Chelsea 1-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • December 29, 2010 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton ended the year in defeat as a controversial second half goal from Florent Malouda gave Chelsea a 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge.

Didier Drogba, who was instrumental in setting up the winning goal, was in an offside position in the build up, leaving Wanderers feeling hard done by for the second successive season at the Bridge.

The visitors started brightly with Rodrigo, making his first Premier League start, causing a nuisance of himself down the right flank.

First, the Brazilian youngster almost set Johan Elmander free on goal, before he sent a teasing cross into the Chelsea box, only for goalkeeper Petr Cech to pluck out of the air.

On 17 minutes, the hosts got their first sight of goal, but from a 35-yard free-kick, Drogba's shot somehow evaded everybody inside the box and went out for a throw.

Four minutes later and Bolton had pressed up the other end. After getting the better of Ashley Cole, a Sam Ricketts cross from the right resulted in a poor clearance from Jose Bosingwa and, capitalising on the mistake, Matt Taylor fired inches wide of Cech's goal.

Ricketts once again got the better of Cole as the game reached the half hour mark and after he laid the ball off for Taylor, his powerful strike once again flew inches wide of the target.

Neither side managed to create any further chances as a stale first half ended goalless, much to the disgust of the home support who booed their side off the field at the break.

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti was obviously not happy with his side and sent them out five minutes early for the start of the second period, a move which appeared to work within moments of the kick-off.

Just two minutes after the restart, Frank Lampard played Drogba in on goal, but with only Jussi Jaaskelainen left to beat, the Ivorian's shot was tipped onto the post by the Wanderers 'keeper and Zat Knight cleared the danger.

The Trotters immediately broke up the other end and if either Rodrigo or Kevin Davies had made any serious contact with the ball, Owen Coyle's side could well have been in front.

Ramires tested Jaaskelainen with a weak shot soon after, but the English champions were to break the deadlock just after the hour, albeit in controversial circumstances.

Played in by Michael Essien, Drogba appeared to be standing in an offside position. However, play continued and after working his way into the box, he pulled the ball back for Malouda to roll past Jaaskelainen and give the hosts the lead.

The Bolton players protested, but the claims fell on deaf ears, with referee Mike Jones showing a yellow card to Paul Robinson, his fifth of the season.

Spurred on by that goal, Bolton pressed forward in search of an equaliser and they came close on a number of occasions.

First, Gary Cahill shot over from close range, before a Stuart Holden volley appeared to be blocked by the arm of John Terry. Once again, appeals fell on deaf ears and Chelsea cleared the danger.

Cahill came close again in the closing stages when he headed a Taylor cross narrowly wide of the target, before Holden was denied by a superb save from Cech after meeting a cross from Elmander with his head.

Despite their best efforts, it wasn't to be for Bolton. Essien had a header cleared off the line at the other end in the final minute and that was to be the last event of the night as Bolton fell to their third defeat in five games.

Coyle's side head into the New Year occupying 6th place in the Premier League and next up for them is a trip to Anfield on New Year's Day when they will face struggling Liverpool.

Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa (Ferreira 90), Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Essien, Lampard, Anelka (Kalou 90), Drogba, Malouda
Subs Not Used: Turnbull, van Aanholt, Bruma, Kakuta, McEachran
Booked: Ivanovic
Goals: Malouda 61

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Ricketts, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Rodrigo (Klasnic 72), Holden (M Davies 82), Muamba, Taylor (Petrov 78), K Davies, Elmander
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Blake, Alonso
Booked: Taylor, Robinson

Referee: Mike Jones
Attendance: 40,982

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 AFC Wimbledon 18 16
20 Tranmere Rovers 17 16
21 Milton Keynes Dons 18 13
22 Southend United 19 6
23 Bolton Wanderers 15 1
View Full Standings >>


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