Juan Mata’s last-gasp winner moved Chelsea to within two points of the top four after Branislav Ivanovic’s controversial opener set them on course for a 2-1 win over Wigan on Saturday.
Mata found himself in the right place at the right time to turn home from close range after Fernando Torres had fired a volley against the post in the third minute of stoppage-time at Stamford Bridge.
But it was Chelsea’s first goal that sparked a furious reaction from Wigan, who were convinced the Serb was well offside when his turned home a Raul Meireles cross.
Referee Mike Jones ignored the protests of the visitors and awarded the goal after consulting with his assistant, although replays supported Wigan’s claims that they had been hard done by.
Wigan’s misery didn’t end there and they left empty-handed after believing they had secured a deserved point after Mohamed Diame’s 82nd minute effort had cancelled out Ivanovic’s 62nd minute strike. Chelsea are now up to fifth, above Newcastle on goal difference, and within two points of fourth placed Arsenal, who host Manchester City on Sunday.
Elsewhere, Luis Suarez’s late effort cancelled out Chris Herd’s goal as Liverpool fought back to earn a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa at Anfield.
Liverpool’s EPL form remains a concern, despite this result ending a run of six defeats in seven matches.
Liverpool have managed just five wins from their 16 home matches in the league and Villa looked to be the latest to leave with a win when they took an early lead through Herd. Liverpool found it hard to create openings but finally equalised through Suarez eight minutes from time.
Other results :-
Sunderland 0-0 Spurs
Bolton 0-3 Fulham
Norwich 2-2 Everton
WBA 3-0 Blackburn