Chelsea Wins 2-0 at Wigan on Opening Premier League Weekend

Chelsea won 2-0 at Wigan today on the opening weekend of soccer’s Premier League with Branislav Ivanovic and Frank Lampard scoring the goals.

The Blues, who won Europe’s elite Champions League last season, are aiming to improve on a sixth-place finish in the domestic league. Chelsea hasn’t lost its opening league match since 1998.

“You always want to get a win on the opening day,” Lampard told Sky Sports.

Defending Premier League champion Manchester City hosts newly promoted Southampton in today’s other game.

It took Chelsea less than two minutes to take a lead at the DW Stadium. New signing Eden Hazard slid through a pass for fullback Ivanovic, who advanced into the penalty area before sliding a shot past Ali Al-Habsi.

The advantage was doubled on seven minutes from the penalty spot after defender Ivan Ramis, making his Wigan debut, fouled Hazard. Lampard stepped up to fire a low shot under the dive of Al-Habsi.

Franco di Santo headed over for Wigan on 21 minutes, then Victor Moses, a target for Chelsea according to U.K. newspapers, tested Petr Cech with a powerful shot after 38 minutes. Di Santo wasted another opportunity at the end of the half.

Wigan continued to apply pressure early in the second half, with Lampard managing to block a shot from Di Santo.

Fernando Torres almost added a third goal for the Blues in the 63rd minute, stabbing the ball past the goalkeeper even as he was off balance. Ramis got back to clear off the line.

Gomez Chance

The hosts had two further headed chances that they failed to get on target. Firstly, Jordi Gomez missed from close range from a Maynor Figueroa cross, then substitute Arouna Kone headed wide from a corner. Gomez also had an overhead shot that missed the target.

Yesterday, Swansea won 5-0 at Queens Park Rangers, Fulham beat Norwich by the same score, and West Bromwich Albion defeated Liverpool 3-0.

West Ham celebrated its return to the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa, Newcastle beat Tottenham 2-1, Reading and Stoke tied 1-1, and the match between Arsenal and Sunderland was scoreless.

Manchester United is at Everton tomorrow.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Cone in London at jcone@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

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