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Match Report


Posted Sat 31 Oct 09 at 17:47 PM

Report: Bolton 0 Chelsea 4

Chelsea ran out 4-0 victors in another action-packed contest at the Reebok.

A penalty from Frank Lampard in first half stoppage time gave
Chelsea a 1-0 lead at half-time.

Jlloyd Samuel had been adjudged to have fouled Didier Drogba inside the penalty box and he was sent from the field for a professional foul.

Then as Wanderers pressed for a means of getting back into the contest during the second-half, Chelsea added to their tally through Deco's break away strike, Zat Knight's own goal and a Didier Drogba's 90th minute tap-in.

The scoreline was a harsh reflection on Wanderers' spirited effort and it would have certainly been a different story had Gary Megson's men played the complete contest with their full allocation of players.

As anticipated in the build-up, Gary Megson made six changes from the midweek reverse at Stamford Bridge. Kevin Davies returned up front to partner Johan Elmander, who was making his first since August. There was also a place in the starting eleven for Chris Basham as Matt Taylor and Ricardo Gardner dropped down to the bench.

The Wanderers manager had spoken before kick-off about how he was encouraging his team to play fast football, and with that in mind it was Bolton who started the brightest. Within the space of a minute, the Whites had won a free-kick deep inside Chelsea territory from which Tamir Cohen headed onto the roof of the net.

All over the pitch there was a sense of urgency and even without possession, the Whites looked sharp. Fabrice Muamba put in a crunching tackle on Deco, Chris Basham made a vital interception inside his own penalty box and Chung-Yong forced Petr Cech into a hurried clearance after putting him under pressure.

But still Chelsea looked dangerous and Jaaskelainen was twice called into action within the space of a minute with a quarter of an hour played. Firstly, the Finn had to palm a stinging Anelka drive around the post before picking himself up off the ground to produce a full-stretched tip over the bar to deny Didier Drogba with the resulting corner.

And then Jaaskelainen, fresh from his midweek rest, made anther fine stop, denying former team Anelka for a second time with his legs following a slip by in defence by Gary Cahill.

During the opening exchanges, Tamir Cohen had made a few late surges into the penalty area as he looked to add to his current tally of three goals for the season. That figure did nearly increase when a crisp move involving Chung-Yong and Cahill resulted in the Israel international curling a shot straight into the arms of Cech.

Chelsea thought they had netted the opening goal of the game on 30 minutes when Ivanovic smashed a left-footed effort into the roof of the net, however referee Peter Walton chalked off the goal for offside. It appeared that Nicolas Anelka was the culprit having strayed beyond the Wanderers rearguard when his mazy run had been halted with Gary Cahill's half-clearance.

Bolton's response to the disallowed goal was to go straight on the offensive and they came within a few feet of target just two minutes later. It was route one football at its best with Kevin Davies smashing wide following an intelligent flicked header by his strike partner Elmander.

There seemed a genuine understanding between the two Wanderers frontmen, and Davies returned the favour for his Swedish team mate on two occasions before the end of the first half. Elmander's first effort flew inches over the bar and his second seemed destined to trouble Cech until it took a deflection.

Then, just on the stroke of half-time, Jlloyd Samuel was sent-off and Frank Lampard put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot.

Drogba had latched on to Ballack's through ball and just as the Ivorian was about to shoot, referee Peter Walton deemed that he had been upended by the full-back and pointed to the spot. Samuel was issued with a straight red card for a professional foul and Lampard sent Jaaskelainen the wrong way with the spot-kick.

The half-time break gave Manager Gary Megson time to contemplate any tactical reshuffles needed. Both Chris Basham and Chung-Yong Lee were replaced with Paul Robinson and Ricardo Gardner taking their place.

It was the Jamaican's surge through the heart of Chelsea's midfield which brought Wanderers opening chance of the second period. Gardner had been hacked down and Cohen blasted the resulting set-piece way over the bar from a promising position 25 yards from goal.

Cohen was in the thick of the action as just minutes later he was foiled just four yards from goal when Michael Essien made a vital last ditch challenge.

With Wanderers a man down and searching for a means to level the scores, there was always going to be spaces for Chelsea to exploit. Twice Jaaskelainen was needed to be at his best to prevent Drogba, and twice he did so with agile saves with his legs. And in the same period of play, Lampard almost cracked the crossbar in two with a thunderous effort from fully 30 yards out.

Bolton rallied forcing John Terry to make a desperate headed clearance, but a slick Chelsea counter-attack made the score 2-0 in their favour. Essien picked the ball out on the left, played in Anelka and when play was switched to the opposite touchline, Deco cut inside Paul Robinson and bent a left-footed effort past the helpless Jaaskelainen.

The goal had stemmed from Wanderers' bravery in searching for the equalising goal, and with the deficit now doubled, the positive mentality didn't change. Mark Davies was introduced for Muamba, who hadn't stopped running and tackling all game.

Elmander's self-belief almost assisted Gardner before the substitute and Cohen flashed wide with just under 15 minutes remaining.

The game was effectively sealed just eight from time when the unfortunate Zat Knight put the ball past Jaaskelainen with his head. The centre half was attempting to clear Ricardo Carvalho's cross, but accidentally nodded the ball into his own goal from close-range.

Kevin Davies had battled courageously all game and he headed Wanderers final opportunity of the match over the crossbar.

And just as Drogba had done at Stamford Bridge three days earlier, he completed the scoring in injury time, converting Lampard's clever flick.

Next up for the Trotters is a trip to Villa Park before the two-week gap in fixtures for the international break.

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Ricketts, Knight, Cahill, Samuel, Muamba (Mark Davies 65), Basham (Robinson 46), Chung-Yong (Gardner 46), Elmander, Cohen, Kevin Davies (Subs not used: Al Habsi, Taylor, Steinsson, Andy O'Brien)

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Essien, Carvalho, Lampard, Drogba, Ballack, Ferreira, Deco, Terry, Anelka (Subs not used: Turnbull, Joe Cole, Malouda, Sturridge, Alex, Belletti, Borini)

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