Chelsea 4-3 Bolton Wanderers: Bolton give Chelsea real scare with fightback from four down

Chelsea 4Ballack 40; Drogba 48, 62; Lampard 60 (pen) Bolton Wanderers 3O'Brien 70; Basham 74; Taylor 78

CHELSEA kept their title hopes alive after surviving an incredible Bolton fightback in a seven-goal thriller at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea were 4-0 in front and cruising to victory when coach Guus Hiddink replaced Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard in the 65th minute.

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Two goals from Drogba, a Lampard penalty and Michael Ballack's first league goal of the season had put Chelsea in total command. But battling Bolton scored three times in 11 minutes through Andy O'Brien, Chris Basham and Matt Taylor to give the Blues an almighty scare.

The result leaves Chelsea just four points behind leaders Manchester United at the top of the Barclays Premier League.

United also have a game in hand but Chelsea are determined to keep the pressure on Sir Alex Ferguson's team.

Chelsea took the lead in the 40th minute. Ballack began the move by setting Salomon Kalou free on the right and the Ivorian's low cross back into the penalty area was fired into the roof of the net by the German midfielder.

Chelsea went two goals in front in the 48th minute when they punished Bolton for some poor defending.

J Lloyd Samuel brought down the marauding Kalou on the right-hand edge of the penalty area and when the free-kick was played into the box, Drogba's left-foot sent the ball into the roof of the net.

In the 59th minute Chelsea were awarded a penalty when Gretar Steinsson handled Lampard's attempted pass and the England midfielder stepped up to send Jaaskelainen the wrong way from the spot.

Bolton's dismal afternoon got worse in the 63rd minute when a corner from Malouda was headed down by Ivanovic and Drogba reacted quickest to guide the ball into the net.

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Deco and Nicolas Anelka were introduced into the action in the 65th minute for Lampard and Drogba and it almost cost Chelsea dearly.

O'Brien took advantage of a fumble by Cech to score in the 69th minute and then Bolton added a second in the 74th minute when Basham got on the end of a Davies header to guide the ball home. Incredibly, Bolton made it 4-3 four minutes later when Taylor headed home a flick-on by Davies.

Chelsea survived a late flurry, however, to keep up the pressure on the leaders.