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19:22 21st August 2010


Latics unlucky not to come away with result after brave performance


Malouda 34
Anelka, 48, 52
Kalou, 78, 90
Benayoun 90+2

A harsh score-line for Latics whose performance, particularly in the first-half, deserved more and certainly went a long way to banishing the memories of their opening day defeat.

Last season's double-winners looked anything like the sort early on, but their quality shone through taking full advantage of whatever chances came their way.

Roberto Martinez had demanded a display from his team earlier in the week, and his side were unlucky to go into half-time behind, having been the best side by far and certainly stirring the home crowd.

Hugo Rodallega and Maynor Figueroa came closest to finding an opening during the first 45 minutes, but their efforts were well dealt with Petr Cech. Maybe at times a bit more cutting edge was needed in the final third but the team cannot be questioned for their commitment, putting Chelsea on the back-foot more than once.

At the back Steve Gohouri was fantastic, winning the majority of the 50-50 challenges he was up against and trying desperately to push the team forward in attack. Alongside him Ronnie Stam made his first start for the club and impressed with his tireless work up and down the right-wing.

Hendry Thomas was also handed a start and played with his usual hunger in the centre, working hard to win the ball back and doing well against formidable opponents.

Overall the score-line is a hurtful one, but a performance was essential today first and foremost. Latics gave everything they had and if luck had of been on their side maybe they would have been coming away with what they deserved.

Kirkland; Stam, Alcaraz, Gohouri, Figueroa (Boyce, 84); Diame (McArthur, 80), Thomas; N'Zogbia, McCarthy (Watson 78), Rodallega; Boselli

Subs: Al Habsi, Moses, Gomez, McArthur, Scotland

Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic (Ferreira, 63), Terry, Alex, Cole; Mikel, Essien (Benayoun, 78), Lampard; Malouda (Kalou, 70), Drogba, Anelka

Subs: Hilario, Zhirkov, Benayoun, van Aanholt, Borini