Tag Archives: lancashire

Blackburn want Tim Sherwood by Saturday

Blackburn hopeful of securing Sherwood as new boss in time for next game



22:06 GMT, 15 October 2012

Blackburn hope to appoint Tim Sherwood as their new manager before they travel to play Derby on Saturday.

The Championship club are in talks with Tottenham after having an initial approach rejected by their chairman Daniel Levy.

Rovers return: Tim Sherwood is close to taking over at old club Blackburn

Rovers return: Tim Sherwood is close to taking over at old club Blackburn

Just champion: Sherwood won the Premier League title with Rovers during his playing days

Just champion: Sherwood won the Premier League title with Rovers during his playing days

Rovers chiefs have started putting
together a compensation package, such is their growing confidence of
luring Sherwood back to the club he captained to the Premier League
title in 1995.

When questioned last month about the vacancy, Sherwood said: 'That's all they are – just rumours. That's all I know about it.

'I've got a great job where I am. There is nothing to consider. It's just speculation. I love what I do. I'm happy at the football club, it's a great project.'

Alan Shearer, recommended for the job by former boss Kenny Dalglish, is another option.

Shearer, who scored 112 league goals for the Lancashire outfit during his playing days, previously turned down the opportunity to take over at Ewood Park before Paul Ince's ill-fated spell.

Wolves 1 Crystal Palace 2: Wilfried Zaha scores twice

Wolves 1 Crystal Palace 2: Zaha stuns hosts with inspired double



22:21 GMT, 2 October 2012

The journey from precocious talent to established star is not always a straightforward one but Wilfried Zaha appears to be treading the right path.

Turning a match on its head is never easy, especially against a defence which had not been breached for three successive games.

Zaha did that, and more, scoring two goals of exquisite individual quality to enhance his rapidly growing reputation.

Brace yourself: Zaha scored a second-half double as Palace came from behind

Brace yourself: Zaha scored a second-half double as Palace came from behind

Match facts

Wolverhampton: Ikeme, Foley (Edwards 82), Berra, Johnson, Ward, Peszko (Sigurdarson 69), Doumbia, Henry (Davis 58), Sako,

Subs Not Used: De Vries, Stearman, Batth, Forde.

Booked: Henry.

Goals: Ebanks-Blake 53.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Delaney, Blake, Moxey, Williams (Parr 71), Garvan, Jedinak, Zaha (Ramage 88), Murray, Bolasie (Moritz 62).

Subs Not Used: Price, Goodwillie, Wilbraham, O'Keefe.

Goals: Zaha 67, 73.

Attendance: 19,561

Referee: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire).

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At the point that Zaha wriggled his way through a stubborn backline, Wolves were a goal to the good thanks to Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and surely expecting to make it five straight npower Championship wins.

Zaha is hardly a secret. The 19-year-old captured the imagination last season with his exploits against Manchester United in the League Cup and has been firmly anchored to Selhurst Park with a five-year contract.

Money, apparently, will not prise him away. According to manager Dougie Freedman, he will know when it is time to wave goodbye to the teenager.

‘I’ve known him since he was 14 so it’s more than a professional relationship, it’s a bit different,’ said Freedman.

‘The kid has got huge potential and hopefully can fulfil that. Off the ball he is getting better and if he develops his game he can play at the top level.

‘If I think the time is right and I can’t develop him then top clubs should take him on. We don’t owe any money so that’s not how it works.’

Zaha was at the centre of everything good about Palace. He also had a penalty appeal turned down in the first half.

One of the first people who should pat the striker on the back is Damien Delaney, who hesitated when Julian Speroni rolled the ball towards him.

Ebanks-Blake robbed the defender and duly collected his fifth goal of the season.

A tight contest looked to have been settled but that did not account for Zaha and his six-minute double.

Wolves boss Stale Solbakken insisted afterwards that the Palace striker was offside when he ran on to Glenn Murray’s knock-down but is was a close call and the finish was glorious.

For the second, Zaha took possession, left Stephen Ward for dead and produced a shot with far too much sting for Carl Ikeme.

There was sting in other parts of the pitch too. Jonny Williams and Karl Henry enjoyed a physical duel and Williams appeared to be lucky to get away with a tackle on Slawomir Peszko, which left the winger facing a six-week lay-off with a knee ligament injury.

Williams was substituted afterwards with Freedman admitting: ‘I know him inside out and it was not intentional. I just felt it was best to take him off as he has to learn how to channel certain aspects of his game. But he was getting kicked all night too.’

Solbakken said: ‘They had a match-winning player who scored both goals. I think we were unlucky.’

Steve Kean still Blackburn Rovers manager

Kean farce continues as Blackburn boss remains in charge… for now



21:30 GMT, 25 September 2012

Blackburn manager Steve Kean is in limbo despite a dramatic stay of execution from owners Venky’s.

A decision was made to sack the 44-year-old Scot over the weekend and club sources revealed that a statement announcing his departure was drawn up on Monday morning.

Although Kean has been granted a temporary reprieve by Venky’s chief Anuradha Desai after a series of discussions between Lancashire and India, it’s understood that a replacement is still set to be brought in before the end of the forthcoming international break.

Staying or going: Steve Kean is hanging on to his job at Blackburn

Staying or going: Steve Kean is hanging on to his job at Blackburn

The situation is typical of the chaos at Ewood Park since Venky’s took control nearly two years ago and promoted Kean from first-team coach to replace Sam Allardyce.

Although Blackburn lie third in the Championship table, relegation from the Premier League and Kean’s unpopularity among supporters have seen attendances plummet by 40 per cent this season.

Asked if the manager will be staying long-term, Ewood Park chief and Venky’s representative Shebby Singh refused to comment on Tuesday but indicated that Kean could be in charge for another three matches.

Voice: The Blackburn fans want Kean to be sacked

Voice: The Blackburn fans want Kean to be sacked

‘We have a game on Saturday, we have a game on Tuesday then Saturday again before the international break,’ said Singh.

‘At the end of the day it’s my bosses — the owners of the club — who have to make an assessment. But I came here in June and the situation hasn’t changed at all with the fans, despite our efforts to bring them back. Financially now it’s not a good situation because the fans are staying away. The club needs revenue to survive.’

Steve Kean future at Blackburn Rovers deteriorating every day, says Shebby Singh

The future's bleak for Kean as Rovers chief admits situation is deteriorating by the day



13:55 GMT, 25 September 2012

Blackburn director of football Shebby Singh has admitted Steve Kean's already precarious future at the club is deteriorating by the day.

The Rovers boss faces the axe after he failed to reach Singh's target of 16 points from the first seven games, despite Blackburn having their best ever start in the npower Championship.

They are currently in third place, behind Brighton and Huddersfield, with a total of 14 points, following their relegation from the Barclays Premier League last season.

Dejected: Kean's time at Ewood park looks to be coming to an end

Dejected: Kean's time at Ewood Park looks to be coming to an end

'Unfortunately, the momentum (of the speculation about Kean) built up so fast it was quite difficult to step in and react,' Singh told BBC Radio Lancashire.

'We have people heading up different departments whose responsibility it is to step in but unfortunately it escalated at such a fast pace that before you know what happened, it hits you in the face.

'It should not have been allowed to escalate like that but it did and the situation gets worse by the day.

'Financially now it is not a good situation because the fans are staying away. The club needs revenue to survive.

'I guess with having played seven games now I think it is a situation which is not a very pleasant one and I suppose it is my bosses, the owners of the club, who have to make an assessment.'

Despite the uncertainty, Kean looks set to stay in charge for this weekend's fixture at Charlton.

Voting with their feet: Rovers fans are not happy with the club's plight

Voting with their feet: Rovers fans are not happy with the club's plight

Kean was appointed as Blackburn manager in December 2010 following Sam Allardyce's dismissal, and after his side avoided relegation on the last day of the season in 2011, they were unable to replicate survival this May and fell into the second tier.

The 44-year-old has faced pressure throughout his time in charge at the club, with large numbers of fans calling for him to be fired.

Owners Venky's had discussions about Kean's role over the weekend, with fans once again chanting for the Scot to be sacked after they slipped from top spot following Friday's home defeat by Middlesbrough.

The uncertainty around Kean's position comes as two supporters groups – the Blackburn Rovers Supporters Investment Trust (BRSIT) and Blackburn Rovers Supporters Trust (BRST) – have joined forces to launch the Rovers Trust – a new membership scheme whose goal is to own the Ewood Park club in whole or in part.

The new membership drive for the Rovers Trust has been launched in a bid to sign up Blackburn fans for a 10 annual membership fee to give the group credibility.

Heads up: Rovers lost their last match - at home to Middlesbrough

Heads up: Rovers lost their last match – at home to Middlesbrough

The membership push will then be followed by a share-raising plan modelled on the 'pledge scheme' first launched by BRSIT earlier this year.

That scheme has seen almost 3million pledged by supporters wanting to buy a 1,000 share in a new ownership model.

A target of 10m is being set by the co-chairmen, BRST founder Oliver Jones and Wayne Wild, one of the co-founders of BRSIT.

Jones said of the new trust scheme: “Our principal objective is to obtain full or part ownership of Blackburn Rovers and its assets on behalf of fellow supporters in order to represent supporters' views whilst protecting the club's short- and long-term future.

'Membership of Rovers Trust is very affordable for all fans and, at the very least, gives those supporters a real say in the future running of Blackburn Rovers.'

Blackpool 1 Huddersfield 3: Terriers up to second

Blackpool 1 Huddersfield 3: Happy return for Grayson lifts Terriers up to second



21:03 GMT, 24 September 2012

Simon Grayson returned to Bloomfield Road to scupper Blackpool's chances of moving top of the npower Championship as his Huddersfield side leapfrogged them with their third successive victory.

The Terriers boss, who spent seven years on the Lancashire coast as a player then later a manager, inflicted Blackpool's first home defeat of the season while moving his current team up to second.

Grayson went back to the home of his former employers for the first time since his departure for Leeds in 2008, and it was clear long before Lee Novak's 13th-minute opener that Ian Holloway's men were in for a difficult evening.

Three and easy: Norwood (left) celebrates his strike

Three and easy: Norwood (left) celebrates his strike


Blackpool: Gilks, Eardley (Dicko 78), Baptiste, Evatt, Crainey, Gomes (M Phillips 64), Osbourne, Ferguson (K Phillips 64), Taylor-Fletcher, Delfouneso, Ince.

Subs not used: Halstead, Sylvestre, Martinez, Broadfoot.

Booked: Crainey.

Goal: Taylor-Fletcher 27.

Huddersfield: Smithies, Hunt, Peter Clarke, Gerrard, Dixon, Clayton, Norwood (Woods 85), Southern (Arfield 90), Ward, Novak, Vaughan (Scannell 80).

Subs not used: Bennett, Wallace, Lee, Robinson.

Booked: Vaughan, Dixon, Norwood.

Goals: Novak 13, Vaughan 45, Norwood 48.

Referee: Tony Bates (Staffordshire)

Attendance: 13,886.

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A direct approach had troubled
centre-back pairing Alex Baptiste and Ian Evatt from the off so it was
no surprise to see Novak profit from a James Vaughan flick-on to break
the deadlock.

The hosts were back on level terms just 14 minutes later, though, when
the relatively subdued Thomas Ince set up ex-Huddersfield forward Gary
Taylor-Fletcher for the equaliser.

However, Grayson's men found themselves back in front again when Oliver
Norwood's inviting free-kick was headed home by Vaughan.

And Norwood
himself gave Huddersfield a two-goal cushion less than three minutes
after the break with another set-piece which eluded everyone before
flying into the far corner.

Blackpool went into the game having dropped just five points from their
opening six encounters but they failed to seize the initiative on a wet
evening as the visitors took a deserved lead.

Adam Clayton and Daniel Ward had already gone close and the hosts failed
to heed the warning as Vaughan headed the ball into Novak's path and he
coolly slotted the ball past goalkeeper Matt Gilks.

False dawn: Taylor-Fletcher had equalised against his former club

False dawn: Taylor-Fletcher had equalised against his former club

Ince has turned in a series of eye-catching performances to underpin
Blackpool's strong start and he was instrumental in the leveller,
bamboozling Anthony Gerrard before sliding the ball across for
Taylor-Fletcher, who just had to prod home.

Stephen Crainey nearly picked out Nathan Delfouneso moments later as the
Seasiders began to grow into the game, but Grayson's men delivered a
killer blow on the stroke of half-time.

A Norwood free-kick from the right was begging to be thumped home and
Vaughan obliged with a header in front of the stranded Gilks.

Holloway's half-time words were still ringing in his players' ears when
former Manchester United midfielder Norwood curled in a third. The set
piece specialist's centre was aimed towards Vaughan, but the ball evaded
him and Gilks was left grasping air as the ball ended up in his net.

That prompted Blackpool to bring on substitutes Matt and Kevin Phillips,
with the former firing just wide, while Delfouneso should have reduced
the deficit when he blazed wide.

It could have turned into a thrashing, though, had the offside flag not twice denied Vaughan from grabbing his second goal.

But Huddersfield had enough to coast to a victory which will have been
particularly sweet for Grayson, whose Leeds side crashed to a 5-0 home
defeat to Blackpool last season.

Blackburn 2 Barnsley 1: Match report

Blackburn 2 Barnsley 1: So, will Venky's still axe under pressure Kean



23:13 GMT, 18 September 2012

So, what happens next Blackburn are still unbeaten and still top of the Championship. But if manager Steve Kean fails to beat Middlesbrough on Friday night, he will fall short of the points target set for him by Indian owners Venky’s.

Surely, even by the bizarre goings-on in east Lancashire over the last couple of years, they wouldn’t contemplate sacking him then Not when he has got so close to that ambitious demand of 16 points from his first seven games.

Not after backing Kean by bringing in the likes of 8million record signing Jordan Rhodes, who took his tally to three goals in two games last night, and Portuguese veteran Nuno Gomes, who scored for the fourth game in a row to snatch an 85th-minute winner.

On target: Gomes came off the bench to score the winning goal

On target: Gomes came off the bench to score the winning goal

A crowd of 12,772 was a reminder that all is still not well. And when Kean was admonished on the touchline 10 minutes from time by referee Scott Mathieson for complaining that Barnsley had encroached on Danny

Murphy’s free-kick, his own supporters urged the official to send him off. But even the manager’s harshest critics struggled to put much conviction into the sporadic chants of ‘Kean out’.

Rhodes was particularly impressive in front of watching Scotland boss Craig Levein, equalising in first-half added time after former Chelsea youth product Jacob Mellis had capitalised on neat work by Martin Cranie and Chris Dagnall to fire Barnsley into a 31st-minute lead.

Rhodes to success: The 8m signing scored his third goal in as many appearances

Rhodes to success: The 8m signing scored his third goal in as many appearances


Blackburn: Robinson, Orr, Dann, Grant Hanley, Martin Olsson, Formica (Lowe 90), Murphy, Etuhu, Pedersen (Nunes 80),
Rochina (Nuno Gomes 66), Rhodes.

Subs Not Used: Kean, Henrique, Dunn, Ribeiro.

Booked: Etuhu.

Goals: Rhodes 45, Nuno Gomes 85.

Barnsley: Alnwick, Stones (Perkins 73), Wiseman, Foster, Golbourne, Cywka, Dawson, Cranie, Mellis, Dagnall (Etuhu 70), Davies (Harewood 65).
Subs Not Used: Steele, Done, Digby, Noble-Lazarus.

Booked: Mellis.

Goals: Mellis 32.

Attendance: 12,772

Referee: Scott Mathieson

Scott Dann swung a free-kick wide on
the right towards the edge of the box, Morten Gamst Pedersen headed back
across goal and Rhodes took the ball on his chest before turning to
hook it past two defenders and goalkeeper Ben Alnwick.

For despondent Barnsley boss Keith
Hill it underlined the unfair advantage handed to Blackburn by their
48m parachute payments from the Premier League.

He said: ‘We’ve taken on the kings of Savile Row and, to a certain degree, played the better football but we can’t compete. It’s a travesty. How can you be rewarded for getting relegated

‘They’re trying to create a Premier League II and organise who gets promoted back from the Championship. If they’re going to give money away, share it equally among the Championship clubs.’

In fact, the game was won by Gomes, signed on a free this summer, after he came on as a 66th-minute substitute. There were just five minutes left when fellow Portuguese Fabio Nunes crossed from the left towards the near post and the 36-year-old tucked the ball in from close range.

‘I thought we were dreadful in the first half,’ said Kean. ‘But you look for special players to get you back in the game and that’s what they’ve done.’

Warwickshire win County Championship

Just champion! Warwickshire claim first County Championship crown since 2004



13:00 GMT, 6 September 2012

The Bears eased to victory by an innings and 202 runs to finish top of the table for the first time since 2004.

Having bowled out Division One's bottom club for just 60 on the opening day, Warwickshire declared at 471 for eight before Worcestershire reached stumps on Wednesday night on 100 for two in their second innings.

The demolition job continued on
Thursday with Warwickshire claiming the eight wickets required to wrap
up the one-sided win shortly after lunch.

Job done: Warwickshire beat rivals Worcestershire to claim the LV County Championship crown

Job done: Warwickshire beat rivals Worcestershire to claim the LV County Championship crown

Only Moeen Ali's unbeaten 72 provided
any resistance to Warwickshire's march towards the title, but when he
ran out of partners his spirited defence was brought to an end.

Chris Wright finished as the pick of
the Warwickshire attack in the second innings, finishing with figures of
four for 65, including all three wickets after lunch.

Warwickshire's nearest challengers Sussex endured a difficult morning at the crease as they lost six wickets before lunch against Somerset at Hove.

Got him: Chris Wright was one to help tidy up the tail for the Bears

Got him: Chris Wright was one to help tidy up the tail for the Bears

Resuming on 186 for two, Sussex lost
centurion Chris Nash (126) with their score on 230, before losing five
more wickets for the addition of just 40 runs to reach the interval on
270 for eight.

Alfonso Thomas did the damage for the
home side, claiming five wickets at the cost of just 64 runs this
morning, including those of Nash and Murray Goodwin (77).

Relegation-battling Lancashire
continued to make inroads into Middlesex's lead at Lord's but victory
appears an unlikely prospect for the Red Rose with just five sessions
left in the match.

At lunch the visitors were on 327 for five in reply to Middlesex's 446, with Ashwell Prince removed on 71.

More to follow…

Resistance: Moeen Ali offered some hope for Worcestershire before he was caught by Richard Johnson

Resistance: Moeen Ali offered some hope for Worcestershire before he was caught by Richard Johnson

Jordan Rhodes joins Blackburn from Huddersfield

Hotshot Rhodes joins Blackburn in record 8m deal from Huddersfield



14:23 GMT, 30 August 2012

Jordan Rhodes has signed a four-year deal with Blackburn Rovers in a record transfer deal for Huddersfield.

The Terriers accepted Rovers' fourth bid of the transfer window on Wednesday afternoon, allowing Rhodes to discuss personal terms with the Lancashire club.

Although the fee has not been disclosed, Town revealed it is significantly higher than their current record received transfer fee, the 2.75million they received from Ipswich for Marcus Stewart in 2000. It is expected that the deal will be worth up to 8m.

On the move: Huddersfield striker Jordan Rhodes (left) is joining Blackburn

On the move: Huddersfield striker Jordan Rhodes (left) is joining Blackburn

Rhodes joined Huddersfield from Ipswich in July 2009 and now has a reputation as one of the most prolific strikers in the Football League, scoring 87 goals in 148 appearances for the Terriers.

After eight goals in as many games for the Scotland Under 21 squad, he has now earned his first two caps for Scotland's senior squad.

Fulham and Everton had shown interest in Rhodes in the past.

Middlesbrough 3 Burnley 2: Luke Williams scores late winner

Middlesbrough 3 Burnley 2: Williams leaves it late to win it for Mowbray's men



21:24 GMT, 21 August 2012

Luke Williams sealed a first npower Championship win of the season for Middlesbrough with a thunderous late goal to down Burnley.

The Clarets had looked course to continue their 100 per cent start to the season when Charlie Austin headed home the opener shortly before the break.

But Nicky Bailey equalised with a screamer from distance a minute later, before Adam Reach lashed in a thunderbolt late in the second half.

Leaving it late: Luke Williams puts the game beyond the reach of Burnley after scoring the wining goal

Leaving it late: Luke Williams puts the game beyond the reach of Burnley after scoring the wining goal


Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Woodgate, Rhys Williams, Friend, Bailey (Smallwood 72), Leadbitter, McEachran, Reach, Ledesma (Zemmama 69), Main (Luke Williams 84).

Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Hines, Halliday, Haroun.

Booked: Woodgate.

Goals: Bailey 42, Reach 79, Luke Williams 88.

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Shackell, Edgar, Mills, McCann, Wallace (Mee 77), Marney, Stanislas, Austin, Vokes (Bartley 59).

Subs Not Used: Jensen, Duff, Stock, MacDonald, McCartan.

Booked: Bartley.

Goals: Austin 41, Stanislas 86.

Attendance: 15,559

Referee: Carl Boyeson

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Junior Stanislas converted a header to
seemingly limit the hosts to a solitary point but Williams stunned the
travelling fans with yet another Boro rocket to grab all three on offer.

With defeat at Barnsley marking an
inauspicious start to the campaign, there was a heightened sense of
expectation back at the Riverside, where last season's poor displays put
paid to any hopes of promotion.

There was no such anxiety for a
buoyant Burnley side, though, with Eddie Howe's men fresh from a
convincing opening-day victory over Lancashire rivals Bolton.

Fans of both sides arrived intrigued
by Boro's surprise loan capture of Chelsea starlet Josh McEachran and he
duly replaced veteran Julio Arca in midfield.

Youngsters Curtis Main and Reach also earned first league starts to give the team a youthful dynamism.

Indeed there were six home debuts,
with George Friend, Grant Leadbitter and Emmanuel Ledesma also strutting
their stuff on Teesside for the first time.

Burnley made one change, Howe resting one of Saturday's goalscorers, Martin Paterson, and fielding Sam Vokes.

McEachran soon showed why a host of
Premier League clubs were interested in his services as he dusted a
series of passes through a packed midfield before Boro had their first
solid chance on goal.

In the 25th minute Chris McCann
conceded a free-kick for a foul on Reach, Ledesma obliging to whip the
ball just beyond the near post.

The hosts continued to grow in
confidence and might have scored if Justin Hoyte had connected a toe to
Ledesma's canny through-ball.

Reach then dragged a shot just wide of the target before Burnley took the lead in the 41st minute.

Pressing forward, Dean Marney fed Kieran Trippier who crossed cleanly from the right for Austin to steal in and head home.

The boisterous celebrations of the
away fans were muted one minute later, however, as Bailey silenced the
south stand with a stunning daisycutter.

After Main competed for a heavy ball
forward with Clarets skipper Jason Shackell, Bailey looked up just once
before rifling the rebound into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

Following five frenetic pre-interval minutes, the second half got off to a more sedate start.

It was not until the 56th minute that
McEachran reinvigorated the home faithful by heading Reach's diagonal
cross against the turf and wide.

Joseph Mills missed the target with a left-footed drive at the other end before Marvin Bartley replaced Vokes on the hour mark.

But Boro continued to pass the ball
about incisively, and Main almost emulated Bailey as he drove a fierce
shot against Lee Grant's outstretched glove in the 68th minute.

Reach very nearly headed the second
in the 75th minute, Grant standing tall to deny the young winger. Soon
Leadbitter picked his spot but pinged the ball wide as Boro pressed on.

A nervous Howe replaced Ross Wallace
with Ben Mee, but it was to no avail as Reach picked up a loose ball to
scoop a wonderful drive across Grant and into the back of the net just
two minutes later.

Stanislas edged a goalmouth scramble to scuff a header beyond Jason Steele and seemingly stifle the celebrations.

But it was Williams, a tactical
substitute for the tiring Main, who had the final word with an
unstoppable drive into Grant's top corner.

Frank Lampard praises Eden Hazard

Lampard lauds debutant Hazard after Belgian inspires Chelsea to win over Wigan



15:41 GMT, 19 August 2012

Frank Lampard hailed the brilliance of Chelsea debutant Eden Hazard after he played a key role in the Blues' 2-0 win over Wigan at the DW Stadium.

The Belgian was a big-money summer signing from Lille and made an instant impression for the European champions in their Barclays Premier League opener, creating the first goal for full-back Branislav Ivanovic with a clever turn and weighted through-ball before winning the penalty which Lampard converted.

Lampard told Sky Sports: 'He (Hazard) was brilliant. It's a young age to come into the Premier League, no matter how good of a player you are.

Dream start: Eden Hazard (second left) celebrates with Frank Lampard (right) as Chelsea beat Wigan

Dream start: Eden Hazard (second left) celebrates with Frank Lampard (right) as Chelsea beat Wigan

'He showed the quality he has with the spin and the ball to put Ivanovic through and he showed great speed to get away from his man for the penalty. He was great to play with.'

Lampard was happy to start the season with a win, adding: 'It was a great start to the game. You always want to get a win on the opening day of the season. Coming here, with the way they finished last season, was always going to be tough.'

Wigan created chances of their own with Victor Moses forcing two saves from Petr Cech and Jordi Gomez twice going close for the Lancashire outfit.

Roberto Di Matteo was happy to get the season under way with a win and was delighted by the impact of new signing Hazard.

'Hazard was outstanding, he produced a lot of quality. He was a big threat and was difficult to mark. He managed to get away from his man and it was very pleasant to watch him today.' Di Matteo said.

Felled: Wigan's Ivan Ramis gives away a penalty by fouling Hazard (centre) inside the area

Felled: Wigan's Ivan Ramis gives away a penalty by fouling Hazard (centre) inside the area

'It was perfect today that we managed to score the two goals early on, it settled a lot of nerves. We prepared the team well for the fixture and they were looking to get a quick start today.'

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez refused to comment on speculation that Victor Moses could be set to join Chelsea.

'I dont think that's an issue, there are no offers on the table matching his valuation so it's an easy answer.' Martinez said.

'Nothing is going to be decided today. He started a bit slow but I felt he grew into the game after that and started to look his normal penetrating self and he's an important player for this team.'

Contrasting fortunes: Roberto Martinez (right) has work do to but Roberto Di Matteo will be content

Contrasting fortunes: Roberto Martinez (right) has work do to but Roberto Di Matteo will be content

The Spaniard was pleased with the reaction of his side to going behind early but felt the damage was already done.

'I don't think it takes too much to realise we didn't start well enough. We didn't have the intensity you need to compete well in this league We had a pre-season tempo and when you do that you put yourself in a difficult position.

'But the reaction was incredible, I was so so pleased with the character we showed. We had real intensity and you could see Chelsea using their experience at the end, wasting a lot of time.'