Chelsea 1 - 1 Wigan Athletic

Scorers: Essien(54'), Heskey(90+1')

Starting Eleven:
Belletti, Alex, Terry, Bridge
Essien, Mikel, Ballack
Kalou, Anelka, Malouda
subs: Hilario, Shevchenko, Wright-Phillips, J.Cole, Carvalho

Heskey's 92nd minute equalizer meant heartbreak for the Blue brigade after Essien's goal 9 minutes after halftime. Manchester United would be happy for the favor their ex-player Steve Bruce has done. The title race is mathematically still alive but it is unlikely United would lose twice in their remaining 4 matches. Grant had said before the match that we need to win all remaining matches to bring the trophy to London but instead the match turned out to be another nail in Grant's coffin.

The big news before the game was the return of Petr Cech, wearing two masks, and the late withdrawal of Frank Lampard. That meant Belletti replaced the midfielder, with Michael Essien rejoining Ballack and Mikel in the middle. Kalou played on the left and Malouda on the right to support Anelka in the middle. Wayne Bridge and Alex replaced Ashley Cole and Ricardo Carvalho in defence.

Anelka failed to keep the ball on target with his glancing header in the opening minutes and later when he headed the ball towards the target Kirkland backpedaled and managed to keep the ball out. Chelsea seemed to lack the edge with clueless Malouda wandering aimlessly in the pitch. so, inevitably Joe Cole was brought on at half time to replace him. He immediately made an impact and continued to do so.

Terry hit the crossbar and Kalou made Kirkland save again before Anelka found Essien on the edge of the box and the Ghanaian curled his kick between the defenders to the goal. His 5th this season. As the minutes ticked away, Chelsea remained the better side with the greater share of possession, but few chances came of it. Anelka and Essien missed chances and Joe Cole continued to impress.

Disaster struck Chelsea in the injury time. On 91 minutes, Koumas crossed into the channel between goalkeeper and defense, and up popped Heskey to volley home.And with that went two valuable points. I think we lacked the brilliance and creativity of Lampard in the midfield, who was not available due to 'family reasons'. The title race might not be over, but the Israeli's stay in London is soon to be over. Personally I still believe anything is possible. Hoping for the best...



13 July 2008 at 15:33

very interesting !!