For 90 minutes it seemed as though we could remain on United’s coat tails, then in added time the sucker punch was landed. A draw leaves us five points adrift of United, with only a few games left in which to make up the ground. Barring a miracle, our title dream for this season is over.
A tepid first half in which the only highlights were some great goalkeeping from Kirkland to keep Wigan on level terms didn’t stir the confidence or the crowd. The second half was much improved after the introduction of Joey Cole to spice things up, and spice them he did with Chelsea looking far more determined in all areas of the pitch, finally getting a goal courtesy of Michael Essien.
We held on and kept on trying for another goal to settle it, sadly it was at the wrong end of the pitch. When the 90 was up, a cross into the box wasn’t cleared and Wigan drew level, effectively ending our hopes of the Premiership this season.
That match itself was forgettable, the impact on the Premiership isn’t. We didn’t expect to be in this position back in September, but in it we were. Winning all of our remaining games was always going to be a big ask, but it’s the manner of play, and the efforts from some of the players in those games that really rankles – could we have done better? I and I’m sure many others feel the answer is yes.
What now for Avram? He’s gone further in the Premiership than Arsenal and Liverpool, but we’ve become used to a richer diet recently, and for many this certainly will be viewed as an abject failure. The Champions League must now surely be our priority, yet on todays showing, the likelihood of that happening doesn’t seem too promising.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Belletti, Alex, Terry (c), Bridge; Essien, Mikel (Shevchenko 90+2), Ballack; Kalou, Anelka, Malouda ( J Cole 45).
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