Chelsea banish ghosts of DW Stadium

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On September 26th, 2009, Chelsea traveled to the DW Stadium full of confidence, an almost cocky arrogance expecting another comfortable afternoon in the Barclays Premier League.  

The Blues were in for a rude awakening as they succumbed to an embarrassing 3-1 defeat against a vibrant Wigan side though, presenting Carlo Ancelotti with his first taste of defeat in English football.

You could forgive the players and manager if the word ‘revenge’ was playing on their mind when they made there way back to the capital that cold night.

Fast forward 11 months and those ghosts were well and truly laid to rest as the Champions rolled into town with an air of defiance, destroying Wigan in emphatic style and racking up six goals in back-to-back games.

In doing so, Chelsea became the first ever side to score twelve goals in the first two Premier League matches. An impressive start.

‘Revenge is sweet’, as they say. The boys from Stamford Bridge displayed breathtaking football, attacking sorry Wigan relentlessly on their way to a handsome 6-0 victory.

The first half was surprisingly even however, with Wigan probably shading proceedings. After the opening day massacre delivered by newly-promoted Blackpool, Roberto Martinez’s men knew they had to put up a stronger fight for their fans.

They did just that as they harried Ancelotti's side all over the park, playing some good football to go with their energy and endeavour when they had possession.

It’s when you’re on top against the big sides however, that you must take advantage. Wigan did not, and boy were they made to pay for their profligacy in the final third.

On 34 minutes, Chelsea broke with their first real foray on the Latics’ goal and as so often happens, broke the deadlock via the rejuvenated Florent Malouda with typical Chelsea incisiveness in front of goal.

Wigan's heads had fallen and it was now a case of ‘how many’ as the Blues looked hungry for more.

The second half started much as the first ended as the Champions began to strut their stuff, producing a breathless combination of power, pace and skill.

Attack after attack, Chelsea looked like they would score and they did just that as Nicolas Anelka and then substitute Salomon Kalou hit braces, with fellow substitute Yossi Benayoun grabbing his first for the club and in doing so. He put the icing on the cake in injury-time.

What is remarkable is that arguably Chelsea’s two best players, Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard, did not get on the score sheet providing further proof of the strength-in-depth of this amazing squad. 

However, a glance at the scoreboard doesn’t tell the whole story when it comes to the performance of the aforementioned Drogba. The Ivory Coast front man bagged a hat-trick of goals on the opening day. 

This week, he bagged a hat-trick of assists as he displayed his full repertoire of skills at the DW Stadium. The current golden boot holder looks hungrier than ever and apparently feels ‘the best I have felt for a long time’, claiming he is now ‘injury-free’  for the first time in six years.

That’s an ominous sign to Chelsea’s rivals in England and all over Europe.

*Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

Didier Drogba
Yossi Benayoun
Nicolas Anelka
Salomon Kalou
Florent Malouda
Premier League
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