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Match Report: Chelsea 1 – Bolton 0

A much needed 1-0 victory against Bolton Wanderers

Florent Malouda’s second half strike was good enough for us to win against high-flying Bolton Wanderers last night. It was relief all around Stamford Bridge amongst Chelsea fans as this was the first win in our last six matches and since early November.

We entered the fixture in fifth place and were aiming to avoid being leapfrogged by Bolton Wanderers, who could have done so with victory.

It took us just four minutes to have an attempt on goal but Michael Essien’s long-range shot sailed high over Bolton’s goal.

Groans went up from nervy Chelsea fans in the starting minutes as a misplaced pass in the midfield gifted possession to the opposition and provided them with the opportunity to open the scoring. However, Bolton failed to capitalise on the opportunity and Kevin Davies long range shot was way wide of the goal.

Ivanovic had to be alive to hook clear a loose ball right in the 10th minute with Johan waiting to pounce in the penalty box as Wanderers confidence grew. A few minutes later, John Terry cleared a Gary Cahill header from a close range.

It was Owen Coyle’s men who came closest to opening the scoring when Paul Robinson’s high cross fell to the feet of Stuart Holden through a Nicolas Anelka error, but Holden’s right-foot low drive went a couple of feet wide.

Holden was inches away from giving his team the lead 10 minutes later when he collected Mathew Taylor’s pass and spun, unleashing a curling effort goal wards that went just over the crossbar. 

As half time approached it was all level and stats showed not a single shot on target in first 45 minutes. It cued boo’s around the Bridge from frustrated Chelsea fans clearly not satisfied.

In the starting minutes of the second half, Frank Lampard played an exceptional through pass to Didier Drogba whose close range effort beat the opposition keeper but unfortunately bounced off the far post. The Stamford Bridge faithful were buoyed; it was our first decent move of the match

We then began to grow in confidence. Essien fed Lampard who could not get much purchase behind a weak left-foot effort, but just a minute later Chelsea had the breakthrough.

Didier Drogba anticipated an Essien pass, broke down on the right side of the penalty box and played a superb cross to Malouda to tap in from close range.

The game burst into life after the first goal. Paul Robinson might have brought the visitors level but after picking up Taylor’s pass he blazed over from outside of the box.

The chances came thick and fast as the game moved into its final stages. Mark Davies saw a header tipped over by Petr Cech before Ramires flashed a shot wide of the post.

Malouda was denied twice by Jaaskelainen late on before Carlo Ancelotti ran down the clock by introducing Salomon Kalou and Paulo Ferreira in the closing seconds

The win takes us back into the top four of the Barclays Premier League with a home fixture next on Sunday against Aston Villa.

Gill Reeves CSG disabled rep

Stats from the BBC website:

Chelsea

• 01 Cech
• 02 Ivanovic – yellow card
• 03 A Cole
• 17 Bosingwa (Ferreira 90+2)
• 26 Terry
• 05 Essien
• 07 Ramires
• 08 Lampard
• 15 Malouda
• 11 Drogba
• 39 Anelka (Kalou 90)

Substitutes

• 22 Turnbull,
• 19 Ferreira,
• 38 Van Aanholt,
• 43 Bruma,
• 46 McEachran,
• 21 Kalou,
• 44 Kakuta

Bolton

• 22 Jaaskelainen
• 04 Robinson
• 05 Cahill
• 12 Knight
• 18 Ricketts
• 06 Muamba
• 07 Taylor – yellow card (Petrov 78)
• 08 Holden (Davies 82)
• 09 Elmander
• 14 Davies
• 19 Moreno (Klasnic 72)

Substitutes 

• 01 Bogdan,
• 25 Alonso,
• 10 Petrov,
• 16 Davies,
• 17 Klasnic,
• 20 Blake

Ref: Jones

Att: 40,982

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