Chelsea 8-0 Wigan: Drogba bags a hat-trick as Blues cruise to title
Published 17:57 09/05/10 By MirrorFootball
A Didier Drogba hat-trick helped Chelsea cruise to Barclays Premier League glory with a resounding 8-0 hammering of Wigan at Stamford Bridge.
Goals from Nicolas Anelka and Frank Lampard put Chelsea 2-0 up at the break before the Blues went on the rampage with Salomon Kalou, Anelka and Drogba finding the net within nine minutes of each other in the second half.
Drogba struck twice more, and Ashley Cole converted a well-taken volley to condemn Wigan to defeat and secure the Blues' first Premier League trophy since 2006.
Carlo Ancelotti named an unchanged line up. Nemanja Matic came in for Deco on the bench in the only change to the match-day squad which beat Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield last weekend.
Veteran goalkeeper Mike Pollitt came in for Vladimir Stojkovic in goal for Wigan, who also welcomed back Emmerson Boyce and Charles N'Zogbia in the place of Victor Moses and Jordi Gomez.
After an eventful season both on and off the field, the Blues were welcomed on to the Stamford Bridge turf by a sell-out crowd knowing that a win would secure them their first title since 2006.
With Manchester United just one point behind them, if they failed to win they would need a helping hand from Tony Pulis' Stoke at Old Trafford.
Wigan started comfortably by stroking the ball across the park in the opening exchanges before Chelsea broke the deadlock in the sixth minute.
Didier Drogba rifled a free-kick straight into the wall before the ball fell to Frank Lampard, who looped a header into the box to find Florent Malouda.
The Frenchman calmly shrugged his marker off to lay the ball off to compatriot Nicolas Anelka who lashed a volley past Pollitt for his 14th of the season.
A mistake from Steve Gohouri then let in Salomon Kalou down the right but his dangerous low cross was hooked away to safety.
Ancelotti cut a tense figure on the edge of his technical box as Wigan settled back into their rhythm in search of an equaliser.
A marginal offside decision against Hugo Rodallega denied the striker after he was played through by N'Zogbia around the 20-minute mark.
Gary Caldwell had to react quickly to block Drogba's dangerous cross before Ashley Cole failed to turn home Anelka's low ball with a clever back heel in the box.
Chelsea were handed a golden chance to take another step towards title glory when Caldwell was sent off for pulling down Lampard inside the box.
The midfielder drilled the spot-kick past Pollitt to put Chelsea 2-0 up and equal Peter Osgood's 105 league goal haul for the club.
Chelsea continued to dominate possession as the Stamford Bridge crowd jumped en-masse, sensing that the title was coming back to West London for the first time since the days of Jose Mourinho.
Wigan threatened through Mohamed Diame before Drogba fired a 30-yard shot wide just before the break.
Chelsea threatened from the start of the second period, with Anelka's shot rattling the Wigan woodwork although the striker was ruled out for offside.
Kalou was marshalled wide by Gohouri as he stormed into the box just minutes later.
Kalou then played in Lampard who dragged the ball back to the young Ivory Coast forward who made it 3-0 on 54 minutes.
Two minutes later and Chelsea found themselves 4-0 up when Anelka rifled a downward volley past Pollitt from Branislav Ivanovic's cross.
Ancelotti threw on Joe Cole and Juliano Belletti for Salomon Kalou and Ivanovic just before the hour as the Blues slipped into cruise control.
Drogba edged one goal past Wayne Rooney at the top of the Premier League goalscorer's charts when he smashed a drive past Pollitt from a tight angle to put Chelsea 5-0 up with the club's 100th league goal of the season. Wigan captain Mario Melchiot then pulled back Ashley Cole in the box in the 68th minute and referee Martin Atkinson pointed to the spot.
Drogba, who was angry at Lampard for not being given the chance to up his goal tally by taking the Blues' first spot-kick, was handed the ball, which he placed past Pollitt and off the post to make it 6-0.
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez brought on Victor Moses and Paul Scharner in an attempt to restore some pride to his side.
Chelsea were in rampant form though and Drogba should have made it seven but he shot wide from six yards.
He soon made up for the miss though when he completed his hat-trick with 10 minutes left by tapping into an empty net after Pollitt had palmed away a Joe Cole shot.
Ancelotti, who by now had returned to the dugout, saluted the Chelsea fans with a clenched fist as they sang his name with five minutes remaining.
A thundering drive brought Petr Cech into the action for the first time with four minutes remaining, the Czech Republic stopper expertly tipping over a Moses drive which was heading for the top corner.
Joe Cole then wrestled the ball off a Wigan defender in the box before crossing to Ashley Cole, who thundered a volley past Pollitt to seal the emphatic 8-0 victory.