Bolton Wanderers v Chelsea: live
Follow live, minute-by-minute commentary of the Premier League game between Bolton Wanderers and Chelsea at the Reebok Stadium on Monday Jan 24 2011, kick-off 20.00 GMT.
0 - 4
Monday, January 24 20:00
Flying start: Didier Drogba reels away in celebration after the Chelsea striker put his side 1-0 up against Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium Photo: ACTION IMAGES
By Thom Gibbs 7:25PM GMT 24 Jan 2011
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21:45: "Allo, Allo, Chelsea-are-back, Chelsea-are-back, Allo, Allo," sing Cheslea's fans, somewhat bafflingly if you're not familiar with the ouevre of a certain disgraced former glam rock star. They may well be back, that was a sweat-free display of real class from Ancelotti's team, exerting their superiority over a disappointing Bolton side that were made to look a league worse than their conquerors. The goal glut will be welcomed at Stamford Bridge, but the clean sheet is not to be sniffed at earlier. Too late for a cheeky run for the title? Over and out from me, thanks for your company.
90+3 min: Almost a wonderful goal as we approach the final whistle. A lovely passing move between Anekla and Cole is just cleared for a corner, which there's just time to float into the middle before Foy blows for full time.
90+1 min: Three minutes of added time, and I should mention that Robbie Blake came on for Holden four minutes ago. If that has any bearing on the outcome of this match I will be very, very surprised.
89 min: Elmander is ushered down a blind alley by Ivanovic. After looking slightly nervous in the opening three or four minutes this has been a faultless defnsive performance by the champions.
87 min: I don't think Mark Ogden is having a very good time. From his Twitter: "Ludicrously cold at the Reebok. Stating the obvious, but still."
85 min: Holden, frustrating tonight, plays a poor final ball towards the area which is comfortably claimed by Cech. You could hear an enamel pin badge drop at the Reebok.
83 min: Clear penalty for Chelsea as Anekla is bundled over by Robinson just inside the box. Chris Foy takes pity on the chastised home side and pretends he hasn't seen it.
81 min: Holden scoops the ball high into the box after another swift one-two with Mark Davies. Cech is out to claim and uses his formidable height advantage to pluck the ball effortlessly out of the air.
79 min: Elmander tries an ambitious shot on the turn but it finishes midway up the stand behind the goal.
77 min: Matthew Hetherington, with a name like the posh cousin of the Stoke midfielder, writes: "I was worried to see the use of the term 'two man wall' in the 60th minute. I, as I am sure most do, understand that it was a wall made up of 2 men. However this could suggest, or be interpreted, that women would not be capable of doing this job if called upon. It would be a shame if the Telegraph was to be held to account for this use of sexist terminology! Surely the term; a 2 person wall, would avoid any problems." And they say satire is dead.
76 min: Kalou is on for recent goalscorer Ramires.
74 min: GOAL!! Bolton 0 Chelsea 4 (Ramires)
A quick throw is delivered to Essien on the byline, he skirts inside and plays in Anelka 12 yards out. His shot is charged down but falls invitingly for Ramires, who steers the ball expertly into the left hand side of the goal. It's the first time he's scored for the club.
72 min: Mikel is off for Chelsea, it's Josh McEachran on in his place, who looks approximately seven years old.
71 min: Mark Davies slots in Elmander who has a wonderful chance but can only blast the ball into Cech's shins. It wouldn't have counted anyway, he was offside.
67 min: Some artful short passing from Bolton but Elmander's final ball to Mark Davies is slightly too heavy and Cech can come out to collect the ball.
63 min: Double sub for Bolton. Rodrigo's on for Petrov and Muamba makes way for Mark Davies.
62 min: Chelsea, at least, are looking hungry for more here. Drogba performs a cheeky flick to win them a throw half way into the Bolton half. I imagine Drogba et al. now see this as an opportunity for a morale-raising rout.
60 min: Taylor's free kick just outside the corner of the box is straight into Chelsea's two man wall.
58 min: That's it as a contest, surely? Surely even Chelsea can't throw away a 3-0 lead against Bolton? Can they? Can they? CAN THEY? Come on fate, I'm attempting to tempt you.
56 min: GOAL!! Bolton 0 Chelsea 3 (Anelka)
Another worrying Chelsea break sees Essien put a low cross towards Drogba at the near post. Once again, there's a bit of luck in the build up, as Drogba spins the ball fortuitously to Anelka, but the Frenchman's finish is unerring and beats Jaaskelainen at the near post. The keeper possibly shuold have done better, but that's a chance well-taken.
54 min: Essien's poor ball towards Anelka spells the end to a Chelsea break in which they had four on three. Bolton race up to the other end but Petrov's cross is just shy of the free man waiting in the middle.
51 min: An amusing impromptu six-pack competition between Drogba, who angrily shows Taylor his chest to prove he was caught by the defender, and Steinsson who rushes over with his shirt pulled up to prove a similar point. Wonderfully childish. Chelea's free kick evades everyone but is headed behind for a corner anyway. It comes to nothing.
50 min: A Bolton fan named Marcus' wallet has been found, and is now in the Reebok's main reception. This courtesy of the stadium announcer. This news is more pertinent that anything that's happened on the pitch in the last two minutes.
48 min: Holden gives the ball away, Mikel gives it straight back to him. Sloppy start to the second half by both sides.
46 min: Bolton begin the second half in the face of sprightly Chelsea pressure. A lovely early Bolton goal would really set this game on the correct tracks.
45+1 min: We're into the only minute of added time. Turn. That. Phone. Off. Sam.
44 min: Minor chaos! Davies' odd flick towards goal is oddly flicked by a flying Elmander, which baffles Cech who'd expected the ball to run through to him and is forced into an impromptu save. Bolton waste the resulting corner, again.
41 min: GOAL!! Bolton 0 Chelsea 2 (Malouda)
A Chelsea corner is cleared but the ball is eventually collected by Malouda near the touchline. With every Bolton defender expecting him to cross he cuts inside, getting a bit of a lucky bounce to keep possession, and can thread the ball between Jaaskelainen and his near post. An odd goal, neither of Sky's commentators seemed quite sure what they'd just witnessed.
39 min: Steinsson brushes against Drogba on the edge of the box and the striker makes a typical meal of it. His free kick from 20 yards is far too high. Goal kick.
37 min: Malouda's cross flicks up for Drogba in the box at a difficult height. It briefly looks like he's winding up for a blistering volley, but instead tries a fancy flick which causes the move to break down.
35 min: Is Owen Coyle the Premier League's loudest manager? During an uneventful period of play his voice is more or less all I can hear. Alternative nominations here.
33 min: Someone at Sky needs to tell Sam Allardyce to turn his phone off, it keeps generating interference that's getting picked up on the sound feed. A schoolboy error from the big man on his commentary debut. I can't for a second entertain the idea that it's Martin Tyler's mistake. That guy is a pro.
31 min: So close Matt Taylor! Petrov's excellent cross is flicked towards goal artfully by the midfielder and looks bound for the bottom corner, but Cech gets a finger to it and pushes the ball round the post. Bolton's corner comes to nothing.
30 min: Anelka beats the offside trap and bears down on goal, but is forced wide by Knight and has his shot blocked. His follow-up is weak and straight at Jaaskelainen. Perhaps he doesn't want to score against his old club?
29 min: Elmander and Petrov look to break but are well dealt with by Chelsea's defence, who clear danger.
27 min: Hard to say whether it's the players or the deadening monotone of Sam Allardyce's voice which is making this game so painful to watch.
26 min: Drogba is played in inside the box, but the ball takes him slightly too far wide, making a successful finish very difficult. His shot is straight at Jaaskelainen.
23 min: Matt Taylor's sweeping cross needs heading behind by Bosingwa. The same defender clears the corner with his head.
22 min: Davies is fouled by Ivanovic and Bolton take a quick free kick. It's worked out to Petrov who has a little bit of space near the left touchline, but his cross is poor and behind for a goal kick.
20 min: Ramires attempts to play in Anelka, but the former Trotter's touch is extremely heavy and the move breaks down. Still absolutely no excitement to this game, apart from Drogba's outstanding goal.
17 min: Bolton's Holden floats a high-quality ball into the box from deep which is attacked by Cahill and Elmander. Brief panic for Chelsea, possibly as they fully appreciate the sheer size of Bolton's side for the first time, but the ball ricochets out for a goal kick.
15 min: Tim Nadin has been in touch via email, and you can be too. Tim writes: "Great to see that Sky are now only too aware that they need to be fully equal opportunists, I can’t see any other reason to give Big Sam the mic. He’s about as dull as dishwater"
13 min: Corner to Bolton, straight up the other end after the goal. It's cleared comfortably. If Chelsea are intent on stifling this match we could be in for a very long night.
11 min: GOAL!! Bolton 0 Chelsea 1 (Drogba)
A ludicrously good goal by the hitherto out-of-form Ivorian. Drogba receives the ball 40 yards from goal but with a little space to run into. He takes a couple of quick touches before unleashing a thunderbolt that swerves and dips wickedly, bemusing Jaaskelainen and flying directly over him into the back of the net.
9 min: Davies chases Terry, who's shepherding a loose ball out of play. The Bolton striker puts in a slide tackle in a last-ditch attempt to win the ball. He appears to catch Terry slightly and the Chelsea skipper, just as Martin Tyler says "some people have said this Chelsea side is too old", starts limping in the style of an old man.
8 min: Chelsea look for all the world like a nervous England side playing a friendly against decent but limited opponents. They're content to pass it around sideways, almost entirely in their own half, with a sense that they're one misplaced pass away from disaster. Bolton doing a good job at pressing but haven't touched the ball for about three minutes,
5 min: Chelsea have settled, or are trying to, by playing the ball around sedately in their own half.
3 min: Elmander flicks the ball on towards Davies, whose header at goal is poor. Bolton all over their visitors in the opening stages.
2 min: Joining Sky's commentator Martin Tyler this evening, by the way, is Sam Allardyce. He's no Andy Gray, he's yet to denigrate any genders.
1 min: We're underway, Bolton nicking the ball immediately from Chelsea's kick off to win a throw-in deep in their opponent's half.
20:02: Impeccably observed silence, as you would expect. We appear to be running a solid four minutes behind schedule but kick off now appears imminent.
19:57: There's going to be a minute's silence for Nat Lofthouse before the game, I promise not to post any updates during it. Both sides are wearing black armbands.
19:54: This trend for bookmakers' owners appearing in their own firm's advert is my least favourite development in football-related advertising during 2011.
19:50: If Chelsea lose tonight are they definitely, definitely out of the title race? Are they out of the title race any way? Do the club need to overhaul their squad, or possibly change their manager to mount a legitimate challenge again? Are Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka past it? All this and more are questions I would invite you to answer via email.
19:45: And here are those teams:
Bolton: Jaaskelainen; Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson; Petrov, Muamba, Holden, Taylor; Kevin Davies, Elmander.
Subs: Bogdan, Mark Davies, Ricketts, Moreno, Blake, Cohen, Wheater.
Chelsea: Cech; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole; Essien, Ramires, Mikel, Malouda; Anelka, Drogba.
Subs: Turnbull, Ferreira, Kalou, Sturridge, Bruma, Kakuta, McEachran.
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)
Bolton's new defensive recruit David Wheater can only make the bench, Chelsea's subs demonstrate the worrying lack of depth at the club presently.
19:40: It's not often that you can say the build-up to a Premier League is overshadowed by the off-air mutterings of a pair of middle-aged men with attitudes best left in the 1950s, but that's arguably the case ahead of Bolton Wanderers' game against Chelsea.
A fresh-faced young man named David Jones deputises for the slighty-disgraced Richard Keys this evening, but he doesn't get to play with the "silly machines" (copyright Ron Atkinson) in Keys and Andy Gray's shiny undergound Monday Night Football lair. It's the Austerity Measures chic of a simple in-stand studio at the Reebok. I picture Keys and Gray holed up alone in the unused studio, ruefully sipping bottled beers, shaking their heads, and muttering about how political correctness has gone mad.
Football, then, and these teams met at the fag end of 2010 and Chelsea briefly undermined their disastrous form with an edgy 1-0 win. Bolton have been good value at home under Owen Coyle, with Mark Davies notably scoring the thinking man's goal of the season in their 2-2 draw with Blackpool back in November. Tonight's build-up is heavy on the Nat Lofthouse references, who will be honoured by Wanderers before kick off. Teams to follow.
Monday, January 24
Bolton Wanderers v Chelsea
Kick-off: 20.00 GMT
TV: Live Sky Sports 1.
Bolton (4-4-2): Jaaskelainen; Ricketts, Cahill, Knight, Robinson; M Davies, Muamba, Holden, Taylor; K Davies, Elmander.
Chelsea (4-4-2): Cech; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Essien, Lampard, Malouda; Drogba, Anelka.
Referee: Chris Foy. Matches: 15. R0 Y38.
Tale of the game
Chelsea need to win again to reignite their push to retain the Premier League title.
The 2-0 win over Blackburn last Saturday was only their second victory in 10 Premier League games.
The other win was against Bolton, at Stamford Bridge, in the last game of 2010 when a second half goal from Florent Malouda earned Chelsea a much-needed win.
Chelsea should be confident given their Premier League record against Bolton.
They are unbeaten in their last 14 meetings, home and away, winning 11 and drawing three.
Bolton last beat Chelsea in December 2003, at Stamford Bridge and have not won a league game at home against them since October 1997.
Overall, in 23 Premier League meetings, Chelsea have won 15, drawn five and lost only three.
Bolton will test Ivan Klasnic, who has missed three games with a groin strain, while Gretar Steinsson (knee), Ricardo Gardner (knee), Jloyd Samuel (calf) and Sean Davis (knee) are still missing.
Chelsea are still without Yuri Zhirkov (calf), Alex (knee) and Yossi Benayoun (Achilles).
This season: Chelsea 1 Bolton 0.
Last season: Bolton 0 Chelsea 4, Chelsea 1 Bolton 0.
Stat of the game: Chelsea have won only 12 of their 38 points away from home.