Chelsea lost their first Premier League game of the season earlier, going down 3-1 to Wigan Athletic at the JW Stadium. I didn’t see the game, but by all accounts Wigan deserved the win.
The goals came from Titus Bramble in the 16th minute, who was left unmarked to nod home from a corner, before Didier Drogba equalized just after the break – it was his 100th goal for the Blues. Three minutes later Petr Cech was adjudged to have brought down Hugo Rodallega in the box (it’s hard to tell from the video, but there doesn’t appear to be much contact) and given a straight red card by referee Phil Dowd (Ashley Cole looked to have got back to be the last man). Rodallega got up and blasted the penalty past Henqique Hilario, who was brought on to replace Cech at the expense of Florent Malouda. Paul Scharner wrapped up the win for Wigan in stoppage time after good work down the left by Maynor Figueroa.
It was the Latics’ first win against one of the big four sides.
Manchester United are now top of the table on goal difference.
The Observer, Joe Lovejoy: “Chelsea’s 100% start to the season was always going to end somewhere, but it was expected to happen in more salubrious surroundings than the stadium that the shrinking violet Dave Whelan has named after himself. The league leaders arrived on the back of nine successive wins in all competitions, Wigan suffered a 4-0 drubbing at Arsenal last week, so this was billed as a no-brainer.”
Sunday Times, Duncan Castles: “With a red card for his goalkeeper and an injury to his most impressive defender, Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti’s flawless entrée to English football ended in a 3-1 defeat at Wigan yesterday. Petr Cech received a straight red card for lunging foot-first into a one-on-one with Hugo Rodallega. Wigan’s domineering forward converted to make the score 2-1 and with Chelsea down to nine men after Ashley Cole took a blow to his knee, Paul Scharner underlined the Blues’ first defeat in 24 games with a late goal.”
Sunday Telegraph, Graham Chase: “It all comes to an end sooner or later and as Wigan finally managed a victory against a big four team for the first time in 35 attempts, Carlo Ancelotti’s perfect start to life in England was no longer.”
Official Chelsea FC Website: “Didier Drogba scored his 100th Chelsea goal but the winning run ended in a game in which Petr Cech was sent-off six minutes after half-time.”
Carlo Ancelotti: “Wigan played very well. They showed a very good organisation, very good play and I was surprised by this. Today we played a bad game and Wigan played better than us. They used all the pitch to attack and were very quick to counter attack. It was the right result. I didn’t expect this performance but this is football and we have to look forward to the next game.”
Roberto Martinez: “Everyone will agree that it wasn’t a lucky win, and that we deserved this. From the first second until the last we wanted to win, dictated the play, composed ourselves, and time after time took up great positions on the pitch.”
Giles Smith: “It was, of course, a gut-suckingly miserable result. And it didn’t help that it came on an afternoon of other, gut-suckingly miserable results, it being one thing to lose 3-1 at Wigan, and quite another to lose 3-1 at Wigan while Liverpool are scoring six against Hull, Manchester United are beating Stoke City away and even limp old Tottenham are managing to find five against Burnley. Frankly I would have had a happier afternoon if I had spent it stuffing my feet into a wood-chipper.”