Up to the Reebok today after that epic performance on Wednesday and its another strange 4-3-3 formation with no Mikel or Drogs (suspended), Essien is out with a claft injury and neither of the obvious front 2 starting (Pizarro and Sheva both on the bench). On the positive side, Lamps starts so its a front 3 of Cole, Kalou and Malouda with a midfield of Makka, Lamps and Sidwell.
After an early Blue flurry in which Kalou goes close with a header, Bolton get into their stride and its another pretty frantic first 20mins, though initially the ref seems strangely obsessed with doing his school master impressions - excessive verbals and figer wagging to both Ashley Cole and then JT for doing nothing obvious. Joe Cole is looking very lively and getting kicked up in the air - first by Diouf and then Campo for his troubles. On 21mins Kalou puts Malouda through for a great chance which until skys over Jaaskalinens' crossbar. Chelsea are playing with plenty of pace and width with Ashley Cole, Malouda and Kalou linking up really well. The problem with this more flowing style though is that the three in midfield always look a bit vulnerable and a better team that Bolton would drive straight through (Bolton just want to go over them). On 29mins Diouf sets up Campo for a strike from the edge of the box and Cech makes his first (and very good) save. Its then end to end stuff for the final 15mins of the half as first Anelka (one on one with Cech) and the Kalou both go close, then on 40mins, and at the end of a straight forward route-one attack, Kalou slots home to put Chelsea ahead.
Second half sees Pizzaro on for Kalou but within seconds Cech has to save from Diouf as Bolton look for a quick response. It's pretty dire stuff from then on, with a Joe Cole screamer and an assault by Davies on Ashley Cole being the the only highlights (?).... but hang on its the 72nd minute and Sheva comes on for Malouda - the Bolton fans sing "wot a waste of money" and we wonder if his legs even have 20mins in them !! Sidwell gives away a stupid handball on the edge of the box trying to chest the ball away - he's tried that too often - but fortunately Anelka plants one in the top row. Ferreria comes on for Joe Cole (who's looking knackered) in the 83rd minute and Bolton through on Stelios for one last push but its Belletti who's checked on the edge of the box for a Chelsea free kick. Lamps does slightly better than Anelka but its still well wide and Chelsea hold on for a good away win and a well earned 3 points.