Ancelotti acknowledges bad performance
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti acknowledged that his side under-achieved at Wigan Athletic, where their 100 per cent record came to an unexpected end. The home side chalked up their first victory against one of the top four at the 35th time of asking in a Premier League match.
Goals from Titus Bramble, Hugo Rodallega and Paul Scharner stunned Chelsea, who have been overtaken by Manchester United at the top of the table. Didier Drogba cancelled out Bramble's opener, but goalkeeper Petr Cech's red card, for tripping Rodallega which led to a spot-kick in the 53rd minute, changed the face of the game at the DW Stadium.
Ancelotti, however, refused to look for excuses after suffering his first defeat since taking the reins at Stamford Bridge. He said: "We did not play a good game; it was a bad performance. I do not know why we did not play well.
"But these things can happen after a lot of victories. We have to accept this loss and fix things for our next match. Wigan played better than us. They were well organised and played good football. I was surprised. This was the right result.
"We played well in the first ten minutes, but when we lost the first goal it became more complicated," said Ancelotti. "We started the second half better, then there was the penalty. I do not want to comment on it. I know Cech was unhappy, but that is normal in that situation."
Scharner scored Wigan's third goal in stoppage-time from close range when Chelsea were down to nine men, with Ashley Cole going off with a knee injury. Midfielder John Obi Mikel had earlier suffered an ankle problem and did not appear for the second half.
Ancelotti said: "It was impossible at the end of the match with nine against 11 when Ashley was injured. We are disappointed at what happened in this game. I did not rate this performance, but in football you have to look forward.
"We might not be top of the table now, but there will be a lot of competition and change until the end of the season."
It was arguably the finest result in Wigan's history and a game to savour for Roberto Martinez, who arrived in the summer from Swansea after playing for the Latics in the old fourth division. After conceding nine goals to Manchester United and Arsenal already this season, they were not given much of a chance.
Bramble, however, opened the scoring with a thumping header and even when Drogba levelled after a mistake by goalkeeper Chris Kirkland, Wigan remained upbeat. Rodallega then scored with a cool penalty and Scharner secured an emphatic victory in front of an ecstatic home support.
Martinez said: "When you are Wigan and playing against the top four you have options, you can be brave and beat them or you can get hammered.
"That is what happened. We were beaten 4-0 and 5-0 [by Arsenal and Manchester United] and today the only reason we won is because we learned our lessons.
"We have been brave from the first moment and no-one can say we did not deserve the win. That is a big compliment to our club," said Martinez. "This is for the fans, who have been with us through the bad times and supported us all well.
"The great thing from my point of view was our reaction to conceding a goal. We continued to be positive."