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David Dunn concedes a free kick for a foul on Yury Zhirkov. Michael Essien takes the direct free kick.
Paulo Ferreira comes on in place of Nicolas Anelka. Long range shot by Yury Zhirkov goes wide right of the net.
Foul by Didier Drogba on Ryan Nelsen, free kick awarded. Ryan Nelsen takes the direct free kick.
Nicolas Anelka takes a short corner.
Didier Drogba decides to take a short corner.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nicolas Anelka by Jason Roberts. Alex takes the free kick.
Foul by Michel Salgado on Didier Drogba, free kick awarded. Mikel takes the direct free kick.
Ashley Cole is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
Branislav Ivanovic finds the net with a headed goal from close in. Blackburn 1-2 Chelsea.Yury Zhirkov takes a shot. Yury Zhirkov provided the assist for the goal. Blocked by Ryan Nelsen.
Branislav Ivanovic finds the back of the net with a headed goal from close range. Blackburn 1-2 Chelsea.Yury Zhirkov takes a shot. Assist on the goal came from Yury Zhirkov. Ryan Nelsen gets a block in.
Foul by Mame Diouf on Ashley Cole, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed by Yury Zhirkov, David Dunn makes a clearance.
Effort on goal by Jason Roberts from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.
Caution for Ryan Nelsen. Didier Drogba fouled by Ryan Nelsen, the ref awards a free kick. Strike comes in from Didier Drogba from the free kick, clearance made by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
Mame Diouf takes a shot. Save made by Petr Cech.
Branislav Ivanovic goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour. David Dunn joins the action as a substitute, replacing El-Hadji Diouf. Unfair challenge on Phil Jones by Branislav Ivanovic results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
Ashley Cole fouled by Jason Roberts, the ref awards a free kick. John Terry takes the direct free kick.
Ashley Cole gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mame Diouf. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Paul Robinson from own half, Petr Cech makes a save.
Nicolas Anelka takes a shot. Ryan Nelsen gets a block in. Corner taken by Yury Zhirkov, save by Paul Robinson.
The referee blows for offside. Petr Cech takes the indirect free kick.
Daniel Sturridge produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty area and misses left.
Handball decision goes against Phil Jones. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Yury Zhirkov.
Florent Malouda leaves the field to be replaced by Daniel Sturridge.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Essien by Morten Gamst Pedersen. The ball is delivered by Yury Zhirkov, Nicolas Anelka takes a shot. Ryan Nelsen gets a block in. Didier Drogba takes a shot. Blocked by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
Caution for Didier Drogba. Free kick awarded for a foul by Didier Drogba on Martin Olsson. Free kick crossed left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jason Roberts by Branislav Ivanovic. Morten Gamst Pedersen delivers the ball, Shot from close range by Mame Diouf misses to the right of the target.
Yury Zhirkov takes a shot. Paul Robinson makes a save.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jason Roberts on John Terry. Petr Cech restarts play with the free kick.
Unfair challenge on Branislav Ivanovic by El-Hadji Diouf results in a free kick. Ashley Cole takes the free kick.
Branislav Ivanovic fouled by El-Hadji Diouf, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Alex.
Shot by Ashley Cole from deep inside the penalty area misses wide to the left of the target.
Martin Olsson produces a cross, Effort from inside the area by Mame Diouf misses to the right of the target.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Martin Olsson by Florent Malouda. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
Paul Robinson fouled by Florent Malouda, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
Christopher Samba takes a shot.
Florent Malouda has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide right of the goal.
Didier Drogba takes a shot. Blocked by Ryan Nelsen.
Corner taken by Didier Drogba played to the near post, Morten Gamst Pedersen manages to make a clearance.
Branislav Ivanovic concedes a free kick for a foul on El-Hadji Diouf. Free kick crossed left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen, clearance made by Branislav Ivanovic.
Morten Gamst Pedersen fouled by Michael Essien, the ref awards a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
Michael Essien concedes a free kick for a foul on Morten Gamst Pedersen. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Paul Robinson, clearance by Yury Zhirkov.
The official flags Nicolas Anelka offside. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
Goal scored by Nicolas Anelka from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Blackburn 1-1 Chelsea.Assist by Didier Drogba.
Shot from just outside the area by Michael Essien misses to the right of the target.
Brett Emerton gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ashley Cole. Direct free kick taken by Ashley Cole.
Martin Olsson is brought on as a substitute for Gael Givet. Branislav Ivanovic challenges El-Hadji Diouf unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
Caution for Michel Salgado.
Yury Zhirkov takes a shot. Ryan Nelsen gets a block in. Florent Malouda concedes a free kick for a foul on El-Hadji Diouf.
Yury Zhirkov takes a shot. Blocked by Ryan Nelsen. Unfair challenge on El-Hadji Diouf by Florent Malouda results in a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
A cross is delivered by El-Hadji Diouf, Brett Emerton has an effort at goal from close in which goes wide right of the target.
Corner taken left-footed by Florent Malouda, clearance by Michel Salgado.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Brett Emerton on Florent Malouda. Didier Drogba crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, clearance by Michel Salgado.
Benjani Mwaruwari finds the net with a headed goal from close in. Blackburn 1-0 Chelsea.The assist for the goal came from El-Hadji Diouf.
Unfair challenge on Michel Salgado by Yury Zhirkov results in a free kick. Paul Robinson sends in a cross, Christopher Samba takes a shot. John Terry gets a block in. Short corner taken by El-Hadji Diouf from the left by-line.
Foul by Branislav Ivanovic on El-Hadji Diouf, free kick awarded. Morten Gamst Pedersen takes the direct free kick. El-Hadji Diouf is ruled offside. Michael Essien takes the indirect free kick.
Benjani Mwaruwari produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the target.
Short corner worked by El-Hadji Diouf. Outswinging corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen from the left by-line played to the near post. Benjani Mwaruwari takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.
Shot from 20 yards from Mame Diouf. Petr Cech makes a save.
Morten Gamst Pedersen takes a outswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, Florent Malouda makes a clearance.
Mame Diouf takes a shot. John Terry gets a block in.
Morten Gamst Pedersen takes a shot. Blocked by John Terry.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Yury Zhirkov on Mame Diouf. Direct free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
Headed effort from close range by Didier Drogba goes wide left of the goal.
Unfair challenge on Yury Zhirkov by Michel Salgado results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Florent Malouda.
The game kicks-off.
The players leave the pitch at half time.
The match restarts for the second half.
The referee signals the end of the game.
Rovers return for Samba and Nelsen
Christopher Samba and Ryan Nelsen are set to return to the centre of the Blackburn defence for the game with Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea at Ewood Park.
Samba will come back in to the side after missing last weekend's defeat to Liverpool at Anfield through suspension.
Nelsen, who has been missing with a thigh injury, trained with the squad on Thursday and will return provided he suffers no adverse reaction.
Jason Roberts is also back in full training, but midfielders Steven Nzonzi and Vince Grella are out with hamstring and groin injuries respectively.
Ahead of the game manager Sam Allardyce has warned Blackburn fans they will have to get used to the inconsistency of youth as he can barely even afford to bring in players available on free transfers.
Indian poultry giant Venky's are expected to complete a takeover of the Ewood Park club next month, but chairperson Anuradha J Desai revealed earlier this week just #5million will be made available for players.
Allardyce admits he has had to rely heavily on the likes of 18-year-old Phil Jones, Steven Nzonzi, 21, and Martin Olsson, 22, this season rather than on bringing in big-name signings because of financial constraints.
And that has perhaps told in the club's position in the Barclays Premier League, where they lie fourth from bottom with nine points from nine games ahead of the Chelsea game.
"We've benefited greatly from the youth element at Blackburn," said the former Bolton and Newcastle boss. "Life is difficult as it is. Without them it would be even more difficult with the financial problems which we've had to resolve in my time here.
"We've made a big profit on transfers which hasn't been reinvested in new players - it's had to secure the club financially. So youth is the name of the game and of course with youth you get inconsistency so you have to be even more patient.
"The vast sums of money that are coming in at the top end of the game are stretching the rest of the sides to try to get as much benefit out of what finance they've got and get the best players they can find for that finance.
"But I think that there's a big factor that's sneaked in that's made it that much more difficult and it's not transfer fees - it's wages. They are astronomically high and have now made it very difficult to even take
a very talented free transfer today which is what the norm would be for Blackburn Rovers in the past, or a small fee with good wages."
Chelsea will once again be without Frank Lampard.
It had been hoped that Lampard would return to training this week after missing the last 10 games but the England midfielder will instead step up his rehabilitation from a hernia injury next week with a view to him playing some part in next weekend's match at Liverpool.
Alex will start the match after missing last week's win over Wolves with a thigh injury but Ramires (ankle) and Yossi Benayoun (Achilles) remain sidelined.
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has warned his players that they will have to stop taking their foot off the accelerator during games if they are to successfully retain their crown.
Chelsea have taken advantage of a number of slip-ups by their rivals to establish a five-point gap at the top of the table with almost a quarter of the season gone.
Yet the Blues boss, who clinched the title last season in his first year in charge, has voiced his concerns recently that his team are not performing to their potential.
The Londoners had to rely on a late goal from Salomon Kalou to seal a 2-0 victory over Wolves last week and have been guilty of easing off on their opponents at times this season - most notably against Stoke and Blackpool.
Ancelotti thinks his team will have to be more ruthless in closing out matches if they are to claim victory in the key battles against Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal that lie ahead.
"We have started the season well but I think we can play better because we played very well in some parts of some games but not continuously," the Italian said.
"We have to play 90 minutes how we want to play. We have to improve our play and our intensity. We can't just play for 45 minutes like we did against Wolves. We want to play well for the whole of the match and we haven't been able to do that so far this season."
Ivanovic makes Rovers pay
Branislav Ivanovic nodded home a late winner to give Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea a 2-1 victory, as Blackburn squandered a golden chance to upset the odds at Ewood Park.
Rovers controlled the game for long periods and could have gone in front for the second time when Jason Roberts shot wide in the 81st minute with the goal at his mercy.
Less than a minute later, Carlo Ancelotti's side were heading towards all three points when the unmarked Ivanovic connected with a Yury Zhirkov cross at point-blank range.
Rovers boss Sam Allardyce will be left reflecting on how his side finished up with nothing after an exceptional first-half display capped by Benjani Mwaruwari's first goal for the club.
Benjani headed a 21st-minute opener as Rovers pinned Chelsea back in their own half and ought to have moved further ahead before the break.
Instead they allowed Nicolas Anelka to fire home a 39th-minute equaliser and leave Chelsea no doubt relieved to have got off so lightly.
Starting the day five points clear at the top of the table, Ancelotti's men had headed north seemingly only concerned by the continued absence of Frank Lampard due to injury.
But any sense of superiority which may have pervaded the visiting dressing room was soon swept away as struggling Rovers launched an all-out assault.
At the end of a first period notable for its one-sided action, Allardyce's side could count themselves particularly unfortunate not to find themselves comfortably ahead.
Mame Biram Diouf and Brett Emerton were both denied shooting chances by the returning Alex before captain John Terry got a crucial block on a Morten Gamst Pedersen effort.
Moments later Mame Biram Diouf attempted an audacious lob over the back-pedalling Cech, who slipped but just managed to flap the ball out for a corner.
Benjani drilled a shot into Cech's legs before he grabbed the richly-deserved opener, rising highest to nod home a cross from El-Hadji Diouf.
The visitors looked strangely flat with Michael Essien coming closest with a long-range effort on 37 minutes, but they only needed one chance to pull level.
The equaliser arrived in the 39th minute at the end of a flowing move which saw Florent Malouda cross from the left to Didier Drogba, who headed down for Anelka to sweep home.
To their credit Rovers were far from rattled and continue to create chances in the second half, mostly through the lively and energetic Mame Biram Diouf.
But the visitors fired another warning that it would only take a second to turn the game in their favour when Drogba crossed for Ashley Cole to poke a left-footed shot just wide.
And Chelsea came close again on the hour when Drogba's cross from the right was stepped over by Malouda before Zhirkov drilled a low left-footed effort at Robinson.
Rovers should have regained the lead a minute later when Pedersen sent in a set-piece from the right which dribbled across goal before Mame Biram Diouf bundled it the wrong side of the post.
Moments after coming on as a substitute, Daniel Sturridge almost made an immediate impact when he ended a diagonal run with a crashing left-foot shot which flew into the side-netting.
But Rovers continued to press for a winner and it should have arrived in the 81st minute when Roberts turned inside Ashley Cole before shooting across Cech and wide of target.
From that moment it seemed inevitable Rovers would be punished and they duly were less than a minute later when Ivanovic nodded in Zhirkov's left-wing cross at the far post.
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