WIGAN, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo shouts instructions from the touchline during the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Chelsea at DW Stadium on August 19, 2012 in Wigan, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
Chelsea and Reading are now the first two teams with a pair of fixtures in the books, and after an absolutely fantastic fight back in the second half, Chelsea will spend the next several days alone atop the table. While there were a few bad spells for the home side in this one, Chelsea were the better team for the majority of this game. Here are my initial thoughts now that the game is over:
- I was more than a bit surprised by the starting lineup. With Raul Meireles, Oriol Romeu, and Michael Essien available, I expected to see at least one of this past weekend's starting pivot players rested.
Reading's flat 4-4-2 looked absolutely terrible. When they began to drop one of the strikers deeper to take away our outlet to Mikel, they actually managed to see a little bit of the ball.
- The second Reading goal was just inexcusable. That's a simple save that was horribly botched. Reading was kind enough to blunder one right back for us in the second half. Oh well, 4-2 is better than 3-1 for both clubs as far as tiebreakers might eventually be concerned.
- Our finishing still needs an awful lot of work. Chelsea had seven great chances from open play in the first half and only found the back of the net on a penalty.