Sunday, May 9, 2010

Chelsea desperately hard work of their title quest and deserve

- Anelka 6
- Lampard (pen) 32
- Kalou 54
- Anelka 56
- Drogba 63
- Drogba (pen) 68
- Drogba 80
- A Cole 90


Carlo Ancelotti, in his first season in English football, saw his players clinch their fourth top-flight crown in emphatic style yesterday with a rampant win over 10-man Wigan Athletic.

At times, Chelsea made desperately hard work of their title quest, but ultimately it was their ability to win the big games which they did with confidence, that enabled them to hold off the challenge of their rivals and win the league championship.

Nicolas Anelka put the home side on their way early on, scoring from close range after a free-kick from Didier Drogba was poorly cleared by Wigan's defenders.

The Frenchman was left unmarked in the penalty area when Drogba's rebounded effort was sent back in by Michael Ballack. Anelka's shot on six minutes, firmly struck, flew up off the turf and past Wigan goalkeeper Michael Pollitt. It was just the start that Chelsea needed.

To their credit, Wigan continued to play with energy and though Chelsea's Petr Cech was rarely troubled Ancelotti would have wanted his players to ease the pressure with a second goal.

It came, on 31 minutes, when Wigan defender Gary Caldwell was dismissed for bundling over Frank Lampard in the penalty area. The Chelsea midfielder put his spot-kick past Pollitt. Cue raucous celebrations from the home supporters. As is his way, Ancelotti watched on, holding back his emotions.

The third goal, on 54 minutes, from Salomon Kalou was a fine team effort. After a period of possession, the Ivorian played the ball into the feet of Lampard before racing into the penalty area. Kalou collected the pass, slithered through Wigan's defence before firing the ball past Pollitt.

Anelka added a fourth, with Drogba capping a fine season by scoring a second half hat-trick to complete the mauling before Ashley Cole added a late eighth.


Chelsea: Petr Cech, John Terry, Alex, Ashley Cole, Branislav Ivanovic (Juliano Belletti 59), Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack (Nemanja Matic 70), Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou (Joe Cole 58), Florent Malouda, Nicolas Anelka.

Wigan Athletic: Michael Pollitt, Gary Caldwell, Steve Gohouri, Emmerson Boyce, Mario Melchiot, James McCarthy, Mohamed Diame (Paul Scharner 72), Ben Watson (Hendry Thomas 62), Maynor Figueroa, Charles N'Zogbia, Hugo Rodallega (Victor Moses 81).


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