Saturday’s match against Wigan was an embarrassment for Chelsea, but Ancelotti was right when he said they deserved to lose.
I’m not going to waste any time protesting Cech’s red card – I think the ref made the correct decision. Rodallega was brought down in the penalty area, and Cech didn’t get anywhere close to the ball. And the subsequent penalty was well taken. The worst part of that whole incident is that Cech will now be banned for the upcoming games against both Liverpool and Villa.
What was most worrying about Saturday’s game was Chelsea’s performance in the first half. They looked lacklustre and let Wigan constantly take the game to them. Bramble’s goal was a defensive disaster. No one was marking him, and he had all the space in the world to score an easy goal. And Wigan were unlucky not to score at least two more that half.
As last weekend’s performance against Spurs showed, Chelsea can play great football when they think they’ve got a challenge ahead of them. But they have a nasty habit of getting complacent whenever they’re playing slightly lesser opposition. Wigan had been beaten 4-0 by Arsenal’s B-team just a few days earlier, and in that context it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking they’re a walkover. But there aren’t any easy games in the premier league anymore. If you only play your best when you’re playing a top 6 side, you won’t win the league.
So far this season, Chelsea have dug out narrow one-goal victories over Hull, Stoke and QPR – teams that they could be beating convincingly if they played their best football. So Man U are back at the top of the league. Looks like we’re in for another tight season. Chelsea still have the better chance of winning if they can hold their nerve. But that’s a big if.