Wigan profit from late Cech mistake

Wigan 1 Chelsea 1

Chelsea continue to be plagued by uncertainty at the back, with Petr Cech’s 88th-minute fumble costing them two potentially crucial points.

The Blues goalkeeper failed to hold Hugo Rodallega’s shot and was not helped by Raul Meireles, whose hesitation allowed Jordi Gomez to pounce on the loose ball and score from close range.

It cancelled out a 58th-minute strike by Daniel Sturridge, whose ninth goal of the season looked like closing the gap on his former club Manchester City to four points.

Now leaders City, who play Arsenal on Sunday, have an opportunity to move nine clear of third-placed Chelsea and reassert their authority following a recent defeat at Stamford Bridge.

Sturridge crept behind the Wigan back line to beautifully control Ashley Cole’s diagonal ball on his left foot and then shoot into the corner of the net with his right.

But the defensive problems that have marred Chelsea’s season were soon evident again when a mistake by Branislav Ivanovic almost gifted Wigan a goal.

Cech had to rush from his line to prevent Rodallega latching onto the defender’s poor backpass, and with Cech stranded during the scramble which followed, Ivanovic atoned by heading away Franco di Santo’s goal-bound shot.

It was a fortunate escape for the visitors but their luck run out after former Chelsea man Di Santo cut inside Ivanovic and teed up Rodallega, whose weak effort ought to have been comfortably dealt with by Cech.

Wigan will feel they deserved a break, having arguably been denied a clear penalty late in the first half when Victor Moses’ shot struck Ivanovic’s left arm.

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