of things, that's not the most exciting starting eleven from Chelsea there, they're essentially playing with five defenders and a holding man, with Ryan Bertrand being asked to play in a similar forward role like the one he did in the Champions League final. Hardly the dawning of an exciting new era, is it?
For Wigan, Victor Moses is handed a surprise start against the side that he could be moving to very shortly, while Mauro Boselli is back on the bench after a successful loan spell away at Estudiantes and new signing Ivan Ramis is given his debut at centre-back.
The main team news to draw attention to is that Eden Hazard makes his competitive debut in England, while Oscar will have to kick his heels on the bench.
Chelsea subs: Turnbull, Cahill, Ferreira, Essien, Meireles, Oscar, Sturridge.
And here is Roberto Di Matteo's Chelsea side: Cech; Ivanovic, David Luiz, Terry, Cole; Lampard, Mikel; Hazard, Mata, Bertrand; Torres.
Wigan subs: Pollitt, Kone, Jones, Crusat, Watson, Gomez, Boselli.
Here's how Roberto Martinez's side will line up: Al Habsi; Boyce, Alcaraz, Caldwell, Figueroa; Maloney, McArthur, McCarthy, Ramis, Moses; Di Santo.
Good afternoon ladies and gents, my name is James McManus and I'll be running you through our LIVE! play-by-play of Chelsea's opening Premier League game of the season, away at Wigan today.
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