Cole: Chelsea driving force
Saturday April 12
Teenage striker Carlton Cole propelled
Champions League-chasing Chelsea up to within a point of
third-placed Newcastle with his second winner in a week.
The 19-year-old, whose late strike saw off Sunderland last Saturday,
justified Claudio Ranieri's decision to hand him his first
Premiership start of the season with a neat finish on 58 minutes.
Drop-threatened Bolton failed to register a fourth successive league
win, but can take comfort in West Ham's draw with Aston Villa that
keeps Sam Allardyce's men three points ahead of the bottom three.
A goal-less first half was epitomised by poor finishing. Blues
forward Jimmy Hasselbaink set the tone by volleying over the bar
inside the first minute and the rest followed suit.
Cole was electric in the build-up play, but lacked the telling
touch, shooting straight at Jussi Jaaskelainen after 15 minutes,
then over the bar as he stretched to reach Zenden's cross.
The forward - thrust onward by Gianfranco Zola's perception -
continued to create down the left but Frank Lampard and John Terry
both miss-hit efforts when well placed.
The ball refused to go in for Chelsea and even Marcel Desailly
inadvertently foiled them - getting in the way of a fierce Cole
drive as it came through a crowded Bolton penalty area on 37
Bolton were furious with Hasselbaink just before the break after he
raised his right foot in a 50-50 challenge for the ball with Gudni
Bergsson and caught the Icelander painfully in the midriff but
referee Barber took no disciplinary action.
Bolton looked more adventurous after the break. Jay-Jay Okocha
caused problems in the Chelsea box before the ball rebounded to
Djorkaeff who stabbed a half-chance over the bar.
But it was the Blues who broke through on 58 minutes. Emmanuel Petit
chipped an exquisite ball through from just inside his own half and
Cole side-stepped Jaaskaleinen before stabbing home.
Zola followed up with a curled effort just beyond the far post, but
despite their attacking superiority Chelsea could not extend their
advantage despite gift-wrapped chances for Hasselbaink and de Lucas.
Chelsea: Cudicini, Melchiot, Terry, Desailly, Le
Saux, Petit, Lampard, Zola (Gudjohnsen 86), Zenden (De Lucas 59),
Hasselbaink, Cole (Gallas 75).
Subs Not Used: de Goey, Babayaro.
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Barness (Andre 72), Bergsson, Laville,
Gardner, Okocha, Campo (Nolan 86), Frandsen (Charlton 68), Mendy,
Subs Not Used: Poole, Facey.
Ref: G Barber (Hertfordshire)
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Carlton Cole (Chelsea). This kid
has it all before him. A touch clumsy at times, but he knows how to
come up with the goods. This guy's control and ability to finish
make him a winner all the way.