Debutant Hazard shows his class
Wigan Athletic 0 Chelsea 2:Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo hailed "outstanding" Eden Hazard as the Blues new boy set up both goals on his Barclays Premier League debut in today's 2-0 victory over Wigan.
The Belgian midfielder was the European champions' most high-profile signing of the summer, arriving from Lille for a reported €40 million in June. And he wasted little time making an impact in the league opener at the DW Stadium, setting up Branislav Ivanovic for the first goal inside two minutes and then winning the penalty that Frank Lampard scored to make it two after only seven minutes.
Di Matteo said: "He showed all his quality, he was outstanding. He combined very well with his team-mates, was a threat, exactly what we were looking for. He's got great technical ability. He's got a burst of pace as well, he can play with his back to goal, and he's got a lot that he can bring to our team."
While Hazard was enjoying his debut, Wigan defender Ivan Ramis was having a much tougher time on his, with the Spaniard turned easily by the Chelsea midfielder for the first goal and then fooled into making a crude challenge to give away the penalty.
But the scoreline did not tell the whole story, with Wigan dominating much of the rest of the game.
Chelsea target Victor Moses and former Blue Franco Di Santo both drew decent saves from Petr Cech in the first half, while the introduction of the Latics' new striker, Arouna Kone, with 23 minutes left gave the hosts an added threat.
The Ivory Coast international headed wide and then drew another save from Cech late on, with Jordi Gomez volleying the rebound acrobatically just wide.
Fernando Torres came closest to adding to Chelsea's tally in the 63rd minute with a shot that beat Ali Al Habsi but was cleared off the line by Ramis.
Di Matteo felt he could not have asked for more from the first game, saying: "I'm very pleased with the performance and the result. It's always tricky the first game of the season, like you saw from the results (on Saturday).
"Last year we drew here and the home game we had a very tough encounter against Wigan so we were expecting a difficult game and the two early goals really helped us and settled a lot of nerves.
"We nearly scored the third goal, which probably would have killed off the game completely, but I thought we were always quite comfortable."