Chelsea 3-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • February 25, 2012 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton suffered their third successive Premier League defeat after losing 3-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Second half goals from David Luiz, Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard gave Andre Villas-Boas' side their first league victory in five outings, meaning only goal difference is keeping Wanderers off the foot of the table.

Wanderers will probably feel like the scoreline flattered their opponents, but Chelsea thoroughly deserved the three points as they moved back into the UEFA Champions League places.

After attracting criticism for recent performances, the hosts raced out of the blocks and registered their first shot on target after just five minutes, with former Wanderers loan star Daniel Sturridge stinging the palms of Adam Bogdan in the Bolton goal.

Michael Essien fired over the crossbar moments later, before Bogdan did well to prevent Lampard from crossing into the box after the England international had taken the ball beyond the Trotters goalkeeper.

Bolton's first shot arrived after 11 minutes, but Ryo Miyaichi's strike was terrible and the ball eventually rolled out for a Chelsea throw.

Drogba shot straight at Bogdan on 18 minutes, before David Wheater headed narrowly over Petr Cech's goal with a header from a Tuncay corner.

Branislav Ivanovic headed wide of the target just before the half hour, moments before Sturridge brought Bogdan into a fine save with a curling effort from just outside the penalty area.

Sturridge tried his luck again five minutes later, only to be denied by a superb sliding block from Wheater as the Bolton defence held firm despite a constant onslaught from the Blues.

Darren Pratley - who was in the Wanderers team for the injured Mark Davies - went down under a challenge from Luiz as the first half drew to a close, but referee Michael Oliver was unimpressed with the midfielder's tumble and promptly issued a yellow card to the former Swansea City man.

In a first half which had been largely played in the Bolton half, Owen Coyle's side fashioned the final chance of the opening 45 minutes, with Miyaichi firing narrowly over the bar.

Coyle will have urged his side to keep tight at the start of the second period, but his side fell behind just three minutes after the restart as Luiz capitalised on a poor clearance from Wheater, before curling a stunning strike beyond the outstretched dive of Bogdan.

The visitors immediately went in search of an equaliser and it almost came five minutes later as Nigel Reo-Coker's surging run from midfield resulted in him shooting inches wide of Cech's post.

That was about as good as things got for Wanderers and they were fortunate to keep the deficit to one as Luiz headed against a post on 55 minutes, before Drogba curled a shot against the top of the crossbar just 60 seconds later.

The Ivory Coast international wasn't to be denied again, though, as he outjumped Fabrice Muamba to nod a Lampard corner past Bogdan just after the hour, giving Chelsea a comfortable two-goal cushion.

Wanderers threw Marvin Sordell and Chris Eagles on for David Ngog and Tuncay in an attempt to find a route back into the game, but the changes failed to make any impact and Chelsea sealed the points with a third goal 11 minutes from time.

Juan Mata's cross from the right flank picked out an unmarked Lampard at the far post, who sent a controlled volley past a stranded Bogdan to net his 12th goal against Bolton, equalling Robbie Fowler's record.

Substitutes Salomon Kalou and Fernando Torres both narrowly missed the target in stoppage time, with Chelsea having to settle for a 3-0 margin. The victory is their ninth successive victory against Bolton.

Things don't get any easier for Coyle's side. Next up for them is a trip to Manchester City's Etihad Stadium next Saturday, with Wanderers looking to record an unlikely success over the Premier League's top club.

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Cole, Ramires (Mikel 88), Essien, Lampard, Sturridge (Kalou 80), Drogba (Torres 76), Mata
Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Malouda, Meireles, Bertrand
Goals: Luiz 48, Drogba 61, Lampard 79

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Steinsson, Wheater, Ream, Ricketts, Reo-Coker, Muamba, Tuncay (Eagles 75), Pratley, Miyaichi, Ngog (Sordell 65)
Subs Not Used: Jaaskelainen, Robinson, Knight, Klasnic, Boyata
Booked: Pratley

Referee: Michael Oliver
Attendance: 40,999

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
11 Ipswich Town 20 27
12 Cheltenham Town 19 27
13 Bolton Wanderers 20 26
14 Accrington Stanley 19 24
15 Charlton Athletic 20 23
View Full Standings >>


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