BluesChronicle: Chelsea team for Bolton: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Ramires, Essien, Lampard, Sturridge, Drogba, Mata.
ChelseaChadder: Wow! AVB has actually dropped Meireles for once.
sidcelery: I’m not saying AVB is a bit slow, but he’s just picked a good team to play Napoli…
BluesChronicle: A team to please traditionalists, whether AVB intended it or not. Wonder if selection of Lamps & Ash means he considers this an ‘easy’ game?
OfficialCFCnet: London Calling booms out at the Bridge in the sunshine. Today is going to be a good day!
BluesChronicle: Stamford Bridge pre-match soundtrack: Elton John – I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues. Indeed.
BluesChronicle: Being dazzled by the unseasonal sunshine in the East Stand. Gorgeous day: coat off, considering going short-sleeves. Is it really February?
BluesChronicle: Chelsea players applauded as they head down the tunnel for their pre-match team-talk: none more so than Frank Lampard – captain today.
The first half
BluesChronicle: Kick off at Stamford Bridge: Chelsea 0-0 Bolton. COME ON YOU BLUES!
BluesChronicle: Owen Coyle, on the touchline in his slightly unseemly shorts, always reminds me a bit of Angus Young of AC/DC. Can we get him a blazer?
ChelseaAnalysis: Sturridge with a shot, saved by Bogdan.
BluesChronicle: Sturridge starts run on half way, cuts in on the edge of box, and shoots – but Bogdan parries. Left wondering why Drogba didn’t follow-up.
BluesChronicle: Frank Lampard slightly fortunate to find himself charging into the box with the ball, but the timing is all wrong and Bogdan has it covered.
ChelseaRumours: Are we awesome or are they crap? Either way we’re bossing this!
chelseafc: Both Lamps and Drogba have got into the box – sadly no goals though.
ChelseaAnalysis: Mata tries to send a ball through to Drogba but it’s intercepted.
BluesChronicle: Can’t escape fact we already look sharper today than we have for quite some time. Though bear in mind opposition isn’t exactly top-notch.
BluesChronicle: Big shout for a Chelsea penalty from the Shed End, but it was never really happening.
ChelseaRumours: Luiz’ long passes have been insanely accurate today!
ChelseaAnalysis: Great control by Drogba in the box, but poor decision by the referee to give a foul against him.
BluesChronicle: Lovely chance as Mata knocks a square ball into the box from the left, but it is deflected away. Resulting corner produces nothing.
AndrewTurmer: God we’re boring to watch. This is an appalling Bolton team and we’re still struggling.
BluesChronicle: Chelsea looking more like a team than in any of the last half dozen games. But still no goals: which, after all, is what this game is about.
BluesChronicle: Lovely shot pinged from Sturridge on the right – Bogdan punches it away on the dive. Need to make this pressure count.
chelseafc: Wave after wave of attack from the Blues but still 0-0.
ChelseaAnalysis: Yet another corner to Chelsea. Has to go in eventually.
chelseafc: Another race upfield ends with Ashley Cole firing wide.
BluesChronicle: Good start, but Chelsea’s dominance is ebbing away. Chances are turning into blind alleys. Did I mention that we need a goal?
BluesChronicle: Chelsea have had ten corners. Yes, ten. But nothing from any of them.
ChelseaAnalysis: Pratley receives a yellow card for a dive.
ChelseaAnalysis: One added minute, and Abramovich is looking as entertained as we all are, surely.
BluesChronicle: HT: Chelsea 0-0 Bolton. Frustrating half as Blues belt in shot after shot, but never quite make it pay. Possession without goals = nothing.
TheChelseaBlog: Mata is such a beautiful player, takes some of the pain out of the game.
3adool94: The play is so predictable, it’s ridiculous.
alrickbrown: Chelsea ranks 9th in PL shot success rate this season (1 goal every 10.3 shots), going 0 for 12 in the first half. The same story all year.
devinanand: If this was Football Manager, I’d select the ‘I need to see more from you!’ pep talk. Or maybe the ‘you I only need one goal’ zinger.
ChelseaRumours: Jesper Grønkjær is at the Bridge today – oh how I love him.
ChelseaAnalysis: All in all, a much better and improved performance in the first half but the problems are still there upfront. We need a goal soon.
The second half
chelseafc: 2nd half under way. Time to turn possession into goals now. Keep the faith.
ChelseaAnalysis: GOAL! DAVID LUIZ!
BluesChronicle: Chelsea 1-0 Bolton: Luiz shoots with a peach of a move from the edge of the box. About time.
chelseafc: Two minutes into the 2nd half, David Luiz fires a sweet shot across goal and into the far corner to put us into the lead. 1-0.
ChelseaAnalysis: Reo-Coker, dangerous shot. Lucky not to concede.
ChelseaAnalysis: David Luiz has been driving the team to score in previous matches. Had enough and took matters into his own hands this time.
BluesChronicle: Mata corner at the Matthew Harding End, and Luiz leaps higher than all in an attempt to twist and head it in. Just misses.
BluesChronicle: Sweeping move across the pitch results in Mata laying off to Drogba, who chips the ball goal-ward: just clipping the top of the bar.
BluesChronicle: In other news the Stamford Bridge pigeon has returned. S/he is presently doing laps of the north half of the pitch. Like Ballack with wings.
ChelseaAnalysis: Great ball to Ivanovic. Sends it to Mata whose shot is deflected for another corner.
ChelseaAnalysis: GOAL! DROGBA! 2-0.
chelseaoffside: THE MIGHTY ONE.
ChelseaAnalysis: Chelsea finally taken advantage of a corner. Drogba heads it home!
BluesChronicle: Chelsea 2-0 Bolton: Lampard corner & Drogba leaps to head home. Only Tambling, Dixon & Lampard have now scored more for Chelsea than Drogs.
ChelseaAnalysis: Third almost gone in! Essien with one of his traditional rockets, players in Blue upfront fighting over who’s going to tap it in. Saved.
ChelseaAnalysis: Mata tries to chip it in over Bogdan. Lovely attempt, Bogdan not fooled by it.
chelseaoffside: Hey, now there’s the defense we’ve grown to love.
BluesChronicle: 2-0 up, and the opposition looking about to crumble. Time for Torres off the bench?
BluesChronicle: Fantastic reaction from crowd: Matt Harding End singing ‘when the Blues go steaming in’ for about 5mins solid now. A bit of pride returning.
BluesChronicle: Chelsea sub: Torres on for Drogba. Never had a better chance to break the gypsy’s curse.
BluesChronicle: GOAL: CHELSEA 3-0 BOLTON. LAMPARD.
TheChelsOrg: Get in Frankie! Moves ahead of Jimmy Greaves in the scoring charts!
OptaJoe: 12 – No player in Premier League history has scored more PL goals against Bolton than Frank Lampard (12, alongside R. Fowler). Expected.
TheChelseaBlog: Get in there Frank. Fuck me, we’re only 3-0 up here! Well giddy.
ChelseaAnalysis: Cahill sends Ramires through, but it’s cleared. Mata picks it off and delivers a wonderful cross to Lampard who puts it in.
sidcelery: Lampard still destructively obsessed with scoring, I note. Bastard. Ruining this club…
BluesChronicle: “Super Frankie Lampard” echoes around Stamford Bridge. Point made.
chelseaoffside: Hey, it’s Mikel. Glad to see him getting a run-out.
ChelseaAnalysis: Corner from Lampard finds Torres, headed over.
BluesChronicle: FT: Chelsea 3-0 Bolton. Return to old faces & winning ways thanks to goals from Luiz, Drogs & Lamps. Comfortable, if not always convincing.
chelseaoffside: We won a game? Weird.
TheChelseaBlog: We only went and fucking won a game! Well done Chelsea, well done AVB.
ChelseaAnalysis: AVB had it right from the starting line-up to the HT shake-up to the subsitutions today. Well done, Chelsea.
EastUpper3: Well played Frank. Top performance by a top player.
MacAree: David Luiz is amazing.
The press reports
The Observer, Amy Lawrence: “Cometh the hour, cometh the men. Could there be a more authentic flashback to the good old days than the sight of Frank Lampard delivering a teasing corner, and Didier Drogba dominating the scene to thump in a goal? After all the shenanigans, all the discontent, all the mediocrity, suddenly all was well in the world of Chelsea. There are times for talking about the project, for speculating about where certain players fit into the scheme of things for the future but this is not one of them. This was a time for Chelsea to do whatever was necessary to dig out a result. Coincidentally or not, that required some strong old heads. Whether or not Andre Villas-Boas had some bridges to mend after a torrid week, he picked a team with an entirely different flavour to the controversial selection in the Champions League.”
The Independent on Sunday, Steve Tongue: “In front of Roman Abramovich, who had demanded to know the thinking behind team selection for the 3-1 defeat by Napoli in midweek, Villas-Boas restored Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Michael Essien, and was rewarded by Lampard in particular. Whatever his motivation – bloody-mindedness or simply professional pride – Lampard took hold of the captain’s armband and then the game, making one goal before scoring his 150th in League football.”
The Sunday Telegraph, Gerry Cox: “Frank Lampard is either past it, marginalised or on his way out of Stamford Bridge, if you believe the rumours coming out of a troubled camp, but the England midfielder showed he is still central to any success Chelsea aspire to. Lampard scored one goal and set up one for Didier Drogba, another of the old guard, as Chelsea eventually overcame struggling Bolton to move back into the top four of the Premier League.”
The Official Chelsea FC Website: “Ultimately, it was a comfortable and well deserved victory for the Blues that didn’t look likely after a frustrating first half. David Luiz expertly broke the deadlock with a sweet right-footed drive two minutes into the second half, before a Didier Drogba header doubled our advantage. A trademark Frank Lampard volley late on put the game out of Bolton’s sight to mark a return to winning ways and our first Barclays Premier League victory in over a month.”