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Wigan vs. Chelsea: Some (late) post-match thoughts

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Most of the stuff I wanted to cover from the Wigan Athletic vs. Chelsea game has been fairly well worked over by CareFreeChronic in his excellent match analysis post, and I don't want to repeat what he's said, so go read what he had to say and then check out the bullet points after the jump.

  • Chelsea were overloaded very easily in the wide areas (a combination of Wigan's shape lending itself to such an endeavour and Juan Mata being either unable or unwilling to defend), which they've been criticised for, but it seems to me that Roberto di Matteo was happy to let the Latics cross. John Terry and Petr Cech dominated in the air, preventing any dangerous headers until Jordi Gomez's chance in the second half, and Wigan ended up with five 'successful' crosses out of 34 attempts. In order words, letting the hosts cross wasn't really doing any harm.
  • Any analysis of this match must take into account the fact that Chelsea had a game about 72 hours later. With the Super Cup against Atletico Madrid necessitating a rescheduling of the Reading fixture, the Blues are going to be on short rest very early on in the season. If they could sleepwalk through a match and get three points, that's a much better result than putting any actual effort in.

    That said, that doesn't mean Chelsea played well. It just means it wasn't really in their interests to play well, and we can't really gauge whether or not they're capable of doing so from this one game. They killed the match off early thanks to a pair of silly errors and then twiddled their thumbs until they won.
  • I find it pretty interesting that Wigan didn't start to get decent chances until the second half, which roughly coincided with the Blues having more possession. The reason is, of course, that Chelsea were holding the ball and starting to commit players forward in search of a third goal, which allowed the Latics to hit us on the counter whenever we gave it away (which was alarmingly regularly from Eden Hazard and then Oscar). In the first half, Chelsea's refusal to even bother with possession made them more difficult to break down.

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