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Page last updated at 21:37 GMT, Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Chelsea   1 - 0   Bolton

Florent Malouda
Chelsea broke the deadlock in the 60th minute after a poor first-half display

By Chris Whyatt

Relieved Chelsea halted their worst run of form since 1999 as a stuttering victory over Bolton gave the champions a first league win in seven matches.

Carlo Ancelotti's out-of-sorts team struggled to hit the target in the first half as Bolton threatened with Matthew Taylor lashing just wide.

But they marginally improved after the break as Didier Drogba hit the post.

And Stamford Bridge erupted with joy as Florent Malouda slotted in a cross from Drogba, who had stayed just onside.

Battling Bolton disputed the goal, claiming Drogba was offside, but the Ivorian appeared to have timed his angled run across the visitors back line to perfection to race onto a fine Michael Essien pass and ensure Chelsea moved back into fourth place in the Premier League.

Much soul-searching is going on at the west London club who, just seven weeks ago, were five points clear at the top of the table and playing with the verve with which they won the title last season.

Yet another seriously under-par performance is unlikely to provide any real answers to their remarkable plummet in form - but it proves they can at least churn out a much-needed result.

Their first half was marred by the entire side playing too deep, completely unable to build up any form of decent possession once the ball left their bewildered defence.

But Bolton deserve real credit, seeking to take advantage of their jitters at every opportunity in typically determined fashion.

After Essien's poor attempt flew into the stands, Rodrigo Moreno - Bolton's on-loan winger from Benfica who was making his full Premier League debut - nearly exposed the Blues with a lovely ball for Johan Elmander, but it just skipped away from his team-mate's toes.

Centre-back Branislav Ivanovic then took a wild slash at the ball but his captain John Terry saved Chelsea's skin by hacking the ball clear for a corner with Kevin Davies set to strike from just six yards out.

With the hosts not able to find their passes - everything that went forward was too heavy or too short - Terry once again had to come to his side's rescue after Davies had brilliantly nodded into the path of Elmander, who followed up swiftly with a deflected shot.

Bolton were then just inches from taking the lead, but the dangerous-looking Taylor drilled just wide after picking up a loose ball following Jose Bosingwa's poor attempted clearance.

A hideous Drogba free-kick, which flew directly out for a throw-in when he was aiming at goal, seemed to sum up Chelsea's frustrations.

Composed play then saw Sam Ricketts nutmeg Ashley Cole before Taylor whipped a fine curling effort over Petr Cech's bar.

Clearly robbed of confidence after such a poor run of form, Chelsea seemed to have abandoned their trademark slick passing in favour of hitting long balls as they waited for half-time to arrive.

Yet the second period showed a marked contrast in style with Frank Lampard, making only his second start since August, completely splitting Bolton's defence with back-tracking Paul Robinson unable to intercept a well-weighted through-ball.

606: DEBATE
Ossie-and-Hutch

Drogba, though, could only slide his low shot against the body of the post as the ball skidded back off the greasy turf to be cleared to safety.

Elmander's lovely flick nearly set Taylor free inside the box but, this time, Boswinga reacted well to snuff out any real danger.

Poised link-up play between Essien and Lampard set the Ghanaian midfielder free soon after but his left-footed shot from outside the box was too weak.

But, on the hour, the moment finally came for Chelsea when Essien helped break the deadlock with his brand of muscular brilliance.

Charging through the Bolton midfield to find a free moment, Essien then pinged the ball into the space into which Drogba was intelligently running.

That was the hard work largely done as the Ivorian waited for Malouda to steam into the box before releasing a simple crossed pass which the Frenchman side-footed home with aplomb.

A Ricketts and Stuart Holden one-two around the box then created a decent chance for an almost instant equaliser - but Welsh full-back Ricketts blasted over when a calmer finish could have been rewarded.

Holden then had a handball appeal turned down after smashing a shot at Terry inside the box.

Bolton then went even closer when Elmander's cross was met by a bullet header from Holden, which forced a wonderful tip over from Cech before Drogba then cleared the resulting corner off the line.

At the other end, Essien thought he had bundled the ball over the line in between Bolton's final two substitutions but the flag had already gone up.

Energetic Malouda was denied twice by Jussi Jaaskelainen late on before Ancelotti ran down the clock by introducing Salomon Kalou and Paulo Ferreira in the closing seconds as Chelsea arrested their slide.

Live text and stats

 

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Chelsea 1-0 Bolton FT
(HT 0-0)
  • Malouda 61

    Chelsea

    Substitutes

    Bolton

    Substitutes

    Ref: JonesAtt: 40,982
    CHELSEA
    BOLTON

    Possession

    • Chelsea 56%
    • Bolton 44%

    Attempts on target

    • Chelsea 7
    • Bolton 2

    Attempts off target

    • Chelsea 5
    • Bolton 4

    Corners

    • Chelsea 6
    • Bolton 3

    Fouls

    • Chelsea 12
    • Bolton 24
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+4:11 The referee brings the game to a close.
    • 90:00+1:57 Didier Drogba gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Zat Knight. Jussi Jaaskelainen takes the direct free kick.
    • 90:00+1:57 Substitution Jose Bosingwa goes off and Paulo Ferreira comes on.
    • 89:49 The referee blows for offside against Nicolas Anelka. Gary Cahill takes the free kick.
    • 89:49 Substitution Salomon Kalou joins the action as a substitute, replacing Nicolas Anelka.
    • 89:09 Didier Drogba takes a shot. Save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
    • 87:42 Florent Malouda delivers the ball, save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
    • 87:28 Corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard to the near post, clearance made by Johan Elmander.
    • 87:07 Ashley Cole takes a shot. Save by Samuel Ricketts.
    • 84:35 Ramires fouled by Samuel Ricketts, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Didier Drogba from right wing, Foul by John Terry on Gary Cahill, free kick awarded. Jussi Jaaskelainen restarts play with the free kick.
    • 83:55 Corner taken by Frank Lampard played to the near post.
    • 82:42 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ivan Klasnic on Florent Malouda. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Didier Drogba.
    • 82:20 The ball is sent over by Ashley Cole, clearance made by Zat Knight.
    • 81:31 Substitution Mark Davies on for Stuart Holden.
    • Correction - 80:23 Frank Lampard takes the inswinging corner, Michael Essien takes a shot. Fabrice Muamba gets a block in. Branislav Ivanovic has a header from close in and clears the crossbar.
    • 80:23 Corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard from the left by-line, Michael Essien takes a shot. Fabrice Muamba gets a block in. Branislav Ivanovic has a header from close in and clears the crossbar.
    • 79:49 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kevin Davies on Ramires. John Terry restarts play with the free kick.
    • 78:46 Centre by Jose Bosingwa, Fabrice Muamba manages to make a clearance.
    • 78:04 Shot from outside the box by Michael Essien goes wide right of the target.
    • 77:27 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Stuart Holden, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Didier Drogba by Zat Knight. Petr Cech takes the direct free kick.
    • 77:27 Substitution (Bolton) makes a substitution, with Martin Petrov coming on for Matthew Taylor.
    • 76:34 Samuel Ricketts sends in a cross, Stuart Holden takes a shot. Petr Cech makes a save.
    • 73:00 Gary Cahill gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Didier Drogba. Frank Lampard fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
    • Correction - 71:09 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Rodrigo Moreno by Ramires. The ball is sent over by Matthew Taylor, Header from close in by Gary Cahill misses to the right of the target.
    • Correction - 71:09 Substitution Ivan Klasnic is brought on as a substitute for Rodrigo Moreno.
    • 71:09 Ramires challenges Rodrigo Moreno unfairly and gives away a free kick. The ball is swung over by Matthew Taylor, Header from close range by Gary Cahill misses to the right of the target.
    • 71:09 Substitution Ivan Klasnic on for Rodrigo Moreno.
    • 69:50 Matthew Taylor takes the inswinging corner, Florent Malouda makes a clearance.
    • 69:43 The ball is sent over by Gary Cahill, clearance by Michael Essien.
    • 68:15 Kevin Davies gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on John Terry. Direct free kick taken by Ashley Cole.
    • 67:58 A cross is delivered by Didier Drogba.
    • 66:57 Kevin Davies delivers the ball, Rodrigo Moreno takes a shot. Blocked by John Terry.
    • 65:43 The assistant referee flags for offside against Didier Drogba. Free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
    • 64:53 Samuel Ricketts crosses the ball.
    • 63:22 Frank Lampard is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
    • 62:42 Effort on goal by Samuel Ricketts from just inside the penalty area goes over the target.
    • 61:54 Shot by Frank Lampard. Save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
    • 61:34 The ball is crossed by Florent Malouda, clearance by Zat Knight.
    • 60:05 Assist by Didier Drogba.
    • 60:05 GOAL - Florent MaloudaChelsea 1 - 0 Bolton A goal is scored by Florent Malouda from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. Chelsea 1-0 Bolton.
    • 58:52 Michael Essien takes a shot. Save made by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
    • 57:55 The offside flag is raised against Nicolas Anelka. Indirect free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
    • 57:36 The ball is swung over by Rodrigo Moreno, clearance made by John Terry.
    • 56:59 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kevin Davies on Michael Essien. Free kick taken by John Terry.
    • 55:57 The referee blows for offside against Nicolas Anelka. Indirect free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
    • 54:28 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jose Bosingwa by Matthew Taylor. Free kick taken by Petr Cech.
    • 53:54 The assistant referee signals for offside against Didier Drogba. Jussi Jaaskelainen takes the indirect free kick.
    • 52:51 Matthew Taylor gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jose Bosingwa. Free kick taken by Petr Cech.
    • 52:16 Kevin Davies is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Petr Cech.
    • 51:39 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kevin Davies by Michael Essien. Direct free kick taken by Matthew Taylor.
    • 49:52 John Terry concedes a free kick for a foul on Kevin Davies. Direct free kick taken by Matthew Taylor.
    • 49:10 Corner taken by Frank Lampard played to the near post, Zat Knight makes a clearance.
    • 48:53 Shot by Didier Drogba from inside the penalty box hits the post.
    • 47:48 Free kick awarded for a foul by Rodrigo Moreno on Florent Malouda. Frank Lampard takes the free kick.
    • 46:54 Unfair challenge on Michael Essien by Kevin Davies results in a free kick. John Terry takes the direct free kick.
    • 45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+1:09 The match has reached half-time.
    • 44:46 Foul by Johan Elmander on Michael Essien, free kick awarded. Michael Essien takes the free kick.
    • 42:57 Ramires fouled by Matthew Taylor, the ref awards a free kick. Jose Bosingwa restarts play with the free kick.
    • 42:57 Booking Matthew Taylor is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 40:57 The ball is sent over by Florent Malouda, Zat Knight makes a clearance.
    • 39:38 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Florent Malouda from the left by-line, clearance by Paul Robinson.
    • 38:30 Paul Robinson fouled by Florent Malouda, the ref awards a free kick. Jussi Jaaskelainen restarts play with the free kick.
    • 37:48 Didier Drogba produces a cross.
    • 37:30 Foul by Stuart Holden on Ramires, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Michael Essien.
    • 34:50 Matthew Taylor challenges Michael Essien unfairly and gives away a free kick. Branislav Ivanovic takes the direct free kick.
    • 32:36 Effort on goal by Matthew Taylor from outside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.
    • 32:31 Rodrigo Moreno crosses the ball, John Terry makes a clearance.
    • 32:20 Centre by Samuel Ricketts.
    • 31:41 Florent Malouda takes a outswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Stuart Holden.
    • 29:37 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Essien by Paul Robinson. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Florent Malouda, clearance by Kevin Davies.
    • 28:33 Free kick awarded for a foul by Samuel Ricketts on Florent Malouda. Frank Lampard fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick, Zat Knight gets a block in.
    • 25:26 Foul by Branislav Ivanovic on Johan Elmander, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Stuart Holden.
    • 25:26 Booking Branislav Ivanovic goes into the referee's book.
    • 22:40 The assistant referee flags for offside against Didier Drogba. Indirect free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
    • 21:50 Samuel Ricketts produces a cross, Matthew Taylor has an effort at goal from the edge of the box that misses to the right of the target.
    • 20:32 Gary Cahill concedes a free kick for a foul on Branislav Ivanovic. Jose Bosingwa restarts play with the free kick.
    • Correction - 19:52 Kevin Davies fouled by Ramires, the ref awards a free kick. Samuel Ricketts takes the direct free kick.
    • 19:52 Foul by Ramires on Kevin Davies, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Gary Cahill.
    • 18:03 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stuart Holden by Florent Malouda. Free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
    • 16:48 Rodrigo Moreno gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ashley Cole. Free kick taken by Didier Drogba.
    • 16:22 The referee penalises Stuart Holden for handball. Branislav Ivanovic takes the direct free kick.
    • 15:21 Unfair challenge on Kevin Davies by John Terry results in a free kick. Matthew Taylor takes the free kick.
    • 13:47 Jose Bosingwa sends in a cross, save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
    • 12:49 Free kick awarded for a foul by Zat Knight on Nicolas Anelka. Didier Drogba takes the free kick.
    • 12:28 Handball decision goes against Matthew Taylor. Petr Cech restarts play with the free kick.
    • 12:01 Didier Drogba gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gary Cahill. Free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
    • 11:21 A cross is delivered by Rodrigo Moreno, save made by Petr Cech.
    • 10:56 Corner taken right-footed by Stuart Holden from the left by-line to the near post, save by Petr Cech.
    • 10:47 The ball is sent over by Samuel Ricketts, clearance by John Terry.
    • 9:54 The assistant referee signals for offside against Ashley Cole. Free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
    • 8:58 The assistant referee flags for offside against Didier Drogba. Indirect free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
    • 8:03 The official flags Kevin Davies offside. Jose Bosingwa takes the free kick.
    • 7:50 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ramires on Fabrice Muamba. Direct free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
    • 6:56 Unfair challenge on Ramires by Fabrice Muamba results in a free kick. John Terry takes the direct free kick.
    • 6:12 Johan Elmander is ruled offside. Petr Cech restarts play with the free kick.
    • 3:46 Shot from long range by Michael Essien misses to the right of the goal.
    • 2:58 Branislav Ivanovic fouled by Kevin Davies, the ref awards a free kick. Branislav Ivanovic takes the free kick.
    • 1:30 Rodrigo Moreno gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Frank Lampard. Free kick taken by Florent Malouda.
    • 0:21 Michael Essien fouled by Fabrice Muamba, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Branislav Ivanovic.
    • 0:00 The game begins.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Barclays Premier League results

    29 Dec 2010 23:59 UK


    Barclays Premier League table snapshot

    As it stood on 29 Dec 2010 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Man Utd 18 22 38
    2 Man City 20 16 38
    3 Arsenal 19 17 36
    4 Chelsea 19 18 34
    5 Tottenham 19 6 33
    6 Bolton 20 6 29
    7 Sunderland 20 -1 27
    8 Blackpool 17 -3 25
    9 Blackburn 20 -5 25
    10 Stoke 19 -1 24
    11 Everton 19 -1 22
    12 Liverpool 18 -2 22
    13 Newcastle 19 -3 22
    14 West Brom 19 -9 22
    15 Aston Villa 19 -14 20
    16 Wigan 19 -14 20
    17 Birmingham 18 -3 19
    18 Fulham 19 -4 19
    19 Wolves 19 -12 18
    20 West Ham 20 -13 17

    see also
    Wednesday's football as it happened
    29 Dec 10 |  Football
    Wednesday's football photos
    29 Dec 10 |  Football
    Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea
    27 Dec 10 |  Premier League
    Bolton 2-0 West Brom
    26 Dec 10 |  Premier League



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