The Guardian called it a low-rent performance. I'm not one to argue with such a statement. However, thanks to some inept officiating and a micro-flash of brilliance from Fernando Torres, it's three points gained from a match we likely would have lost a month ago.
How tough is that result on Wigan? Don't get me wrong, we're running away with the points and aren't feeling particularly bad about it either. Still, the visitors just about deserved something from the match. They looked pretty comfortable all day, even if Ali Al-Habsi was forced into a handful of superb saves throughout. Nevertheless, as a whole, Chelsea offered little in the way of entertainment on Saturday, particularly during an opening 45 minutes in which a pigeon took precedent over the actual contest.
And then there was our opening goal, on about 60 minutes. As fine a finish as it was from Branislav Ivanovic, the linesman's decision-making was equally egregious. Bane was at least 32 yards offside when he flicked in Raul Meireles' cross. It really was an amazing decision, one with which Roberto Martinez had every right to be pissed.
Regardless, the goal stood and I think most of us were thinking we were going to push on and wrap this one up in relative style. We should know better by now, though. We don't push on do we? We relax and invite pressure - and, of course, eventually concede.
Our lovely way of handling a lead nearly cost us said lead just moments after we had gone ahead. Bane, doing his best to confirm his status as potentially our best player of the season, cleared off the line a goal-bound shot from a Wigan player I can't place at this time. Never-racking shit. We then had a string of opportunities of our own to wrap up the result, only for Daniel Sturridge to do a Sturridge (shooting from obscene angles and then acting like you did nothing wrong) and for Fernando Torres to make everyone sigh.
Saturday's color commentator, Tony Gale, had a field day with Torres' initial few minutes on the pitch, including the now infamous two slips. All this coming in addition to Gale coming off as a fucking prick of the utmost order. He baffled audiences worldwide by not only suggesting that Torres slipped because of indecisiveness, but more so by saying Torres wouldn't have slipped at all had he been playing for Liverpool. Someone confiscate this guy's bath salts.
Wigan, as they have over the past couple of weeks, responded well to the few chances we created over the next couple of minutes. A goal never looked likely for the visitors, though we have an uncanny knack for making the unlikely become reality. Such was the case here, with Meireles backing off and Ryan Bertrand, who was otherwise very good, failing to get close to Mohamed Diame. The result was a thunderbolt on 82 minutes from the Senegalese that left Petr Cech with no chance. Wonderful.
As I have learned this season, this was the point in which to turn off the television and go sulk in a corner. I decided not to heed that advice, soldiering on with little expectation. Thankfully, for my sanity, Chelsea had other ideas.
In the third minute of added time, Didier Drogba picked up the ball on the left side of the box. He looked about for a second before lofting a cross to the other side of the area for an unmarked Torres. The Spaniard, from out of nothing, walloped a spectacular low volley across goal that beat Al-Habsi but not the far post.
Fuck me. Well, not so fast.
Said 'fuck me' was retracted almost immediately when Juan Mata surfaced just south of the Shire and bundled the ricochet from Torres' howitzer over the goal line from, you guessed it, an offside position. It was marginal and I didn't really care. A game-winner it was. Glorious.
Fast forward to today. Arsenal's late win over Manchester City today was a blow, their 2-1 victory leaving us on the outside looking in for a top-four finish. We currently find ourselves five points adrift of Arsenal and three behind Tottenham with six league matches remaining on the docket. Despite this latest development, our approach won't change - all we can do is win out and see where that leaves us. Take care of our own business and I have a feeling somebody above us is going to slip up, Torres style.
On to Monday and a London Derby then. Carefree, bitches.