• Date: Tue 13 April 2010
  • Venue: Stamford Bridge
  • Ref: Probert, L
  • Attendance: 40,539

Chelsea vs Bolton Wanderers

Team Lineups

Chelsea

Petr Cech
Paulo Ferreira
John Terry
Rodrigo da Costa Alex
Frank Lampard
John Obi Mikel
Michael Ballack
Yuri Zhirkov
Didier Drogba
Salomon Kalou (Joe Cole, 77)
Nicolas Anelka (Florent Malouda, 67)

Bolton Wanderers

Jussi Jaaskelainen
Paul Robinson
Gary Cahill
Zat Knight
Gretar Steinsson
Sam Ricketts
Fabrice Muamba
Matt Taylor
Chung-Yong Lee (Ivan Klasnic, 83)
Jack Wilshere (Johan Elmander, 82)
Kevin Davies, K

Match Report
Chelsea cemented their position at the top of the Premier League table and opened a four-point lead over Manchester United following a 1-0 victory over relegation-threatened Bolton Wanderers. The performance was ragged at times and the Blues' customary possession game crumbled in the face of the Trotters' more physical display. However, Carlo Ancelotti's boys battled to earn three points and create a clear gap at the top. Bolton pressed and harried Chelsea in the early exchanges and had the better of the first 20 minutes, although the Blues came closest to getting the ball in the net when a Didier Drogba free-kick was punched clear by Jussi Jaaskelainen straight onto the head of Salomon Kalou but he guided it wide. The breakthrough came two minutes before half-time when Drogba zinged in a superbly weighted out-swinger from the left, allowing Nicolas Anelka to head home from close range with Jaaskelainen stranded. Chelsea's physios were kept busy at half-time. There had been an anxious moment in the eighth minute when John Terry hurt his right foot tackling Matthew Taylor, but he carried on playing to the relief of watching England manager Fabio Capello. Left-back Yury Zhirkov was also in the wars. A clash of heads with Bolton striker Kevin Davies left the Russian wearing a large bandage until he could be stitched up. For Bolton, Chung-Yong Lee proved slippery and elusive on the right flank, but Chelsea, with three changes to Saturday's Wembley starting line-up, did enough, even if it was all hands to the pump at the end. Midfielder Deco was rested as Ancelotti continued rotating his squad, while in-form Florent Malouda, who had scored five times in the previous four games, and Joe Cole came on as second-half substitutes. Bolton had a handball shout against Chelsea captain Terry waved away by referee Lee Probert and the Blues came a whisker away from doubling their lead when Frank Lampard beat the keeper in the 79th minute only to see his shot ricochet off the post. Substitute Johan Elmander came closest to levelling for Bolton with a far-post header and Cole had a chance to wrap it all up in stoppage time but the ball got caught under his feet.
Live Text Commentary
Full time
 

FULL TIME: CHELSEA 1-0 BOLTON. Big win! Chelsea have managed to hold on for three huge points in the race for the title but Bolton gave it a real go and probably deserved a point.

90

Close again! Matt Taylor screws his shot across goal but there are no Bolton players on hand to roll it into the empty net.

89

Chance for Chelsea to finish it as Joe Cole races through but he is denied by Jussi Jaaskelainen.

88
Yellow Card
 

Johan Elmander has had a torrid time since coming on and now he is in the book too.

87

Another chance comes and goes for Bolton as Ivan Klasnic swivels in the box but screws his shot wide of the post.

84

Big moment! Good work from Robinson and Taylor on the left to set up Elmander just six yards out but he fluffs the header and Chelsea escape.

82
Substitution
 

A double change for Bolton as Lee and Wilshere are replaced by Johan Elmander and Ivan Klasnic.

81

Suddenly Chelsea have come alive again with Malouda's corner headed narrowly wide by John Terry.

80
Yellow Card
 

And here is the first booking for Chelsea as Alex is cautioned.

79
Yellow Card
 

Kevin Davies is the third Bolton man into the book.

79

Joe Cole, where have you been?! Wonderful flick with his first touch to set up Lampard who hits the post and with his second he tees up a cross for Ballack who heads straight at the keeper.

78
Substitution
 

Salomon Kalou is finally put out of his misery by Carlo Ancelotti and replaced by Joe Cole.

78
Yellow Card
 

Paul Robinson collects a yellow card.

77

Bolton can sense the equaliser here as Chelsea withdraw into their shell even further and although still dangerous on the break with Drogba they are under the cosh.

74

Jack Wilshere has shown why he is being so talked about at Arsenal with two brilliant touches here to hold off Terry and set free Muamba but the big midfielder blazes over.

73

Chelsea need a second goal here because they are beginning to look a little nervy now and Bolton have harmed them late on in games before.

71

Chung-Yong Lee has been getting rave reviews for his bright displays this season and he has been decent again tonight but he fails to beat the first man twice here when well placed to deliver a telling cross.

69

Not that I wish to doubt the man who could be leading his side four points clear at the top but Michael Ballack has been anonymous so far while Kalou has been awful so why has Anelka been withdrawn?

67
Substitution
 

Chelsea are making a change now as goalscorer Nicolas Anelka is replaced by in-form Florent Malouda who can do no wrong lately.

67

Bolton immediately now on the break with Taylor in behind but he does not have the pace to run away from the recovering Chelsea defenders who catch him before he can get his shot off.

66

Yuri Zhirkov plays a clever one-two with Lampard and fires a stinging drive towards goal but its well parried.

64

The Bolton players are still livid with the referee and with good reason but they almost pay for a lack of concentration as Drogba sneaks in but can't find the target,

62

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! Messrs Ferguson and Wenger will be as unhappy as Owen Coyle as John Terry clearly sticks out an arm to block Lee's goalbound shot in the area but somehow the referee misses it. Shocking decision! Lucky for Chelsea and Terry

61

Super tackle! Paolo Ferreira looks to be in on goal and is just pulling the trigger until Matt Taylor slides in in the nick of time to deny him. Perfectly timed!

59

Kalou is not having the best of games so far and with Malouda and Joe Cole he will probably be heading off soon - and as if to rub salt into the wounds he blazes over from 12 yards when well placed.

56

Should be game over! Salomon Kalou is found cleverly by Aa combination of Anelka and Drogba but his shot is straight at Jaaskelainen who spread himself well.

53

Chelsea were hardly free-flowing before the break and since the interval they have not really improved. Do they need another goal? Well Bolton have not scored for a month so maybe not?

50

Mikel gets himself into an advanced position but seems to almost panic at the vital moment at being so far forward as his shot is wild.

48

Good start to the second period from the visitors with Robinson advancing down the left but Alex is there to deny Davies before Wilshere fires wide.

Second half
 

The second half is underway at the Bridge.

Half time
 

HALF TIME: CHELSEA 1-0 BOLTON. Chelsea have been nowhere near their best but after a couple of early scares they have settled down and the opening goal has galvanised the players.

45

Chelsea are going for the jugular now as Terry, Ferreira and finally Kalou all flash efforts goalwards. Bolton are holding on for dear life here.

43
Goal
 

CHELSEA 1-0 BOLTON. What a ball! Didier Drogba has been quiet but he produces a stunning cross that Nicolas ANELKA simply cannot miss from six yards out for his 13th of the season.

41

He's on - and he's off again! Zhirkov trots back on, wins a header and promptly has to go back down the tunnel again for another new bandage.

38

Zhirkov has been sent back to the touchline to get patched up again as blood begins to trickle down the side of his face from that earlier cut.

36

Here comes the pressure as Chelsea suddenly begin to up the tempo and Bolton can't keep the ball or clear it out of their own half.

34

Yuri Zhirkov, despite his head wound, is having a really good game and seems to be enjoying the freedom that he has been given to attack from his left back berth tonight.

32

A lull in proceedings now as we pass the half hour mark and Chelsea may need to change tact if they are going to be break through before the break because Bolton are looking good.

28

Half chance for Chelsea but it falls to John Terry and the skipper scuffs his volley, when unmarked, from Lampard's corner.

27

Drogba whips in a free-kick that Jaaskelainen, for some reason, decides to punch straight into the face of Salomon Kalou who watches on as the ball rolls agonisingly of the post. Scare for Bolton.

25

Zhirkov is back, and he is complete with the trademark bandage wrapped all around his head. He gets a very warm applause though.

24
Yellow Card
 

Steinsson collects the first yellow card of the evening.

23

Superb defending and brave too! Ricketts looped cross looks sure to be headed in by Kevin Davies at the far post but Zhirkov stretches his neck to flick the ball away, only for Davies to head the Russian's head.

20

Bolton are growing in confidence now and they are getting better by the minute. Very frustrating for the title favourites so far.

16

Great chance now as Matt Taylor escapes Zhirkov and beats Cech only to see his shot cleared off the line by Paolo Ferreira. Big escape!

15

Still goallless as Chelsea struggle to open up a well organised, thus far, Trotters backline.

12

Good news for Terry, Chelsea and England as the Blues skipper jogs back into the action and seems to be moving freely now.

9

John Terry makes a good block to deny Matthew Taylor whose half volley was heading on target but the big centre half is injured now and requires treatment.

7

Chelsea are starting to take a bit of control now as they pass the ball around nicely in the midfield but no real goal threat yet.

4

Nicolas Anelka gets the first shot of the match in on goal but its very tamely struck and Jaaskelainen gathers easily.

3

Lively start at the Bridge with both sides looking to attack - it is by no means a defensive lineup from Owen Coyle so this could be an interesting game.

1
Kickoff
 

We are underway at Stamford Bridge and the crowd are definitely ready to get behind their team tonight.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Ricketts, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Muamba, Lee, Taylor, Wilshere, Steinsson, Kevin Davies.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Chelsea: Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Alex, Terry, Zhirkov, Ballack, Mikel, Lampard, Kalou, Drogba, Anelka

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Bolton boss Owen Coyle laughed off claims from Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson that this would be an easy three points for the Blues tonight in the build up so he is clearly expecting a good showing from his Trotters side tonight.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

In-form Florent Malouda is left out of the Chelsea line-up, as are Joe Cole and Deco, as Carlo Ancelotti shuffles his pack ahead of the end of the season run in.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Welcome to Stamford Bridge where Chelsea are looking to take a giant step towards the Premier League title as they face Bolton tonight.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Chelsea face Bolton at 8pm on Tuesday, April 13th.