Article

Premier League: Chelsea 3 Bolton 0

25 February 2012 18:15

Chelsea relieved the pressure on manager Andre Villas-Boas on Saturday by posting a 3-0 home win over Premier League strugglers Bolton.

Chelsea started the game brightly but the first half faded out with little by way of incisive goal mouth action.

The second half was a different story, with David Luiz opening the scoring within three minutes of the game restarting, before Didier Drogba powered home a header just after the hour mark and Frank Lampard swept home late from Juan Mata's deep cross.

The result saw Chelsea reclaim their place in the Premier League's top four, although Arsenal could return to fourth spot with a win over Spurs on Sunday.

Villas-Boas recalled Lampard, Ashley Cole and Michael Essien to his starting line-up following the trio's surprising omission in the Champions League defeat at Napoli in midweek.

Chelsea enjoyed the majority of possession early on at Stamford Bridge, though they were unable to prise open the defensive-minded visitors.

Daniel Sturridge ghosted in from the right to draw a fine save out of Adam Bogdan in the Bolton goal with a curling effort destined for the far post on the half-hour mark, before a succession of Chelsea corners proved fruitless.

In a rare foray into the Chelsea box, Darren Pratley burst past Michael Essien before tumbling to the ground. The midfielder received a yellow card for diving, though on closer inspection he may have had a fair case for a penalty

The forward momentum seemed to shock the visitors into life with Ryo Miyaichi blazing over the bar as Tuncay Sanli fed back from the right by-line moments before the interval.

Just two minutes into the second half Chelsea finally broke the deadlock, the goal a product of David Luiz's energetic burst and finish.

The ball was pushed out wide and David Wheater's attempted clearance from Mata's ball into the box fell to Luiz, who steadied himself and fired his effort into net.

Though Nigel Reo-Coker almost replied instantly, Chelsea's goal seemed to galvanise both the Blues and their fans, with Luiz nearly doubling his tally after he headed against the post from a corner.

Chelsea capitalised on their relentless pressure on 61 minutes to double their lead when Drogba rose the highest to power home a Lampard corner.

Chelsea grew in confidence after the second goal, and Mata nearly outfoxed Bogdan with a dinked effort from the edge of the area.

A third goal was added with a little over 10 minutes to go as Mata found himself in a mile of space on the right wing. The Spaniard fired over an in-swinging cross, with Lampard advancing to side-foot home with ease from the edge of the six-yard area.

From there Chelsea strolled through to the final whistle, claiming their first victory in five games to get their league campaign back on track.

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