Wigan 0 Chelsea 2: Eden Hazard was outstanding, says Roberto Di Matteo
Wigan 0 Chelsea 2: Roberto Di Matteo was gushing with praise for Premier League debutant Eden Hazard after routine win
Roberto Di Matteo heaped praise on Eden Hazard after the Belgian’s impressive Premier League debut inspired Chelsea to victory at Wigan Athletic.
The 21-year-old’s neat turn and through-ball set up Branislav Ivanovic, who fired home to give the visitors the lead after just two minutes at the DW Stadium.
And Hazard’s quick feet drew a foul from Ivan Ramis in the box five minutes later and Frank Lampard duly dispatched the resulting spot-kick.
Di Matteo also gave Oscar his first run-out in the second half at Wigan, and the Chelsea boss was thrilled with the impacts made by both of the summer signings.
“He [Hazard] showed all his quality today,” said Di Matteo. “He was outstanding and combined well with his team-mates.
“He was a threat and exactly what we were looking for. He has great technical ability, a turn of pace. He can play with his back to goal and has a lot of characteristics he can bring to our team.
“With this kind of player, they are difficult to mark because of the movement, they are good on the ball, so I don’t think teams will try to kick him, it will just be a matter of the game.
“I brought in another guy that is not bad himself, so I wanted to freshen it up a bit and give a debut to Oscar as well.”
Di Matteo admitted that Chelsea’s two early goals helped settle his side’s opening day nerves.
“I’m very pleased with the performance and result,” he added. “It’s always tricky, the first game of the season, like you saw yesterday.
“We played away at Wigan who finished last season on a strong note. Last season we drew here and in the home game had a tough encounter. We were expecting a difficult game and the two early goals really helped us and settled a lot of nerves.”
Chelsea continue to be linked with a move for Wigan winger Victor Moses – who played the full game against the Blues – but Di Matteo insisted he is generally content with the players he has.
“I am happy with my squad,” he said. “Maybe certain areas are a little bit light but I am happy with what we have.”