Cheslea retain title hopes After Reebok romp


CHELSEA manager Carlo Ancelotti believes his side can still retain their Premier League title following last night’s comfortable win over Bolton.

A moving tribute to Wanderers’ legend Nat Lofthouse, who passed away 10 days ago, preceded the match, but Chelsea were in far from sympathetic mood as goals from Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda, Nicolas Anelka and Ramires capped a fine display.

Despite victory the Blues remain seven points off the title pace, having played a game more than leaders Manchester United, but Ancelotti is not discounting a miraculous recovery.

“To close the gap in the league is not easy because in this moment Man United are so far ahead but we must try to do everything to come back,” he said. “Step-by-step we can do it. Obviously it depends also on the performances of Man United, this is normal, but our aim is to do everything to try and come back.

“We believe we can close the gap but first we have to play. The most important thing is that we come back to use our power, our strength and our personality.”

A routine night looked in store from the moment Drogba came close to burning a hole in the back of Jussi Jaaskelainens’s net in the 11th minute.

Malouda pounced on an error from Gretar Steinsson and fed Drogba, whose murderous shot tore past the Bolton keeper from 30 yards.

Chelsea’s dominance deserved a second goal and they found one four minutes before half-time when Bolton failed to clear a corner and Malouda squeezed the ball home at the near post at the second attempt.

Anelka sealed the points 11 minutes after the break with a crisp finish from 12 yards, and Ramires, from a similar position, completed the rout 14 minutes from time with his first goal for the club.

Chelsea hope to complete the signing of Brazil centre-half David Luiz from Benfica in the next few days and Ancelotti revealed that talks are ongoing.

He said: “I think that we are trying to find a solution. He is a very good young player.”