Thursday 26 September 2013
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
Wigan Athletic achieved one of the shock results of the season by overcoming Chelsea with a remarkable 3-1 victory at the DW Stadium.
"We have been brave from the first moment and no-one can say we did not deserve the win"
Chelsea had taken the Barclays Premier League by storm in Carlo Ancelotti's first season in charge, winning all six opening League matches and were aiming to equal their best start to a Barclays Premier League campaign by stretching that run to seven victories. Wigan, however, stunned the West Londoners, whose afternoon was compounded by the dismissal of Petr Cech.
Although the hosts took the lead through Titus Bramble's 16th-minute header it seemed as though normal service had resumed when Didier Drogba equalised within 90 seconds of the restart, sending his 100th goal in Chelsea colours through Chris Kirkland's legs. But the match turned six minutes later when Cech brought down Hugo Rodallega as he bore down on goal and was shown the red card for his troubles. The Colombia striker scored from the subsequent spot-kick.
Wigan were good value for their lead, though, having matched their opponents with a tenacious performance that was crowned with an added-time goal from Paul Scharner, after the Blues had been reduced to nine men following an injury to Ashley Cole.
"When you are Wigan and playing against the top four you have options, you can be brave and beat them or you can get hammered," said Wigan manager Roberto Martinez. "That is what happened. We were beaten 4-0 and 5-0 [by Arsenal and Manchester United] and here the only reason we won is because we learned our lessons. We have been brave from the first moment and no one can say we did not deserve the win. That is a big compliment to our club."
"Wigan played better than us. They were well organised and played well; this was the right result"
Ancelotti was magnanimous in defeat, refusing to use the sending-off as an excuse for the first defeat of his reign, which meant his side was replaced at the top of the standings by Manchester United.
"Wigan played better than us," he said. "They were well organised and played well. This was the right result."
The former AC Milan coach witnessed another league defeat – a 2-1 reverse against Aston Villa – just two rounds later, but would finish the season on a high, by guiding Chelsea to their third and most recent Barclays Premier League title, as well as the FA Cup. They also signed off their title-winning campaign by avenging this defeat, with an 8-0 final day victory over the Latics at Stamford Bridge.
In their third season in the top tier, and Martinez's first in charge, Wigan finished in 16th place, six points above the relegation zone.