Martinez raves over fantastic performance

Wigan Athletic v Chelsea: Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez greets Chelsea counterpart Andre Villas-Boas
Wigan Athletic v Chelsea: Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez greets Chelsea counterpart Andre Villas-Boas

WIGAN boss Roberto Martinez admitted the draw against title-chasing Chelsea felt more like two points dropped rather than one gained.

There wouldn’t have been many in the Latics camp wouldn’t have taken a point before the game, to kick-off a daunting-looking Christmas programme.

But the way Latics tore into their more illustrious opponents from the off – and showed the necessary character to bounce back from the disappointment of going a goal behind to Chelsea’s only real shot on target – made a mockery of their current position in the bottom three.

The point extended Wigan’s recent revival to eight points from the last five games, and Martinez felt it could have been better still.

“The performance gives you that feeling that we have picked up all three points not just one,” the Wigan boss said.

“We feel disappointed now that our season has settled down and, in a way, we see this game as two points dropped.

“Even though we were playing a fantastic team in great form, you have to look at the amount of corners we had compared to them, the amount of possession and the attempts on target.

“I think the statistics prove what a fantastic performance it was. The players were thinking at all times and coped with Chelsea’s threat when they had the ball really really well and then we showed a really dangerous streak in the way we played.

“It was a pleasing display and it is a great point gained. But the way we performed is the most important message of today, and we need to replicate this level of performance from now until the end of the season.”

Wigan’s achievement was even more impressive given the past three meetings between the two sides that had seen Chelsea score 15 goals without reply.

“When you’re playing against a team like Chelsea you know you need to be perfect in what you do,” Martinez added. “We were outstanding. We defended with a real tactical knowledge from the players, real awareness and great concentration.

“I feel we frustrated Chelsea for the majority of the game, and it was really tough to concede the goal we conceded – the first shot Chelsea had – and probably at the moment we were a little bit distracted by Frank Lampard being off the pitch.

“But the most satisfying part of the game was how we coped when we went behind.

“When we played against Arsenal I felt we were very good, then we conceded the goal and I think we felt a little bit deflated and accepted what was going to happen.

“Today though, it was the complete opposite. All of a sudden the reaction from my players was very cool, very composed and we just carried on playing our football.

“We took a few risks and they paid off and the result is exactly what the players deserved.

“They had a great attitude and a brilliant work ethic which has always been really good, but today the tactical awareness was also spot on and it is a great achievement for the football club.”

Martinez, meanwhile, felt Wigan were harshly treated by referee Martin Atkinson, who turned down what looked to be a solid penalty appeal after Victor Moses’ shot had hit Branislav Ivanovic on the arm.

The Spaniard, who also disputed the addition of only four minutes of stoppage time, said: “I felt Ivanovic knew exactly what he was doing and he moved his body towards the ball. The arm was next to his body so I understand the referee’s decision.

“Probably two or three big decisions did not go in our favour, but you expect Chelsea to have those moments.

“You need to be lucky to get a result against a team like Chelsea, and I don’t think we were lucky at all.”