Chelsea Wins in U.K. Premier League Soccer; Bolton Moves Out of Relegation

Chelsea beat 10-man Stoke 1-0 in English soccer’s Premier League, as Bolton moved out of the relegation spots with a controversial 2-1 win over QPR.

Didier Drogba scored as Chelsea gave interim manager Roberto Di Matteo a victory in his first league match. Ivan Klasnic’s goal in the 86th minute lifted Bolton over QPR, which had a goal wrongly disallowed in the first half.

“Today is a very valuable three points,” Bolton manager Owen Coyle told Sky Sports. “We’ve managed to leapfrog them and it was important to win today.”

Everton beat Tottenham 1-0, Blackburn won 2-0 at Wolverhampton, Sunderland beat Liverpool 1-0 and Aston Villa defeated Fulham 1-0.

Drogba’s second-half goal at Stamford Bridge gave Chelsea a fourth win in 13 league matches. The Blues were playing their first league game since Andre Villas-Boas was fired on March 4 and replaced to the end of the season by Di Matteo.

Stoke’s Ricardo Fuller received a red card in the first half for stamping on Branislav Ivanovic. Chelsea finally took advantage of the extra man in the 68th minute when Drogba scored his 100th Premier League goal off a pass from Juan Mata.

Drogba, Mata and John Terry all hit the post for the Blues, who now match fourth-place Arsenal with 49 points.

Bolton’s first win in six games moved it up to 17th in the 20-team league, one point ahead of QPR, which dropped into the three relegation places.

Goal-Line Technology

QPR’s Clint Hill had a goal wrongly disallowed by referee Martin Atkinson in the 20th minute. Television replays showed the ball crossed the goal line before goalkeeper Adam Bogdan cleared it away.

“Martin Atkinson is a good referee, but he didn’t get any support today from his two assistants,” QPR manager Mark Hughes told Sky Sports. “We can’t have key moments in games being officiated the way they are at the moment.”

The Football Association subsequently issued a statement reiterating its support for goal-line technology.

“The F.A. has been a leading proponent of goal-line technology for many years,” it said in a statement on its website. “We will continue to press for its introduction once further independent testing is complete later this year, so that anyone wishing to introduce the technology is able to do so at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Darren Pratley gave Bolton the lead in the 37th minute before Djibril Cisse tied it for QPR early in the second half. Klasnic then scored the winning goal six minutes after coming on as a substitute.

Nikica Jelavic scored as Everton beat Tottenham at home to extend its unbeaten run to eight games. The Toffees had beaten first-place Manchester City and Chelsea in their previous two home games.

Third Loss

Jermain Defoe had a goal disallowed for offside and Louis Saha hit the post in stoppage time as third-place Tottenham lost its third straight game.

Junior Hoilett scored once in each half as Blackburn posted its first clean sheet of the season to move three points clear of the relegation zone. Wolves lost for the third time in four games to drop to 19th place, two points above Wigan.

Nicklas Bendtner’s goal in the second half as Sunderland handed Liverpool its third straight loss. Andreas Weimann scored in second-half injury time as Aston Villa won for the first time in eight home games.

Manchester City visits Swansea, Manchester United faces West Brom and Wigan is at Norwich in tomorrow’s games. Arsenal hosts Newcastle in two days and can pull within a point of Tottenham with a win.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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