Juan Mata’s 93rd minute winner helped Chelsea close to the gap to the Premier League's top four to just two points against a spirited Wigan Athletic side at Stamford Bridge.
In a week which saw Roberto Di Matteo’s side book their place in the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona, Branislav Ivanovic’s controversial goal looked to have handed the three points the home side’s way.
However Mohamed Diame’s thunderous effort with seven minutes left seemingly confirmed a point for The Latics, before Mata’s fortunate winner put Chelsea back in front.
Roberto Martinez’s side will feel more than hard done by, not least because of the nature of the first goal, but because of their energetic display which had frustrated the home side for long periods.
Ali Al Habsi had denied Didier Drogba brilliantly in the first half from a header in one of few opportunities for either side.
The second half was far brighter however, and Chelsea hit the front when Raul Meireles' looped ball fell to Ivanovic, who poked home unchallenged.
Replays suggested the Serbian defender was as far as two yards offside, but despite protests from the away side, the goal was allowed to stand.
With the hosts unable to kill off the contest, Wigan grabbed what looked like a deserved equaliser, when Diame was allowed space to smash home from 20 yards.
Victor Moses could even has won it for the visitors but saw his shot deflected wide, and his miss proved to be pivotal in the final outcome.
Torres caught Drogba’s lofted cross full on the volley, which after smacking against the post flew against the oblivious Mata and beyond a stranded Al Habsi.
It proved to be the final act of stoppage time, as Chelsea kept pace with Newcastle United, and closed the gap to Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in the race for fourth, while Wigan’s relegation fears continue to swell.
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