Wigan Athletic Vs. Chelsea, 2011 Premier League: Latics Grab Late Equalizer To Snatch Two Points From Blues

Chelsea were far from their best against Wigan Athletic on Saturday, but it still looked for most of the match like they would be able to clinch a win and all three points. After a scoreless first half, Chelsea was the side that took the lead, but they threw it away in the 88th minute as Wigan grabbed a late equalizer for a 1-1 draw.

Both teams looked a bit static in a poor first half and Andre Villas-Boas made an attacking change to start the second half, bringing on Solomon Kalou for defensive midfielder Oriol Romeu. The move would pay off with a 59th minute goal, though the strike was more about individual brilliance than tactics. On a long diagonal ball by Ashley Cole, Daniel Sturridge took it down brilliantly and hit a great finish past Ali Al-Habsi, giving his team a lead.

With Wigan defending well and his side not looking like they were going to pour in the goals, AVB reverted to his original formation, subbing in John Obi Mikel for Juan Mata in the 66th minute. It was an understandable change at the time, but he would eventually regret not pushing harder for a second.

Chelsea's defense, which had played well, completely fell apart in the 88th minute. However, the biggest blame for the Wigan equalizer should fall on Petr Cech, who committed an absolute howler. After Branislav Ivanovic and Jose Bosingwa's questionable positioning allowed the ball to get into the box easily, Hugo Rodallega attempted to toe poke the ball past Cech and hit it very slowly, right into his stomach. Inexplicably, Cech failed to handle the ball and batted it into the path of Jordi Gomez, who scored with a simple finish.

For the final two minutes, plus stoppage time, Wigan actually looked like the side more likely to score a winner as Chelsea looked toothless. Nothing came of their ventures forward, however, and the match finished 1-1. Though Cech should have easily prevented the equalizer, the score isn't necessarily an unfair representation of the play. Chelsea simply did not bring their best to the DW Stadium.

For more on the two teams, check out Chelsea FC blog We Ain't Got No History and Wigan Athletic blog Pie Eaters Footy.

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