The match reports
The Guardian, Dominic Fifield: “This contest had drifted just beyond the half-hour when the referee Mike Jones’ patience finally snapped. Eden Hazard was face down on the turf, crumpled this time by James McCarthy’s frantic tackle, but, rather than book the offender, Jones sought an explanation from the captain, Gary Caldwell, for Wigan’s apparent strategy to nullify the Belgian. Judging by the panic that gripped the home players whenever the No17 picked up possession, any perceived plan that might have been hatched felt decidedly flawed. Hazard illuminated this occasion on his Premier League debut, his play eventually fizzling out in a mixture of over-exuberance and fatigue as the adrenaline faded. But if this was the 21-year-old finding his feet, then Chelsea will be salivating over everything that awaits. At £32m the playmaker has not come cheap, and his price tag demands a smooth transition from Ligue 1 to English top flight, but this was a tantalising glimpse of his qualities.”
The Daily Telegraph, Chris Bascombe: “It has been a long wait, but Roman Abramovich finally has his hands on a prize he has craved for years. A multi-million pound signing, coveted by every major European club, who genuinely looks value for money. Given the number of stings he has suffered in the transfer market recently, particularly when Andrei Shevchenko and Fernando Torres are considered, the Chelsea owner must have been watching Eden Hazard’s Premier League debut with a certain degree of trepidation. However, such concerns will have evaporated within 90 seconds at the DW Stadium. That was how long it took for Hazard, with Wigan Athletic’s debutant centre-half Iván Ramis breathing on his pristine new Chelsea jersey, to turn exquisitely and speed away before sending Branislav Ivanovic clear for Chelsea’s opening goal. The applause which followed was directed at the set-up as much as the emphatic finish.”
The Independent, Ian Herbert: “We certainly know now that he will be what his name suggests, to any who are off the pace or off the ball when he takes it up. Eden Hazard will also be a substantial part of the nine-month story which lies ahead, even though the rapid start to Chelsea’s Premier League campaign which he provided did not expand into a comprehensive statement of intent to challenge the Manchester duopoly.”
The Official Chelsea FC Website: “Chelsea are out of the blocks with a bang after a comfortable away win at Wigan on the opening Sunday of the season, thanks to two goals inside the first six minutes. It was the perfect start to the new league campaign as Branislav Ivanovic smashes us into the lead inside two minutes after Eden Hazard had put him through with a slide-rule pass, and Hazard created a second just minutes later when he was fouled inside the area.”
“I’m very pleased with the performance and result. It’s always tricky, the first game of the season, like you saw yesterday.
“We played away at Wigan who finished last season on a strong note. Last season we drew here and in the home game had a tough encounter. We were expecting a difficult game and the two early goals really helped us and settled a lot of nerves.
“I give a lot of credit to Wigan. They never gave up and still tried to go forward. We nearly scored a third which would have killed the game completely but we were quite comfortable. They didn’t create many clear cut chances, a couple of half chances but credit to Wigan. I like Roberto Martinez’s teams and what he tries to do.”