Friday, December 31, 2010

Chelsea - 1 Bolton - 0

Chelsea had a spell of about five minutes in the second half of this match where they really looked a threat. They scored their goal, had an effort cleared off the line, and forced a good save out of Jussi Jaaskelainen.  Other than that, they looked a lot like Arsenal at their absolute worst.  Loads of possession, but no cutting edge, no chances created, no evidence of even the desire to score a goal.

Bolton on the other hand, looked fairly good, especially during the first half.  One of the TV analysts even argued that Wanderers had created the better chances.  A lot of this was down to Fabrice Muamba and Stuart Holden (Pictured, Below).  Chelsea's three-man midfield of Michael Essien, Ramires, and Frank Lampard is probably worth £60 million, and they were dominated by the two central men in the Bolton midfield.

Muamba and Holden covered more ground than the Chelsea three, snuffed out any threats they made, and created some chances at the other end.  Just an epic, box-to-box performance, from two players under 25 who cost a combined £5 million.  Both have recently signed contract extensions, and neither has shown any desire to leave Bolton.

If Bolton can keep this spine together for the next few seasons (Zat Knight and Gary Cahill in defense, Muamba and Holden, not to mention Mark Davies in the midfield, and Johann Elmander up front), we may see a return to the glory years under Sam Allardyce, when challenging for a European spot was a yearly occurrence.

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