Goalscorers: Titus Bramble 16, Didier Drogba 47, Hugo Rodallega 53 PEN, Paul Scharner 90
Wigan Athletic: Chris Kirkland, Emmerson Boyce, Titus Bramble, Maynor Figueroa, Mario Melchiot, Paul Scharner, Mohamed Diame, Hendry Thomas, Charles N’Zogbia, Hugo Rodallega, Jason Scotland (Marlon King 88)
Chelsea: Petr Cech (SENT OFF), Jose Bosingwa (Salomon Kalou 68), Ricardo Carvalho, John Terry, Ashley Cole, John Obi Mikel (Juliano Belletti 46), Michael Essien, Frank Lampard, Florent Malouda (Hilario 52), Nicolas Anelka, Didier Drogba
Referee: Phil Dowd, Attendance: 18,542
Carlo Ancelotti had made a business-like start to his career as Chelsea manager. Six straight victories had the Blues top of the table and defending a 100% record. They were anticipated to extend that run when they travelled to The DW Stadium to face Wigan Athletic in September 2009. Since beating Aston Villa on the opening weekend, Roberto Martinez’s side had recorded just further victory and sat dangerously close to the bottom three. This was a real turn-up.
The Latics had never beaten Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United or Liverpool FC since joining the Premier League party in 2005. So, they were looking to create some history here and they took a deserved lead after 15 minutes. Charles N’Zogbia collected the ball from a short corner and delivered an inch-perfect cross. Titus Bramble took advantage of a Chelsea backline that looked surprised by the nature of the set-piece and his header found the back of Petr Cech’s net.
Wigan dominated the first half and could have increased their lead. Cech had to show his superb reflexes to keep out another defender in the form of Emmerson Boyce. Meanwhile, only a last-ditch tackle from skipper John Terry stopped Jason Scotland from finding the back of the net on his first Premier League start for Wigan.
Martinez’s side were applauded off-the-pitch by the fans after an excellent opening first half performance. However, they only had the one goal to show for their efforts and within 90 seconds of the restart, Chelsea had awoken from their slumber and drew level. Florent Malouda made a game breaking run and this created space for Didier Drogba to squeeze a shot in-between Chris Kirkland’s legs. This was Drogba’s 100th goal for Chelsea in all competitions as he continued to set the early season pace in the race for the Golden Boot.
Six minutes later though, Wigan were back ahead with a moment which would prove to be decisive in the contest. Hugo Rodallega was tripped in the penalty area by Cech. The penalty was given by referee Phil Dowd and with the Colombian set to score had he not been impeded; Dowd had little option but to show the red card to the Chelsea shot-stopper. It was Cech’s first red card of his Blues career. Malouda was sacrificed by Ancelotti to allow the substitute goalkeeper, Hilario, to come on as Cech’s replacement. His first job was to pick the ball out of the net as Rodallega picked himself up, dusted himself down and drove his spot-kick down the middle of the goal to restore Wigan’s lead.
Chelsea actually finished with nine men as Ashley Cole limped off in the closing stages with injury and the home side consigned Ancelotti to a first loss as Chelsea manager when Paul Scharner tapped home from close-range in stoppage-time after reaching Maynor Figueroa’s cutback across the penalty area.
Chelsea got their revenge spectacularly on the final day of the 2009-2010 season. They beat Wigan 8-0 to wrap up their third Premier League title. However, this was one of Wigan’s finest results in a season that also saw Arsenal and Liverpool FC beaten at The DW Stadium.