Tough day at the office for Al Habsi
I have been away over the weekend, so unfortunately missed the game. Luckily Sky Sports have been invented so I have been able to watch the match. What I wasn't ready for was the first ten minutes of the match, where a Hazard warning would have been appropriate. You have to wonder when our lads will learn we have to start bright and work hard.
Yet that wasn't what we saw for the Wigan faithful, what we saw was a poor first ten minutes. Followed by 80 minutes of the Wigan of old last season where had we got the killer touch. Then we could have possibly gotten back into the game. Yet alas we still don't have that key striker who can finish the chances we make.
Yet first lets look at the first ten minutes and see just what went wrong.
Well it looked okay in side the first minute, good passing play by Wigan and looking to get forward and attack the Chelsea defence. One thing that did surprise me was the missing Jean Beausejour and instead Maynor Figueroa was playing in his place. Which makes sense if the Chilean isn't available, but ideal we would rather have Jean playing.
Yet we would all be wishing that Figgs had been playing centre back after two minutes. When Eden Hazard managed to turn the new boy Ivan Ramis for pace and in the space that Ramis had left behind, set of Ivanovic (yes that Ivanovic, who shouldn't have been playing). Yet Ivanovic managed to break clear down our left hand side and blast the ball past a faltering Ali Al Habsi.
1-0, well not too bad lets try and get it tight now. No stupid tackles! That is the key.
So step up Ramis who would let Hazard run past him again, before sticking out a boot to send the Belgium flying. No choice for the referee it had to be a penalty. Given, and up stepped Frank Lampard to put the ball underneath Ali Al Habsi who guessed the right way.
2-0 and this could be a romp.
But we picked ourselves up and dusted ourselves down we weren't going to be beaten lightly. So then came the strong, sharp and quick passing Wigan we love to see. Would it be to little to late? Well at the time we thought, and I imagine Chelsea thought that we could make this a game.
Franco Di Santo though was unable to convert the chances that came his way. Crosses and through balls came his way, yet he just couldn't put it past Cech.
Di Santo's best chance early on was a great cross from Emmerson Boyce, which found Franco free in the middle of the two centre backs. Yet the Argentinian's header just flashed over the top of the netting. Had that been on taregt it would have had Cech beaten.
By this time we had had more of the ball than Chelsea, and it was starting to show as we pushed and pushed up the field. The signs in fairness were good, and at the end of the day it wasn't a bad performance, the fact that in the first half we couldn't score was shocking. Especially when Di Santo was put through one on one with Cech only for his effort to be cleared off the line.
The second half was much the same. Wigan played in our cool confident manner but with no end results. Yet when Arouna Kone came on late on, he could have put a corner in off Figeroua had he only had less of a connection on the ball.
Other half chance for both sides had been played out in the second half yet no clear cut chance. Even Fernando Torres couldn't score. His one on one effort with Al Habsi was cleared of the line by Ivan Ramis who was trying his best to make up for his mistakes in the first half.
The defence in the second half though did strengthen up and looked better than inside the first ten minutes.
There is still work to be done before next weekends game, but even after a 2-0 defeat there is a lot to be happy of from Wigan Athletic.