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Sunday, May 11, 2008

EPL : Chelsea 1-1 Bolton - disappointment and injury gives Chelsea the blues

The afternoon began in hope for Chelsea but ended in disappointment for Chelsea as they failed to snatch the Premier league title.

Andriy Shevchenko's second-half strike was cancelled out by Kevin Davies' added-time leveller but the Blues were also left reeling from the loss of captain John Terry with shoulder injury in the first half.

The England defender was stretchered off after clashing with team-mate Petr Cech and Bolton striker Davies and could be out of next week's Champions League final against Manchester United in Moscow.

The Blues captain received lengthy treatment on the pitch before he was replaced by right-back Juliano Belletti and early reports suggested he had partially dislocated his shoulder.

But in the seventh minute, the title-chasers should have gone in front when Michael Ballack's low cross from the left found Didier Drogba at the far post - but he shot high and wide of the target.

Chelsea continued to push for an opening goal but found Bolton a tough test and Matthew Taylor underlined the threat the visitors posed at the other end when he fired a 30-yard drive just wide of Cech's left-hand upright.

The news of Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty at Wigan left the home fans subdued and Terry's loss had clearly unsettled Avram Grant's side. Chelsea's frustration was growing but Bolton's rearguard refused to buckle.

In an effort to re-ignite their title push, Grant replaced Claude Makelele with Shevchenko at the start of the second half.

The move was clearly designed to put more pressure on the Bolton defence and in the 46th minute Florent Malouda almost broke the deadlock. The French winger let fly with a volley from fully 25-yards which Al Habsi tipped against the crossbar.

Seconds later, Joe Cole got to the touchline and pulled the back for Malouda to try his luck again but this time his effort was deflected to safety.

The deadlock was finally broken moments when Lampard's shot was turned home by the alert substitute Shevchenko.

Bolton almost grabbed an equaliser when a Davies header came down off the crossbar and Ashley Cole cleared the ball off the line after it hit Stelios Giannakopoulos.

But the Chelsea fans realised it was not going to be their day when news of United's second goal from Ryan Giggs spread around the stadium.

And disaappintment was complete in the dying seconds when Taylor shot through a crowded area to level the scores and end Chelsea's hopes for good.

Chelsea 1-1 Bolton Wanderers
62 [1 - 0] A. Shevchenko
90 [1 - 1] K. Davies

Chelsea 1-1 Bolton Wanderers

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