Chelsea eased the pressure on boss Rafael Benitez with a 4-1 win over Wigan on Saturday. Benitez admitted this week that he hasn’t spoken to notoriously demanding Blues owner Roman Abramovich for three weeks, sparking suggestions the Spaniard could be in danger of losing his job after Chelsea’s recent poor run.
But the third-placed Blues were too strong for struggling Wigan at Stamford Bridge and cruised to their first win in five matches in all competitions. Chelsea produced a sweeping move to open the scoring as Fernando Torres played a fine first-time pass towards Ramires and the Brazil midfielder fired home in the 23rd minute.
Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard then doubled Chelsea’s lead with a cool finish from Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross in the 56th minute. Wigan replied through Shaun Maloney only two minutes later, but Chelsea’s in-form England midfielder Frank Lampard and Marko Marin notched late goals to seal the hosts’ victory.
Wilshere injured in win
Santi Cazorla fired 10-man Arsenal to a 1-0 win at Sunderland on Saturday, but the Gunners’ triumph was marred by Jack Wilshere’s thigh injury. Although Arsene Wenger’s side moved up to fifth in table, keeping the pressure on Tottenham, who won 2-1 earlier in the day at home to Newcastle, as the north London rivals continue their battle with the leading pack for a place in next season’s Champions League.
However, there was immediate reason for concern over England midfielder Wilshere, who limped off in the second half following a strong challenge from Alfred N’Diaye. And the dismissal of Carl Jenkinson made it an uncomfortable finish for Arsenal, whose victory would have been far more comfortable if not for the inspired form of Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.