Chelsea chief hails early strikes for settling nerves at Wigan
16:45 19 August 2012
Roberto Di Matteo pleased with 2-0 victory over Latics
Quietly-spoken Roberto Di Matteo was delighted to have taken all three points from this season’s opening Premier League game at Wigan Athletic.
Goals from Branislav Ivanovic and a trademark Frank Lampard penalty sealed the victory within the first six minutes of the game.
Chelsea controlled much of the game from there on in, but did not have matters all their own way, as Di Matteo conceded afterwards.
“I’m very pleased with the performance and result,” said the former Blues midfielder.
“It is always difficult in the opening game of the season.
“Last year we drew here and had a very tough match at Stamford Bridge against Wigan.
“But the two early goals settled our nerves.”
Star of the show was the Blues’ Eden Hazard and Di Matteo was equally enthusiastic about his £23 million summer signing.
“Eden showed all his qualities,” said Di Matteo. “He combined well with his team-mates and was always a threat.
“He has great technique and pace. He’s difficult to mark, but I don’t think teams will try to foul him deliberately [Hazard was the most fouled player in French Ligue 1 last season with 57] - it’s just his game.
The Belgium international was replaced on 64 minutes for Brazil midfielder Oscar. But Di Matteo was not concerned about the loss of midfield creativity: “I brought on another guy, who is a bit special,” said Di Matteo, smirking.
Victor Moses, a £10 million target for the Blues had a fine game for Wigan, but Di Matteo would not be drawn on a possible transfer to SW6.
“It’s not for me to talk about [Moses],” the Italian said.
“But I am happy with the squad I have.”
Returning to the game, Di Matteo was on happier ground talking about Wigan.
“They never gave up, but we nearly scored a third goal to seal the game.
“But we were very comfortable; they did not give us many problems.”