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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 August 2006, 16:53 GMT 17:53 UK
Blackburn 0-2 Chelsea
By John Sinnott

Chelsea's Claude Makelele and Blackburn's Benni McCarthy
McCarthy (r) was denied by a superb save from Petr Cech
Chelsea got back to winning ways with victory over Blackburn at Ewood Park.

After losing at Middlesbrough in midweek, Chelsea had looked out of sorts before they took an early second-half lead thanks to a penalty.

Andre Ooijer was penalised for holding John Terry and Frank Lampard drove home the penalty past Brad Friedel.

Substitute Didier Drogba inflicted more misery on Ooijer when he shrugged off the Dutchman before thumping a shot past Friedel into the roof of the net.

Blackburn struggled to create chances from open play but on the one occasion they did, Benni McCarthy was superbly foiled by Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.

Some deft control provided the South African striker with the time and space to fire in a close-range volley, but Cech quickly spread his body to clear the ball with his knee.

Cech was playing his first game of the season after recovering from a shoulder injury and the Czech keeper's return provided additional solidity to Chelsea.

After Drogba's goal Cech also touched over Steven Reid's free-kick.

Chelsea's side included two debutants as Michael Ballack and Khalid Boulahrouz started for Jose Mourinho's side.

Blackburn midfielder Robbie Savage did not take long to provide his own welcome to Ballack leaving the German on the floor with a late tackle on 10 minutes.

On 25 minutes Savage was involved in another bruising encounter - this time with Michael Essien - though the Welshman was rather unlucky to be booked on that occasion.

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Blackburn had their own debutant in Ooijer, who had joined Rovers last week from PSV Eindhoven.

The Dutchman made an uncertain start, giving away an early free-kick and then put in Friedel in trouble with an underhit backpass.

Early in the second half Ooijer's debut went from bad to worse when he gave away a penalty for holding Terry.

Friedel got a hand to Lampard's penalty but the shot was hit with too much power for the American goalkeeper to stop the ball going over the line.

With 10 minutes left Ooijer proved Blackburn's weak link for a second time when he was brushed aside by Drogba, who proceeded to arrow a shot past Friedel.

Tactically Blackburn had looked to their wingers Morten Gamst Pedersen and David Bentley to try to unsettle Chelsea.

Blackburn also attempted to harry the visitors out of their stride whenever they were in possession.

That spirit was typified in the 35th minute when Jason Roberts chased back deep into his own half to tackle Andriy Shevchenko.

The strategy succeeded in unsettling Chelsea's rhythm for long periods, but Blackburn themselves found it difficult to trouble Chelsea's defence, apart from McCarthy's chance and the occasional set-piece.

Pedersen went close for Blackburn in the first half when his free-kick landed on the roof of the net after taking a deflection.

Blackburn were also unhappy they were not awarded a penalty when Ricardo Carvalho appeared to grab hold of Roberts' shirt.

Chelsea's best move of the opening 45 minutes ended with the visitors claiming a penalty after Salomon Kalou went to ground following a Lucas Neill tackle.

Blackburn's second defeat of the season left them bottom of the Premiership table.


  • Blackburn manager Mark Hughes:

  • "I felt John Terry went down very easily. The penalty completely changed the game.

    "If we go down that road we're going to have three penalties in every match. There was no chance it was a penalty.

    "We had a real claim when Jason Roberts had his shirt pulled. Overall we were much the better side."

  • Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho:
    "I told the players it is not a drama to lose a game, especially at the start of the season.

    "It's not a drama not to be top but you cannot allow three lost points to go to five, six, seven or eight.

    "We gained an advantage two seasons ago and when you are top with 10-12 points it is difficult to chase."


    Blackburn: Friedel, Emerton, Khizanishvili, Ooijer, Neill, Bentley, Savage, Reid, Pedersen (Gallagher 69), McCarthy, Roberts.
    Subs Not Used: Brown, Todd, Kuqi, Jeffers.

    Booked: Savage, Ooijer, Khizanishvili.

    Chelsea: Cech, Boulahrouz, Ricardo Carvalho, Terry, Bridge, Makelele (Mikel 88), Essien, Ballack, Lampard, Kalou (Drogba 56), Shevchenko (Wright-Phillips 83).
    Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Paulo Ferreira.

    Booked: Makelele.

    Goals: Lampard 50 pen, Drogba 81.

    Att: 19,398.

    Ref: M Clattenburg (Co Durham).



    SEE ALSO
    Sunday's football photos
    27 Aug 06 |  Football


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