Sole Goal Boosts Blues European Hopes  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 1 Bolton Wanderers 0

Zola and Cole
Zola and Cole: Chelsea driving force
Chelsea 1-0 Bolton
Cole 58    
Barclaycard Premiership, 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 minutes.

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.

Jaaskelainen, Barness (Andre 72), Bergsson, Laville, Gardner, Okocha, Campo (Nolan 86), Frandsen (Charlton 68), Mendy, Djorkaeff, Pedersen.
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.

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