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Premier League: Chelsea vs Bolton

Leon of Silvren2010-05-01 18:30:05 +0000 #1
Final score: Chelsea 2 - 2 Bolton

Squads:

Chelsea: Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho, Terry, Gallas, Lampard, Makelele, Tiago, Duff (Kezman 80), Gudjohnsen (Johnson 81), Robben

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Hunt, N`Gotty, Jaidi, Gardner, Nolan (Ivan Campo 59), Speed, Okocha (Hierro 75), Diouf (Giannakopoulos 54), Davies, Pedersen

Goalscorers:

Chelsea: Duff ('1), Tiago ('48)

Bolton: Davies ('52), Jaidi ('87)

Match Report:

Chelsea’s stay at the top of the league is extended to three consecutive games for the first time since the 1960s but after allowing Bolton to fight back from 2-0 down, disappointment hung heavy at Stamford Bridge.

José Mourinho’s side raced into a lead at the beginning of the game through Damien Duff and extended it soon into the second-half with Tiago the scorer. But Bolton’s menace from free-kicks and corners is known throughout the Premiership and even Chelsea’s steely defence was unable to prevent a comeback, the equaliser arriving just four minutes from time. Prior to that goal Gudjohnsen had struck the woodwork.

It was a now familiar Chelsea line-up that started the game with just the one change in midfield from the team that began the thrashing of Fulham. Tiago replaced the rested Alexey Smertin and with William Gallas continuing at left-back, it looked an aerially strong side to counter Bolton’s threat.

The visitors were able to recall Jay-Jay Okocha after injury and keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen following a suspension.

The kick-off was delayed by half-an-hour because of serious traffic problems in west London but the start proved to be well worth the wait. Bolton themselves had been held-up on their journey and they appeared to have left their concentration in the coach when after kicking-off, they allowed Robben to quickly pinch possession.

Lampard collected the ball and with the outside of his boot played a superb pass through the middle of Bolton’s back-line. Duff was onto it, nipped round keeper Jaaskelainen and guided the ball in from a tight angle.

Chelsea were ahead in just 35 seconds – and this to the side famed for conceding in the last minute rather than the first!

Duff was next to force Jaaskelainen into a save on 19 minutes and eight minutes later a deep Robben corner found Lampard who powered a header over.

In a controlled but uneventful first-half following the goal, Chelsea were patiently waiting our moment to spring forward, playing Bolton at their own game by slowing the match down at set-pieces. The visitors were proving frequently generous in conceding possession in their own half.

By half-time Sam Allardyce’s men had failed to seriously threaten Petr Cech’s goal, Ricardo Carvalho in particular dominant in defence apart from one scary moment when his clearance behind only just cleared the Chelsea post.

Chelsea were positively sluggish at the start of the second-half compared with the first, waiting two whole minutes to double the lead!

Lampard, at his dominant best won a corner which Robben took short to Duff. Receiving the ball back, the Dutchman swung it low into the area to where Tiago fired a sweet strike inside the far post. The Portuguese international was enjoying his best game so far in a Chelsea shirt.

A cruise to the finishing line looked on the cards at this stage but just four minutes later came a goal conceded – always a big shock these days.

Speed took a free-kick out wide on the right, Cech under pressure stretched but could not reach it and Davies was able to head in, the ball possibly taking a touch off Jaidi. Davies is bound to claim it; Bolton’s set-piece threat had materialised.

Prior to the goal the visitors had looked set to make a double substitution but now settled for one, Stelios coming on for Diouf.

As at Fulham, Chelsea almost reacted in the best possible way to conceding by scoring ourselves. Robben was fouled on the edge of the area and Lampard drove in a stinging free-kick which was beaten out by the diving keeper, only as far as Makelele who connected with power. A Bolton body inadvertently prevented his first Chelsea goal with the shot otherwise heading for the target.

On 57 minutes a Robben corner avoided everyone except Gudjohnsen who didn’t strike his shot as well as he would have wished and Jaaskelainen was able to scoop it away from the line at the second attempt.

Campo came on for Nolan, followed a few minutes later by Hierro for Okocha and Bolton were still looking an occasional threat. After the steady nature of the first-half, the game had become far more of a battle.

Hunt on 73 minutes wrestled possession on the right and crossed for Speed to force Cech into a save with a header.

Three minutes later however Gudjohnsen almost put the game beyond reach. Against his former club, he showed great feet to burst through the middle and taking a return pass from Duff, cracked the ball against the crossbar with Jasskelainen grasping at air.

The ball across was Duff’s last contribution, Kezman his replacement, and Johnson came on shortly after for Gudjohnsen, the youngster playing on the right of the attack. Chelsea would not come close to scoring again.

With four minutes to go, Bolton won a free-kick in the centre of the pitch and Stamford Bridge grew tense. N’Gotty banged the ball straight down the middle, Davies headed back and down and Jaidi, on the half-volley, found the net.

Chelsea are not the first big club to drop points to Sam Allardyce’s side this season and we surely won’t be the last. With Arsenal only drawing at home to West Brom, the damage was limited.



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