Terry seals victory for Chelsea

Chelsea’s club captain, John Terry, headed home a Frank Lampard corner in the 67th minute to seal a hard-fought 1-0 victory on Saturday over Wigan Athletic’s battling warriors and keep the Blues brigade sailing high at the top of the English Premiership.

It was a case of sour grapes for Wigan manager Paul Jewell, who accused Chelsea of inappropriate conduct during the match.

Jewell commented: “We looked solid. They had a chance to take a quick free kick [in the] first half, they changed their shape, even didn’t give us the ball back, and wanted to kick it out, so we were up against it.

“When they kicked the ball out, when one of our players was injured, and kept it, it shows you how they must feel. I thought it was a bit unsporting of Chelsea, to do that. I think the manager told them to keep it, I think that’s why.”

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was quick to react to Jewell’s accusations.

“My thoughts are that first of all it was my responsibility because I told [William] Gallas not to give the ball back,” said Mourinho, “and the reason why was because we know what fair play is, but we are not stupid, and when a player is injured, we give the ball back; we threw the ball away.

“When a player is shooting, we are not stupid, so because the player was shooting, and two seconds later stands and runs again, I told Gallas not give the ball back. It is my responsibility; I will do it again because fair play is not to shoot.”

“Five minutes later, [Lee] McCulloch was injured, and we kicked the ball away. I know the country where I work; I know that fair play is important. I defend every player from my team and from other teams. In terms of this situation, we did it five minutes later; we don’t do it because one thing is to be injured and another thing is pretend to be injured.

“We have fair play, we are not stupid; it was my responsibility and I will do it again,” added Mourinho.

If the match had not hinged on Terry’s winner in the second half, then Chelsea had a case for arguing a goal-line decision on 30 minutes, when Hernan Crespo’s quickly taken free kick was hooked away from the back of the net by Wigan’s Leighton Baines. With referee Howard Webb waving play on, Wigan could count themselves fortunate to have had a lucky escape.

But they paid the price on a set piece in the second half, when Lampard’s corner on the right wing was met by a well-timed header by Terry, as Wigan goalkeeper Michael Pollitt could only parry the ball into the right-hand corner of the net. That changed the complexion of the match and kept the Premiership pacesetters a clear distance from the chasing pack.

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