Martinez furious over Chelsea's offside goals

Chelsea 2 Wigan Athletic 1: Wigan's manager rues 'clear calls against us' after costly last-ditch defeat

stamford bridge

Roberto Martinez is normally one of the Premier League's more reasoned voices but his patience was stretched beyond breaking point yesterday as he saw his team condemned to remain in the relegation zone by a brace of offside goals.

The Wigan manager called the performance of the referee's assistant Dave Bryan "disgusting", before intimating that he felt it was easier for officials to give decisions against "little clubs" like Wigan. That Bryan failed to raise his flag after Chelsea's winning goal, an injury-time fluke by Juan Mata from a crowded goalmouth, was perhaps understandable. Even Martinez admitted it was a tight call. However, his failure to spot that Branislav Ivanovic was offside before scoring Chelsea's 62nd-minute first was, said Martinez, "not a difficult decision".

"That goal is clearly offside, one-and-a-half yards offside," he said. "You expect those decisions to be given. We have a feeling of injustice. I felt sorry for the referee [Mike Jones]. He relies upon his linesman. The linesman had worried me before as he got easy calls wrong. I was asked if we need technology. No. We need linesmen who know the rules. I don't want to get into the debate that it is easy to give decisions against "little Wigan", but too many times this season there have been clear calls against us."

Chelsea's interim head coach, Roberto Di Matteo, improbably claimed that he had not seen replays (despite speaking an hour after the final whistle), but admitted: "Wigan were really unlucky today."

And yet Bryan was not the only villain, for Wigan's Gary Caldwell could have won the game – or at least prevented Wigan from losing it. Three minutes into added time, with the scores level, Mohamed Diamé having spectacularly cancelled out Ivanovic's goal, Wigan broke forward. Caldwell charged into attack and Ben Watson's floated a cross towards the centre-half. Perhaps emboldened by his well-taken winner at Anfield a fortnight ago, the Scot did not go for goal but chose instead to try to bring the ball down. The chance was lost and Chelsea broke forward at speed.

As Caldwell sprinted back the man he should have been marking, Fernando Torres, was picked out unmarked at the far post by Didier Drogba. Torres' volley struck the far post and rebounded in off Mata.

A point would have taken Wigan out of the bottom three for the first time since September. Instead Chelsea climbed back above Newcastle United into fifth place, two points behind Arsenal in the fourth-and-final Champions League spot.

With Di Matteo making seven changes as he attempted to manage his squads energy levels, unchanged Wigan often looked the more cohesive side. They had won one and lost 10 of their previous 13 league meetings with Chelsea but a recent run of one defeat in eight matches had bred confidence.

For more than half-an-hour Chelsea were restricted to long-range efforts, with a Gary Cahill drive tipped over by Ali Al Habsi and Drogba rifling a low shot just past the far post. It was not until Chelsea began to move the ball and get Mata on the ball in advanced areas that they began to create chances. Eight minutes before the break Ryan Bertrand and Drogba combined the send in the Spaniard. Al Habsi blocked Mata's shot, Drogba headed the rebound goalwards and Maynor Figueroa cleared off the line. Then in injury-time Malouda played a one-two with Mata and delivered a cross from which Drogba drew a smart save from Al Habsi.

Mata continued to be the game's prime creative force after the break, finding Drogba only for the striker to be denied by the Omani goalkeeper. Aside from Mata Chelsea's most likely man was Ivanovic with his driving runs from right-back and it was a free-kick awarded for a foul on the Serb by Shaun Maloney that led to the breakthrough. Mata's delivery was half-cleared but Cahill returned the ball and Ivanovic stabbed it in. Wigan surrounded the officials but they were unmoved.

Wigan's response was bold, Martinez throwing on forwards. They should have paid for their adventure in the 79th minute but Daniel Sturridge attempted a difficult finish instead of squaring to Torres. Sturridge is developing a reputation for greed and the crowd jeered him then and when Di Matteo withdrew him soon after. Diamé then drifted away from Bertrand and buried a shot past Petr Cech from 20 yards. Wigan had a point, but they sensed three, only to end with none.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Bertrand; Essien (Mikel, 74), Meireles; Sturridge (Kalou, 83), Mata, Malouda (Torres, 59); Drogba.

Wigan Athletic (5-2-3): Al Habsi; Boyce, Alcaraz, Caldwell, Figueroa, Beausejour (Watson, 71); McArthur (Diame, 71), McCarthy; Moses, Di Santo (Sammon, 79), Maloney.

Referee Mike Jones.

Man of the match Mata (Chelsea).

Match rating 7/10.

Suggested Topics
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home