Chelsea Keep Slim Title Hopes Alive (Sky Sports)
Bolton Wanderers 0 Chelsea 2
Chelsea kept their slim title hopes alive with a somewhat fortuitous 2-0 win over battling Bolton at The Reebok Stadium.
Second half goals from John Terry and Damien Duff were enough to give Chelsea all three points after Marcio Ambrosio, on his Premiership debut, had kept Bolton at bay in the first half.
Bolton started brightly and came within inches of taking the lead on 12 minutes when Kevin Davies and Stelios Giannakopoulos flicked on a long punt from Jussi Jaaskelainen into the path of Henrik Pedersen who saw his shot smack against the post and roll across the line to safety.
A minute later Okocha forced Marco Ambrosio into a fine save low down to his post with a venomous swerving 25 yard strike.
The Nigerian ace was thwarted by Ambrosio again on 22 minutes when he latched onto a poor clearance from John Terry and fired a fierce shot which rebounded off the chest of the Italian and to safety.
Okocha continued to pepper the Chelsea goal and he saw a volley fizz just wide after another loose clearance inside the visitors box and seconds later he sent a free kick from the edge of the area just go over the crossbar.
Bolton had claims for a penalty turned down by referee Graham Poll on 29 minutes when William Gallas got himself in trouble in the box allowing Giannakopoulos to steal the ball and in trying to retrieve the ball appeared to catch the Greek star.
Chelsea struggled to create any clear cut chances in the first half with Terry and Hernan Crespo failing to test Jaaskelainen after getting on the end of inviting Duff crosses.
Bolton dominated proceedings in the first half and Kevin Davies was unlucky to see a dipping volley from 25 yards out fall just the wrong side of the post five minutes from the break with Ambrosio seeming beaten.
Chelsea improved dramatically in the second half and Frank Lampard forced Jasskelainen into his first real save of the match six minutes after the break with a scorching drive which the Finn had to dive full stretch to keep out.
The visitors went close again five minutes later when Geremi sent in a volley from the edge of the box which flashed just wide of the upright.
The pattern of the game had now changed with Chelsea in the ascendancy and Hasselbaink missed a great chance to claim his 100th Premiership goal on 58 minutes when Simon Charlton made a mess of a clearance allowing the striker a sight of goal, but he fizzed his shot across the face of goal.
Bolton tried to stem the flow and Pedersen under pressure from Terry fired a shot just wide of the post after Okocha had flicked him in on goal.
Chelsea broke the deadlock on 71 minutes when Terry found himself on the end of Hasselbaink's flick on from Duff's cross inside the box and superbly volleyed the ball past Jasskelainen to help make amends for his own goal in the first meeting between the sides in December.
The visitors then put the game beyond Bolton three minutes later when Duff swept home Hasselbaink's cross from the right after a lightening break.
Chelsea almost grabbed a third three minutes from time when substitute Joe Cole broke free down the left and cut inside Emerson Thome to fire a shot goalwards only for Simon Charlton to get back on the line and clear the danger.
Bolton swept up field and Okocha should have pulled a goal back seconds later when substitute Ibrahim Ba picked out him out unmarked inside the box, but the Bolton captain hit his shot too close to Ambrosio
The win was Chelsea's 11th victory on the road this season, while Bolton suffered their third Premiership defeat on the trot as their Carling Cup final defeat hangover continues.
Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Campo,
Charlton, Hunt, N'Gotty, Thome, Giannakopoulos (Ba 77), Nolan, Okocha, Davies,
Subs Not Used: Poole, Howey, Frandsen, Moreno
Chelsea: Ambrosio, Bridge, Desailly, Gallas,
Terry, Duff (Parker 90), Geremi, Gronkjaer (Huth 89), Lampard,
Crespo (Cole 65), Hasselbaink.
Subs Not Used: Makaba-Makalamby, Melchiot.
Goals: Terry 71, Duff 74
Referee: Graham Poll.