Chelsea crush Bolton
By Alex Livie. Last Updated: 15/10/05 5:00pm
It was a tale of two halves at Stamford Bridge, as Chelsea fought back from a goal down to thump Bolton 5-1.
The Trotters more than matched the Premiership leaders in the opening 45 minutes and were deservedly in front thanks to Stelios Giannakopoulos' early strike.
Jose Mourinho has attempted to patent his name and he may well try and do the same with his team-talks, as his charges flew out of the traps like greyhounds after the interval to take the game from Bolton's grasp.
Braces from Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard and a cool finish from Eidur Gudjohnsen killed off Bolton's spirited challenge and extended Chelsea's perfect run to nine games.
The margin of victory may have been large, but it could have been different judged on the opening exchanges as Stelios swept Bolton ahead on four minutes.
A deft pass from El Hadji Diouf exposed John Terry and Asier Del Horno and allowed the Greek forward to stab his side ahead.
Del Horno almost brought Chelsea level with a header, while Joe Cole saw a fizzing shot parried to safety by Jussi Jaaskelainen, but it was Bolton who were in the ascendancy.
Sam Allardyce's men refused to bow down to Mourinho's men and Gary Speed saw a header loop over before he crashed an effort against the bar from 25 yards with Petr Cech clawing at thin air.
Chelsea were frustrated by a combination of poor finishing, as Cole and Lampard fired off target, and the linesman's flag as Drogba's neat finish from a Shaun Wright-Phillips cross was chalked off for offside.
A battling first half saw Michael Essien lucky to escape a red card for a foul on Tal Ben-Haim which drew just a caution from Rob Styles.
The half-time break allowed Mourinho to work his magic and the pendulum swung in Chelsea's favour shortly after the interval as Drogba showed excellent predatory instincts to stab home after Jaaskelainen failed to deal with a Lampard free kick.
Chelsea turned up the heat after the goal and Drogba twice went close before Lampard swept home on 55 minutes when the ball fell into his path on the edge of the box.
Things went from bad to worse for Bolton as Ricardo Gardner was dismissed for deliberate handball and Lampard rubbed salt into the wound when firing home the resulting free kick - although he was helped by the Bolton rearguard as he was allowed enough space to drive a bus through the gap between wall and post.
Lampard turned provider on the hour, as his excellent corner picked out Drogba who volleyed home in excellent style.
Bolton were a spent force in the final 20 minutes and substitute Gudjohnsen escaped down the left to tuck home a neat finish against his former club.
Chelsea were tested to the full at Stamford Bridge and it is sure to be a worry to the chasing pack that they came through in such devastating style.
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|Chelsea||Team Name||Bolton Wanderers|
|9||Shots on target ( Inc Goals )||1|
|8||Shots off Target (inc woodwork)||1|
|10||Total Fouls Conceded||19|
Barclays Premier League
|12||West Ham United||34||37|
|16||West Bromwich Albion||33||33|