Chelsea 1-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • April 13, 2010 | By Chris Mann
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Chelsea moved four points clear at the top of the Premier League after a comfortable, but controversial, 1-0 win over Bolton.

Nicolas Anelka's 43rd minute header was the difference between the two sides, but referee Lee Probert was the main talking point after the game after rejecting two penalty appeals from Wanderers.

Chelsea, who advanced to the FA Cup final at the weekend, started brightly and should have taken an early lead when Yury Zhirkov pulled the ball back for Didier Drogba who curled an effort over the crossbar.

Drogba thought he was through on goal just moments later, but he was ruled to be offside just as he looked set to shoot at Jussi Jaaskelainen.

A break in play then occured as Chelsea skipper John Terry required treatment on an ankle injury sustained in a challenge with Matt Taylor.

After play restarted, the hosts seemed to have lost their early momentum and Taylor almost capitalised on a mistake when Petr Cech fumbled a cross from Lee Chung-Yong. Fortunately for Cech, he reacted quick and denied Taylor a certain goal.

Play was stopped once again moments later following a clash of heads between Zhirkov and Kevin Davies, with the Chelsea man eventually returning to the field sporting a head bandage.

On 25 minutes, the hosts should have had the lead. Jaaskelainen could only parry a Drogba free-kick and Salomon Kalou couldn't react quick enough, as the ball bounced off his head and wide of goal.

Zhirkov had to leave the field on 39 minutes, returning two minutes later after having stitches in the head wound sustained earlier in the game. After his re-appearance, Chelsea took the lead.

Found in an unfamiliar left-wing role, Drogba crossed the ball into the area and Anelka headed home from inside the six yard box against his former club.

Kalou sent a shot wide moments before the break as Chelsea took their 1-0 advantage into half-time.

The Ivory Coast international wasted yet another chance on 54 minutes. This time, after Drogba had played him through, Kalou couldn't beat Jaaskelainen who saved with his legs.

Then came the big talking point. Chung-Yong's cross seemed harmless enough until Terry appeared to divert the ball back to Cech with the inside of his arm. The penalty appeals were rejected, just as they were in the first half when Drogba also looked to have handled.

Jaaskelainen had to be alert to keep out a Zhirkov volley midway through the half, before he once again saved from Kalou on 75 minutes when he was through on goal.

Frank Lampard hit the inside of the post with 12 minutes remaining before Bolton substitute Johan Elmander headed inches wide with six minutes to go following a superb cross from Taylor.

Wanderers had all the late pressure but failed to seriously test Cech in the Chelsea goal, suffering their fourth defeat in a row as a result.

Bolton remain five points clear of the bottom three with just four games to play and travel to Stoke City on Saturday afternoon where they can all but guarantee their Premier League status for next season.

Chelsea: Cech, Ferreira, Alex, Terry, Zhirkov, Ballack, Mikel, Lampard, Kalou (J Cole 77), Drogba, Anelka (Malouda 67)
Subs Not Used: Hilario, Deco, Sturridge, Bruma, van Aanholt
Booked: Alex
Goals: Anelka 43

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Chung-Yong (Klasnic 82), Muamba, Ricketts, Taylor, Wilshere (Elmander 82), K Davies
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Samuel, M Davies, Cohen, Weiss
Booked: Steinsson, Robinson, K Davies, Elmander

Attendance: Lee Probert
Referee: 40,539

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
6 Cambridge United 3 6
7 Derby County 3 6
8 Bolton Wanderers 3 5
9 Portsmouth 3 5
10 Accrington Stanley 3 5
View Full Standings >>


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