Wigan Athletic 1-1 Chelsea – Match Review

Jordi Gomez struck with just three minutes remaining to secure a vital point in Wigan’s fight for survival and bring Chelsea’s title challenge to a stuttering halt.

The in-form midfielder was on hand to tap in his fourth goal in five games following Petr Cech’s fumble to give the Latic’s hope of beating the drop and lift the confidence levels at the DW Stadium even higher following their win at West Brom last week. Roberto Martinez’s men certainly deserved a point for their hearty endeavours against the Blues who were broght back down to earth with a thump following their win against Manchester City on Monday night. Andre Villas-Boas’ side looked on course to make it four wins in a row that would have closed the gap between league leaders City and themselves to four points. Daniel Sturridge’s goal just before the hour appeared to have settled a game that was evenly contested despite both sides being at opposite ends of the table.

It was the home side who started the brighter with Gomez having a penalty shout turned down after he tumbled in the penalty area before Chelsea went on the offensive. Unfortunately the Wigan defence was appearing uncharacteristically resolute restricting the visitors to pot shots from distance with John Terry fizzing an effort over from 30-yards. The impressive Oriol Romeu then saw his sublime low volley tipped wide by Ali Al Habsi before Didier Drogba missed the best opportunity of the half five minutes before the break. Raul Meireles’ cross found the Ivory Coast hit man in the Wigan six-yard area only to see his diving header fly wide. More appeals for a spot kick were forthcoming from the Latics after Branislav Ivanovic appeared to block Victor Moses’ drive with his arm.

Chelsea continued to crank the pressure up after the restart and substitute Solomon Kalou almost made an instant impact only for Drogba to fire his cross into the side netting. It was going to take something special to breakdown Wigan’s uncompromising defence and Sturridge duly provided it taking Ashley Coles pass in his stride before firing his seventh Premier League goal of the season past Al Habsi. Wigan responded brilliantly to going behind with Maynor Figuero forcing Cech into a low save following a driving run up the left flank before Hugo Rodallega latched onto Ivanovic’s sloppy back pass only to be denied by the Chelsea keeper. Former Blues striker Franco Di Santo was sharp to the followup but was denied on the line by Ivanovic who made up for his almost fatal error seconds earlier. The hosts continued their pursuit of an equaliser and were rewarded in the 87th minute as Gomez tapped home after Cech spilled Rodallega’s effort.