Previous
Juventus
Malmo FF
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Olympiakos
Atletico Madrid
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Liverpool
Ludogorets Razgrad
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Madrid
FC Basel
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
AS Monaco
Bayer Leverkusen
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Benfica
Zenit St Petersburg
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Borussia Dortmund
Arsenal
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Galatasaray
Anderlecht
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
AFC Bournemouth
Leeds United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Birmingham City
Sheffield Wednesday
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Blackpool
Watford
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Brentford
Norwich City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cardiff City
Middlesbrough
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Charlton Athletic
Wolverhampton Wanderers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Huddersfield Town
Wigan Athletic
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Ipswich Town
Brighton & Hove Albion
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bolton Wanderers
Rotherham United
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Reading
Millwall
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Colchester United
Sheffield United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Doncaster Rovers
Crawley Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Gillingham
Peterborough United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Milton Keynes Dons
Bradford City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Notts County
Leyton Orient
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Port Vale
Bristol City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Preston North End
Chesterfield
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Rochdale
Walsall
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Scunthorpe United
Coventry City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Swindon Town
Oldham Athletic
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Yeovil Town
Crewe Alexandra
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
AFC Wimbledon
Burton Albion
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bury
Stevenage
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cambridge United
Exeter City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cheltenham Town
Southend United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Mansfield Town
Morecambe
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Northampton Town
Hartlepool United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Oxford United
Accrington Stanley
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Plymouth Argyle
Wycombe Wanderers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Portsmouth
Dagenham & Redbridge
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Shrewsbury Town
Carlisle United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Tranmere Rovers
Newport County
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
York City
Luton Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Aldershot Town
Braintree Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Alfreton Town
AFC Telford United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bristol Rovers
Nuneaton Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Chester City
Southport
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Dartford
Dover
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Eastleigh
Forest Green Rovers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Halifax
Grimsby Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Kidderminster Harriers
Altrincham
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Macclesfield Town
Gateshead
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Torquay United
Woking
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Welling
Lincoln City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Barnet
Wrexham
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rangers
Inverness Caledonian Thistle
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Waterhouse
DC United
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Cruz Azul
Chorrillo FC
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Portland Timbers
Olimpia
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Estudiantes La Plata
Gimnasia La Plata
10:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Independiente del Valle
Cerro Porteño
10:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Deportivo Capiatá
Caracas F.C.
12:15 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Peñarol
Deportivo Cali
12:30 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Guadalajara
Tijuana
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Mérida
Atlante
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Puebla
Morelia
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Celaya
Necaxa
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Coras Tepic
Zacatepec
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Dorados de Sinaloa
Mineros de Zacatecas
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Monterrey
Santos
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Toluca
UNAM
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
América Mineiro
Bragantino
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Avaí
Sampaio Correa-MA
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Goianiense
América RN
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Náutico
Joinville
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Paraná Clube
Ceará
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Portuguesa de Desportos
Boa MG
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
ABC
AA Ponte Preta
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Icasa
Vila Nova-GO
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Luverdense
Santa Cruz FC
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Oeste
CR Vasco da Gama
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Al Hilal
Al-Ain
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Bidvest Wits
Amazulu
Postp
Game Details
Kaizer Chiefs
Maritzburg Utd
Postp
Game Details
Next

Five UCL breakout players to watch

Scout's Notebook about an hour ago
Read

Semifinal matchups

#UltimateUCL 3 days ago
Read

The 22 Champions League winners

#UltimateUCL Sep 7, 2014
Read
Jan 24, 2011

Drogba proves to be Lofthouse's heir

This was supposed to be all about one centre-forward. The souvenir programme was the commemoration of a career, the immaculately observed minute's silence a small acknowledgement of a huge contribution.

But Chelsea, at their finest, exhibit a ruthless lack of sentimentality and the celebration of Nat Lofthouse's life was promptly hijacked by a more recent Wanderer, Nicolas Anelka, and his bruising sidekick, Didier Drogba.

There is an aptness to that. In any era, an aggressive, able target man has a role to play. Lofthouse's powers of intimidation made him the premier battering ram of his day. The best part of six decades later, that mantle has passed to Drogba.

Admittedly, the comparison is inexact. Lofthouse may have caused an injury or two, but he didn't feign it and Drogba was serenaded with chants of "cheat" at the Reebok Stadium; while Bolton's greatest player was booked just once in more than 500 games, to borrow Sir Alex Ferguson's description of Dennis Wise, Drogba could start a fight in an empty room.

He has been tried and convicted on video evidence. Black-and-white pictures captured only a fraction of Lofthouse's greatest deeds, all performed when the maximum wage was only £20 a week and teams were automatically configured in the WM formation.

But while Bolton's late great may have been at risk of many things during his years coalmining, malaria wasn't one of them. It sapped Drogba's strength but he is regaining his power and, with it, Chelsea their momentum. On a ground where they clinched their first title since Lofthouse's day six years ago, the champions' swagger returned. Suddenly they were reminiscent of past powers. Jose Mourinho's team of 2005 had an enviable resolve to subdue, suppress and impose themselves, Carlo Ancelotti's side of last summer the capacity to turn victory into a rout.

Both were evident. A first away win in three months came at Chelsea's home from home, an eighth successive victory at the Reebok featuring goals from each of Chelsea's front trio, augmented by Ramires' first in blue.

"Finally Didier Drogba played a fantastic match, scored a fantastic goal but that is not the only reason to be happy tonight," said Ancelotti. "[Nicolas] Anelka scored, [Florent] Malouda scored and for a long time they could not score. Their power and personality is very important for this team."

Drogba is one of its alpha males and his swerving, unstoppable shot from 33 yards dipped beneath Jussi Jaaskelainen's bar. "You could have put two goalkeepers in and they still wouldn't have saved it such was the movement of the ball," said Owen Coyle. It was a wonderful strike from a player who can be the barometer of Chelsea's mood.

Indeed, there is an obvious a knock-on effect. Malouda's finest form tends to coincide with his close friend's purple patches. Five minutes before half-time, the Frenchman steered a shot in at the second attempt from an acute angle to double Chelsea's lead

It was trebled when Drogba got a touch to redirect Michael Essien's low cross into the path of Anelka, who finished with composure against his former club. If anything, Anelka's mid-season decline seemed starker than Drogba's - there was no ailment to explain it - but a sharpness is returning to his game. Indeed, it was Anelka whose shot was blocked before Ramires slotted in, before being buried by a host of delighted team-mates. The Brazilian's midfield partner Essien brought dynamism while Ashley Cole spent so much time on the overlap the left-back seemed to be rebranding himself as a winger.

It was a sign the confidence is back. "We have turned the corner with very good football, good attitude, good mentality," added Ancelotti. Coyle, meanwhile, felt that Bolton's wounds were self-inflicted and lamented the narrow margins. "I certainly never envisaged that outcome," he added.

Because even in an ultimately emphatic win, there are turning points. Petr Cech was at full stretch to tip Matt Taylor's precise header away and then stuck out a hand to turn Johan Elmander's improvised overhead kick past the post.

The Swede is Bolton's modern-day No. 9 but a spiritual successor to "the Lion of Vienna" may be the dreadlocked destroyer who defeated Bolton.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Didier Drogba - Is it too simplistic to say that when Drogba plays well, so do Chelsea? This was certainly an occasion when the Ivorian served as the inspiration, leading from the front.

BOLTON VERDICT: They have now only taken one point from five games and a bright start to the season is giving way to a descent into mid-table. Coyle has rarely rotated his team which brought understanding initially but now means too many are tiring. The worry is that the recent recruit David Wheater, who was an unused substitute, was bought to replace Gary Cahill, not partner him.

CHELSEA VERDICT: This was a display of force, fortitude and footballing ability which was all the more impressive as Frank Lampard, a frequent scourge of Bolton, was injured. Play like this and they are very much in the title race. The concern, however, is that the squad is threadbare. Ancelotti's bench shows they are particularly susceptible to injury; were a couple more sidelined, their crown could be surrendered swiftly.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.