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Premier League

  • February 25, 2012
  • • 10:00 AM
  • • Stamford Bridge, London
  • Referee: M. Oliver
  • • Attendance: 40999
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Chelsea 3-0 Bolton: Second half Luiz, Drogba and Lampard goals earn much-needed victory for Andre Villas-Boas

Three goal victory was hardly a vintage Blues performance though club will be extremely relieved after getting Premier League top-four push back on track

Chelsea and Andre Villas-Boas shrugged off the considerable pressure building at Stamford Bridge after registering a comfortable 3-0 victory over Premier League struggler Bolton.

The Blues started the game brightly though the first half faded out with little by way of incisive goalmouth action.

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

The result will see sizable difficulty lifted from Chelsea boss Villas-Boas, with his side seeming to grow in both confidence and stature as the game wore on, reclaiming its place in the Premier League top four.

Bolton boss Owen Coyle handed Ryo Miyaichi and Tim Ream their first Premier League starts for the club after the new signings impressed in the FA Cup win against Millwall.

Daniel Sturridge looked to have seized the initiative in the first five minutes after being released by a study tackle from Frank Lampard. The winger cut in from the left flank but could only fire straight at Adam Bogdan from the edge of the area.

The engaging early period quickly subdued as Chelsea enjoyed the majority of possession, though it was unable to prize open the defensive-minded Trotters.

A fine chance presented itself for the home side as Lampard poked the ball through but Branislav Ivanovic and Drogba bundled each other over in their attempts to register an effort.

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

The forward momentum seemed to shock the visitors into life with Miyaichi blazing over the bar as Tuncay Sanli fed back from the right byline 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 Brazilian defender nipped in to steal the ball before driving at the Bolton rearguard. 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 the far post.

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

A flowing counter attack culminated in Drogba bending just over when released down the left before Chelsea capitalized on its relentless pressure to double the lead on the hour mark, as Drogba rose the highest to power home a Lampard corner.

Chelsea grew in confidence after the second goal, as Juan 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 inswinging cross, with Lampard advancing to sidefoot home with consummate ease from the edge of the six-yard area.

From there the Blues strolled through to the final whistle, claiming a much-needed victory to get their Premier League push back on track.

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