New Chelsea (9/2 to win title with bet365) signing Eden Hazard impressed as the Blues got their Premier League campaign up and running with a 2-0 victory at Wigan Athletic.
The clash was effectively over inside seven minutes. Branislav Ivanovic broke the deadlock within two minutes at the DW Stadium after good work by Hazard, before Frank Lampard doubled Chelsea’s lead from the spot.
Victor Moses twice tested Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, while Jordi Gomez spurned a couple of opportunities. It was not to be though for Wigan and they opened up their season with a home defeat.
Blues boss Roberto di Matteo will have been relieved to get the first game of the new term out of the way, having seen the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur struggle on Saturday.
The Italian will have been particularly encouraged by the performance of Hazard, who was making his first Premier League appearance following his move from French club Lille.
Lampard was not surprised by Hazard’s impact and expects the Belgium international to be a key player for Chelsea.
“He showed glimpses of that in pre-season for us and it’s great to have a player like that in the team,” said the experienced midfielder.
The Champions League (14/1 to retain trophy with bet365) and FA Cup holders face Reading and Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge next in the Premier League, before taking on Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup on August 31.