Chelsea settles for disappointing point
Chelsea were frustrated by a spirited display from Barclays Premier League strugglers Wigan in a first half short on chances at the DW Stadium.
Five days after handing Manchester City their first domestic defeat of the season, Andre Villas-Boas’ side were limited to one clear-cut opportunity when Didier Drogba headed just past the post in the 38th minute.
Wigan spent a lot of the half on the edge of their own box but did manage a few telling forays forward and felt they should have had a penalty five minutes before the break when Victor Moses’ shot hit Branislav Ivanovic on the arm.
Frank Lampard returned to the Chelsea side.
The England midfielder, who was only on the bench for the key games against Valencia and Manchester City, came in for the injured Ramires in the only change to the side that handed City their first domestic defeat of the season on Monday.
Defender David Luiz again missed out with a knee injury, while Wigan boss Roberto Martinez kept faith with the side that beat West Brom last weekend.
Last season Chelsea put six past Wigan at the DW Stadium but the Latics have shown encouraging form in recent weeks and they had the better of the game in the early stages.
Moses again stood out with his pace and trickery, and he played a part in a move that ended with Jordi Gomez tumbling in the penalty area, although contact from Ashley Cole seemed minimal and referee Martin Atkinson waved away the muted penalty claims.
At the other end, Gary Caldwell did well to block a dangerous cross from Daniel Sturridge while John Terry had Ali Al Habsi diving with a well-struck shot from 30 yards that flew a yard past the post.
Chelsea had settled and were pushing for the breakthrough, which they nearly achieved in the 23rd minute when a cross was only cleared as far as Oriol Romeu, who let fly with a volley that was pushed round the post by Al Habsi.
Wigan were playing with three centre-backs in Caldwell, Antolin Alcaraz and Maynor Figueroa, while James McCarthy and Mohamed Diame were sitting deep in midfield, meaning when Wigan did get the ball and look to push forward, they were short of options.
They did look solid at the back, though, and a better attacking spell around the half-hour mark ended with Diame firing a shot wide.
Drogba was a fraction away from the opener seven minutes before the break when he got his head to a lovely Raul Meireles cross but, under pressure from Ronnie Stam, he could not keep his effort on target.
Wigan then felt they should have had a penalty when Ivanovic appeared to pull his left arm across his body and into a shot from Moses, but again Atkinson was unmoved.
The Latics ended the half on the offensive as Moses just failed to get a toe to David Jones’ dangerous low cross.