By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent
Chelsea new boy Eden Hazard was instrumental in his side’s 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic today, playing a part in both his team’s goals.
The Belgian international – a £32m summer signing from French side Lille – made an impact after just two minutes, setting up Branislav Ivanovic, who scored against the Latics for the second successive game.
Wigan debutant Ivan Ramis then conceded a penalty by lunging into Hazard in the box, which captain Frank Lampard coolly slotted past Ali Al Habsi in the Wigan goal.
Spaniard Ramis – formerly of Mallorca – rejected West Ham United to join up with countryman Roberto Martinez at the DW Stadium.
Two down after seven minutes, Wigan boss Martinez must have been fearing another crushing defeat to Champions’ League winners, who have beat the home team 6-0 and 8-0 in recent years.
However, his team recovered and got back into the game, but the damage was already done, and they were made to pay for their inability to test Petr Cech in the away goal often enough.
Jordi Gomez wasted two chances to get his team back in, heading one attempt wide and then miscuing a volley as time ran out for Wigan.
Victor Moses – a transfer target for the Londoners – started the game despite Martinez believing the 21-year-old may be unsettled by the rumours surrounding his future.
The Nigerian winger was on form however, giving both Ashley Cole and Ivanovic a testing time down the flanks, perhaps raising his price tag further. Wigan want £8.5m for Moses, but Chelsea have warned them they will not pay over the odds.
Martinez said: “It couldn’t have been a harder test: 2-0 down to the European champions after six minutes.
We could have felt sorry for ourselves but we showed character and I’m proud of my players for that.
We were just caught up in the emotion of starting the league and had seven minutes where our hearts ruled our heads. After that we got back to doing what we do.”
The Spaniard will hope his players can recover from this defeat in time for next Saturday’s trip to Southampton, who showed they will be no pushovers whilst narrowly being beaten by Manchester City today.
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