Champions Chelsea thrash Wigan 6-0

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The Blues slipped up at the DW Stadium last season but – fresh from their 6-0 opening day thrashing of West Brom – Carlo Ancelotti’s side made no mistake this time and condemned the sorry Latics to their second successive heavy home reverse following their 4-0 loss to Blackpool.

Florent Malouda opened the scoring in the 34th minute after Chris Kirkland parried Frank Lampard’s shot, with the Frenchman slotting home from close range.

Compatriot Nikolas Anelka then got a quick-fire brace (48, 52) soon after the restart to make sure of the points, before Saloman Kalou notched his own brace inside the last 12 minutes and substitute Yossi Benayoun completed the rout with his first goal for the Blues.

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The victory sees Chelsea open up a two-point gap in the early table, while Roberto Martinez’s side slumped to the foot of the top-flight on goal difference after their worst-ever start to a Premier League campaign.

The Blues have now scored a phenomenal 29 goals in just five league games, 14 of those against Wigan as they thumped eight past them on the final day of last season.

As for Martinez’s hapless side, they have conceded 25 goals in six league matches and 10 already this campaign.

The 4-0 home humiliation to Blackpool last weekend had prompted bookmakers into offering staggering odds of 15-1 on a home win, arguably forgetting the Latics had ended Chelsea’s six-match winning start to last season with a 3-1 victory.

Certainly for the opening half hour Wigan’s performance, in contrast to a week ago, was as different as night and day.

All too predictably, Wigan were left regretting this when Chelsea almost casually put a move together just past the half-hour mark and took the lead. Didier Drogba began the attack, before Ashley Cole combined with Frank Lampard on the left to remind the sparse Wigan crowd that booing decent players is not such a clever idea. Lampard only flicked a shot in Kirkland’s direction, but the Wigan goalkeeper still had to dive full length to get a hand to it, and with no defenders on hand to help him out, it was a simple matter for Florent Malouda to roll the loose ball over the line.

The question now was whether Wigan would retain enough self-belief to keep taking the game to Chelsea, or whether they would allow their heads to drop and suffer another heavy defeat. Even last season, Roberto Martínez was talking about the need to toughen up and fight back from recoverable situations before the cause became completely lost, but his players never seemed to get the message. At least they reached half-time here without shipping any more goals. By the same stage last week, Blackpool were three up.

Unfortunately for Martínez, Chelsea needed only three second-half minutes to extend their lead. Rodallega had a half-chance at the other end, but could not make anything of it, and when Mikel John Obi played in Nicolas Anelka a minute later, the man who blows his nose in the direction of French football showed how a real finisher goes about his work, slotting the ball coolly past Kirkland from a narrow angle.

Old habits die hard and Wigan characteristically conceded a third just four minutes later. Malouda’s cross from the left was turned back across goal by Drogba, a couple of defenders on the line did nothing to address the situation and Anelka was allowed to get his head to the ball for a simple second.

One thing Martínez must sort out, if he is to keep his job and prevent any more embarrassing scorelines, is who takes responsibility at the back. Steve Bruce made Wigan hard to beat, if occasionally hard to watch. Martínez appears to have loftier ideals, but no amount of passing and moving can overcome three- or four-goal deficits.

Wigan played some of their best football after going three down, with McCarthy seeing a shot touched onto the post and Boselli being denied his first goal by a raised offside flag, though by that stage Chelsea were easing up and thinking of their next game, even if Terry was fortunate not to see a second yellow card for a sly lunge at N’Zogbia’s ankle.

Chelsea on economy setting were still too much for Wigan to handle, however, and once Drogba’s strong run from halfway set up a goal for Salomon Kalou, there was always the chance that more would arrive before the end. They duly did, with Kalou adding another and Yossi Benayoun notching his first for his new club right at the end. Wigan are just no good at damage limitation.

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