• Date: Sun 21 March 2010
  • Venue: Ewood Park
  • Ref: Bennett, S
  • Attendance: 25,554
1 - 1
Chelsea

Chelsea

Drogba (6)

Blackburn Rovers vs Chelsea

Team Lineups

Blackburn Rovers

Jason Brown
Christopher Samba
Martin Olsson
Michel Salgado
Phil Jones
David Dunn (Brett Emerton, 56)
Morten Gamst Pedersen
Steven N'Zonzi (David Hoilett, 90)
Keith Andrews
El Hadji Diouf
Nikola Kalinic (Jason Roberts, 63)

Chelsea

Ross Turnbull
Branislav Ivanovic (Yuri Zhirkov, 45)
Paulo Ferreira
John Terry
Rodrigo da Costa Alex
Frank Lampard
John Obi Mikel
Florent Malouda
Didier Drogba
Salomon Kalou (Souza Deco, 74)
Nicolas Anelka (Daniel Sturridge, 90)

Match Report
Blackburn Rovers produced an heroic performance to come from behind and hold title hopefuls Chelsea to a brave 1-1 draw. It prevented the Londoners taking over at the top of the Premier League table from Manchester United, who had beaten Liverpool earlier in the afternoon to themselves replace Arsenal at the summit. El-Hadji Diouf was the Blackburn goal hero with a 70th minute headed equaliser after Didier Drogba had given Chelsea a fifth minute lead. Blackburn, looking for their fifth successive home win, brought in Jason Brown for injured goalkeeper Paul Robinson, while teenage central defender Phil Jones was given his league debut and produced a man-of-the-match performance alongside Chris Samba as skipper Ryan Nelsen and Gael Givet both missed out through injury. Third-choice keeper Ross Turnbull continued in the Chelsea goal while Michael Ballack was missing through injury. Chelsea wasted no time declaring their intentions after Manchester United's win earlier in the afternoon as they surged in to the lead with just five minutes gone. Nikolas Anelka ran in from the right and proved the ideal cross for leading scorer Drogba to fire the Blues ahead with a first-time left-foot drive from the edge of the 18-yard box. Chelsea kept the pressure on and earned two corners in succession soon afterwards, with Salomon Kalou heading over from the second. Rovers earned their first corner of the game on 16 minutes when a 25-yard free kick by Morten Gamst Pedersen was turned round a post by Turnbull. Rovers gave as good as they got for much of the rest of the first half but Chelsea's lead rarely looked troubled. As the interval approached, Chelsea lost Branislav Ivanovic with a leg injury, with Yury Zhirkov coming on as substitute. Blackburn made a lively start to the second half, with Zhirvov blocking a close-range header from Croatian striker Niko Kalinic before Pedersen shot over. It was Rovers who won the first corner of the second half while at the other end a cross from the right by Anelka produced a full-blooded challenge for the ball in the six-yard box between Drogba and Samba, with both players briefly requiring treatment. Gritty Blackburn were making Chelsea battle all the way to hold onto their lead and on 70 minutes they were level when a pinpoint cross from the right by Michel Salgado was headed in at the far post by Diouf. Chelsea piled on the pressure in the closing stages but the Blackburn defence held firm.
Live Text Commentary
Full time
 

Blackburn 1 Chelsea 1: Diouf's header cancels out Drogba's early goal and puts a serious dent in Chelsea's title hopes.

90

Corner to Chelsea. Terry almost gets to it at the near post to head goalwards, but it's deflected over for another corner.

90

Lampard goes down inside the area. There are big appeal fomr behind the goal for a penalty, but Pedersen looks to have won the ball. Blackburn are having to survive a late Chelsea onslaught here.

90

There will be four minutes of added time at the end of this match.

90
Substitution
 

Chelsea substitution: Anelka is replaced by Sturridge for stoppage time.

89

Anelka feeds Lampard on the right. He crosses early, but it's deflected away for a throw-in.

88
Yellow Card
 

Zhirkov pulls down Roberts as Blackburn look to clear and break into Chelsea territory and is shown the yellow card.

87

Lampard shoots from the edge of the area, but it's charged down by Andrews and the ball spins away for a corner. Drogba gets on the end of the corner and turns it goalwards, but it's deflected away for another corner.

85

Anelka turns inside the area 8 yards out on the left, but his low cross is turned away.

84

Diouf tries to play a ball forward for Roberts, but it's underhit and Chelsea clear.

82

Alex takes this time. He fires it right-footed but it goes well over and the referee has spotted a foul by Drogba in the wall anyway.

81

Free-kick again for Chelsea in a dangerous position 25 yards out. This time it's for a foul on Anelka by Salgado.

80

Chelsea have really struggled to get any rhythm back in their game since the Blackburn goal. This could be an important last 10 minutes in this season's title race.

77

Free-kick to Blackburn 35 yards out on the left. Pedersen takes left footed and it deflects up into the six yard box. Turnbull punches clear but N'Zonzi and Drogba are caught in the firing line and go down requiring treatment.

76

Almost an opening for Chelsea. Deco plays it down the left side of the area for Zhirkov. He digs out a dangerous looking cross, but it just beats everyone in the centre and flies away to the far post.

74
Substitution
 

Chelsea substitution: Kalou comes off to be replaced by Deco.

73

Drogba takes right-footed. He sides-foots it with pace, but it goes straight into the Blackburn wall.

72

Drogba is challenged from behind by Pedersen, 25 yards out. It looks like the Blackburn man gets the ball, but it's a free-kick in a really dangerous position.

70
Goal
 

Blackburn 1 Chelsea 1: It's game on at Ewood Park now. Salgado's right-wing cross is headed powerfully home at the far post by Diouf from six yards.

68

Great cross-field ball by N'Zonzi finds Pedersen on the left side of the area. He chests it beyond Ferreira with his first touch, but instead of blasting goalwards from the tight angle he opts to loop a cross in which goes well over everyone.

67

Roberts goes down inside the Chelsea penalty area, but there's no foul and the game goes on.

66

It's turning into a more scrappy affair in this second half. Blackburn have showed much more endeavour than they did in the first half. Chelsea, whilst not at their best are looking to dig out an important win.

65

Diouf gives the ball away on the edge of his own area. The ball ends up with Anelka, but his left foot shot is tame and bobbles straight through to Brown.

63
Substitution
 

Blackburn substitution: Kalinic comes off for Jason Roberts. The Blackburn fans are less than impressed with that decision.

62

Jason Roberts is getting stripped on the sideline and it looks like he's about to come on for the home side.

61

Malouda strikes from distance, but he gets underneath the ball and it goes well over.

60

Ferreira plays the ball off of Diouf on the right and it goes behind for a Chelsea corner.

59

Half chance for Blackburn, but the ball just wouldn't come down in time for Pedersen. N'Zonzi helped it behind the Chelsea defence. Pedersen got to the ball, but couldn't get a shot away.

58

Anelka goes down under a challenge from Samba as he tries to get beyound the Blackburn man. The Chelsea players all go looking to the referee for a foul, but nothing is given and the ball runs through to Brown.

56
Substitution
 

Blackburn substitution: Emerton comes on to replace Dunn in Blackburn's first change of the afternoon.

55

Dangerous cross from the right by Anelka. Drogba races onto it looking to head home, but Samba heads bravely clear as the two clash heads. Both players have stayed down requiring treatment.

54

N'Zonzi launches a lobbed pass forward for Pedersen inside the Chelsea penatly area, but he's gone too early with his run and the flag goes up.

53

It's been a much better start to this second half from the home side. They haven't created any real opportunities, but they've actually looked interested in pushing Chelsea back and trying to make something happen in the game.

50

Another long throw from Pedersen on the left. He hurls it in towards Samba but Drogba gets a good clearance on it.

49

Lampard fires one at goal from 25 yards. It moves in the air and has Brown scrambling across, but it goes just wide.

48

Salgado plays it inside from the right to Pedersen. He shoots early from 25 yards but it goes well over. Already a much better start for Blackburn.

47

Pedersen has a long throw-in 35 yards out on the left. Samba wins it with Turnbull nowhere, but it's headed away from goal by Zhirkov.

Second half
 

Chelsea get this second half underway in pursuit of the victory that would keep their title challenge in full throttle.

Half time
 

Blackburn 0 Chelsea 1: Drogba's early strike gives Chelsea a deserved lead at the break. The visitors have dominated the half against a very flat Blackburn side.

45

There will be two minutes of added time at the end of the first half. Sam Allardyce will be happy to get his side in at 1-0 and have a chance to re-group. It's been all Chelsea in this opening 45 minutes.

45
Substitution
 

Chelsea substitution: Ivanovic has not recovered from that knock and he's coming off to be replaced by Yury Zhirkov.

44

Ivanovic was injured in that tangle with Diouf and he's still off the pitch requiring treatment.

42

Diouf concedes a corner under pressure from Ivanovic. It looks like Ivanovic got the final touch but Diouf should have cleared it much earlier.

40

N'Zonzi gives the ball away cheaply to Malouda 35 yards from goal. He drives forward and it opens up for him to strike right-footed from 20 yards. The shot has the power but it's straight at Brown who palms away.

37

Drogba flicks the ball on towards Anelka. Olsson gets to the ball first, but makes a needless error in mis-kicking behind for a corner.

34

Salgado runs into trouble just inside the Chelsea half and gifts possession back to the visitors. The home side really haven't kept possession well enough in this opening 34 minutes.

32

Drogba goes down under an aerial challenge from Samba and he looks to be winded after landing awkwardly.

30

Lampard crosses from the right. Kalou gets up to head home but he just can't get his head on it as the ball drifts away at the far post.

29

Diouf plays a ball forward down the left for Dunn and he earns a throw-in 10 yards from the corner flag off Mikel.

27

Dangerous looking cross from the right from Anelka looks for Drogba, but Blackburn just get it away.

26

Andrews plays a long free-kick forward from the half-way line. Samba challenges for it and the ball is only half cleared to Pedersen on the edge of the area, but he can't keep his volley down and it flies over the bar.

25

Chelsea are pressing forward with alarmingly regularity for Sam Allardyce's men. He'll be keen to see his men start getting on the ball more and pushing Chelsea back the other way.

23

The corner drops to Alex 15 yards out. He volleys goalwards, but it's charged down bravely and Blackburn clear.

22

Decent opening for Chelsea again. Anelka get away on the right. He crosses low for Drogba, but the Blackburn defence just crowd him out at the expense of a corner.

21

Kalou does well to beat Diouf on the right. He crosses low for Anelka who can't guide his first-time effort on target from eight yards. He'll probably feel as though he should have hit the target at least.

19

Decent passage of play from Blackburn. They work it inside then out to the right for Salgado who earns a corner off Ferreira.

18

Kalou plays it down the left channel for Drogba. He crosses early towards Anelka, who gets to the ball first, but his touch just gets away from him and Brown comes out to claim as Anelka goes down.

16

Pederson takes left-footed. Turnbull should save it comfortably, but he mis-handles it behind for a corner.

15

Dunn gets brought down by Alex 25 yards from goal and central. It's a free-kick in a dangerous position. Dunn tries to play it quickly for Kalinic inside the area, but the referee pulls them back as Kalinic fires wide.

13

Blackburn enjoy their first spell of the match. They get Kalinic down the left in space, but he can't wrap his foot around the ball and his cross ends up on the roof of the net.

12

Olsson gives the ball away cheaply to Drogba just inside his own half. Drogba tries to find Anelka with a forward pass, but he too wastes possession and the ball runs through to Brown.

10

Malouda forces a throw-in out of Salgado down the left, just six yards from the corner flag. Blackburn just can't seem to get going as yet.

9

Diouf loops the ball behind the Chelsea defence looking for Kalinic, but Turnbull races out to claim right on the very edge of the area.

7

Kalou attacks into the area and wins a corner. The first attempt is put behind again for another corner to the visitors. It's been a really fast start for Chelsea.

6
Goal
 

Blackburn 0 Chelsea 1: Anelka does well down the right. He crosses low into the path of Drogba, who makes no mistake sliding home left-footed into the near bottom corner from 15 yards.

4

Olsson gets space to cross down the left, but he slips as he makes contact and the ball is cut out.

4

Kalinic pressures Terry on the right side of the penalty area, but he concedes a free-kick and Chelsea can clear.

4

Anelka tricks his way beyond Diouf 35 yards out. He plays it inside for Drogba, who tries to curl one for the far post, but he doesn't really get the contact he'd like and the ball goes wide.

2

Dunn strides forward towards the Chelsea area. He tries a little ball behind the Chelsea defence for Kalinic, but the flag goes up as the ball runs on through to Turnbull in the Chelsea goal.

1

Early ball forward looks for Drogba, but Brown is out fast to gather the ball.

Kickoff
 

Rovers get this first half underway looking to extend their impressive home run.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Ancelotti¬ís men have won only twice in the last seven away games in the league. However, they only failed to hit the net once all season ¬Ė a 0-0 draw at Birmingham on Boxing Day.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

The hosts are coming into the game on the back of back-to-back defeats and a loss today would be their worst run of defeats since Allardyce took charge in December 2008.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Blackburn have shown some fantastic home form of late. They’ve won the last four successive games and kept clean sheets in three of those.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

A goal for Rovers against Chelsea could prove encouraging as they have not scored against today’s visitors since Steven Reid netted an Ewood Park winner in May 2006.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Chelsea have won all of the last five league encounters against Blackburn since they drew 0-0 at home in September 2007.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Sam Allardyce’s men have lost only twice at home in the league all season and face all three of the title contenders in the run-in.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

After heading out of the Champions League in midweek, Chelsea will be looking to bounce-back against a Blackburn side who knocked them out of the Carling Cup. Chelsea, however, did win the reverse fixture 5-0 against Rovers back in October.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Paul Robinson picked up a torn calf muscle last time out against Tottenham and so Jason Brown will deputise in the Blackburn goal. Blackburn are also without Ryan Nelsen, Gael Givet, Lars Jacobsen, Vince Grella and Franco Di Santo.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Chelsea team line-up: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Alex, Terry, Paulo Ferreira, Mikel, Kalou, Malouda, Lampard, Anelka, Drogba

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Blackburn Rovers team line-up: Brown, Salgado, Samba, Jones, Olsson, Andrews, Nzonzi, Dunn, Pedersen, Diouf, Kalinic

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Blackburn face Chelsea at 4pm on Sunday, March 21st.