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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 November 2007, 16:53 GMT
Wigan 0-2 Chelsea
By Mandeep Sanghera

Chelsea right-back Juliano Belletti scores his side's second in the win at Wigan
Belletti lets fly for a spectacular goal for Chelsea at Wigan
Chelsea's revival under manager Avram Grant continued as they made light work of brushing aside Wigan.

Frank Lampard slotted in from a precise low cross from Shaun Wright-Phillips to put the visitors ahead.

Juliano Belletti finished off a fine run with a powerful curling strike to add Chelsea's second after 18 minutes.

Wigan were more physical after the break but their efforts were too late and in vain as Michael Brown's blocked shot was their closest strike on goal.

Chelsea have now won their last seven games in all competitions and some of the visitors' first-half play had lit up the JJB Stadium much like their luminous coloured away shirts, with Wright-Phillips a particularly bright spark for them.

Wigan had shown early signs of being able to present a challenge as Jason Koumas shot into the side-netting from a tight angle.

Denny Landzaat forced a save out of Blues keeper Petr Cech but Wigan soon succumbed as Chelsea took the lead after 11 minutes.

Wright-Phillips curled a ball into the path of a trademark run into the box from midfielder Lampard, who applied the finishing touch.


To their credit Wigan produced some nice football to try to prise the Blues defence open but found the task too much for them.

And Chelsea added a second when Belletti benefitted from Wright-Phillips managing to keep the ball in play before finding a path to goal open up for him as other players made decoy runs.

The Brazilian had time to look up and curled a 22-yard shot away from the despairing dive of keeper Chris Kirkland for his first goal for the club.

Wigan's fragile belief clearly waned as the game progressed as they showed as much sign of manufacturing an equaliser as their recent run of five consecutive defeats suggested.

But the home side started the second half with a renewed vigour and Landzaat had a shot deflected wide.

Wigan were a tougher proposition for Chelsea as they adopted a more physical approach and snapped at the heels of their opposition.

Brown almost earned some reward for the home side but had a shot from just outside the area blocked by defender Alex.

Didier Drogba started the match to make his 100th league appearance for Chelsea, despite more comments attributed to him unlikely to endear the striker to the club's hierarchy.

He was taken off after 75 minutes, while Chelsea went on to close out the game.

  • Wigan boss Chris Hutchings:
    "It was excellent from us in second half. We didn't have any real luck in box but obviously conceding two goals in first half was disappointing.

    "One or two players slept in and did not do what we required and that cost us.

    "We have to keep positive."

  • Chelsea manager Avram Grant:
    "We are back in the race again.

    "We played well, especially in the first half. We scored two goals and had plenty of chances. Good game for us and a good win again.

    "As long as we win and play attacking football that is good for me. We want to play good positive football."

    Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Granqvist, Bramble, Kilbane, Valencia, Brown (Skoko 85), Scharner, Landzaat (Sibierski 82), Koumas, Bent.
    Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Aghahowa, Boyce. Booked: Landzaat, Bramble.

    Chelsea: Cech, Belletti, Alex, Carvalho, Bridge, Obi, Essien (Sidwell 76), Lampard, Wright-Phillips, Drogba (Kalou 75), Malouda.
    Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Shevchenko, Ben-Haim.

    Booked: Drogba.

    Goals: Lampard 11, Belletti 18.

    Att: 19,011

    Ref: Steve Bennett (Kent).

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