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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 February, 2004, 15:56 GMT
Blackburn 2-3 Chelsea
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard
Glen Johnson's last-gasp goal gave Chelsea a deserved win over Blackburn.

Johnson hit a powerful shot past Brad Friedel 90 seconds after substitute Paul Gallagher's half-volley looked to have earned Blackburn a point.

Blackburn had taken an early lead through a Garry Flitcroft volley, before Frank Lampard scored twice.

Lampard slipped home Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's pass from the right and then collected Emmanuel Petit's through ball to drill a shot past Friedel.

But for Friedel heroics Lampard might have had a hat-trick, the American goalkeeper clawing away a late header from the England international.

Friedel also made an good save to touch over the bar an Adrian Mutu effort.

If Blackburn were poor defensively, Graeme Souness' team nevertheless carved out some reasonable chances with Andy Cole working tirelessly.

Carlo Cudicini also endured a less than assured match.

KEY MOMENTS
3 mins: Flitcroft gives Blackburn the lead
25 mins: Lampard equalises for Chelsea
35 mins: Lampard grabs his second
87 mins: Gallagher pulls Blackburn into the game
88 mins: Johnson powers a shot past Friedel

The Chelsea goalkeeper fluffed one clearance, but the ball richocheted off Dwight Yorke to safety.

Cudicini also spilled a Cole cross, but again was fortunate to see the ball elude Yorke.

Chelsea's 10m signing Scott Parker made his debut, but he had a rude introduction to life with his new employers.

In the second minute Cudicini made a super point-blank save from Jonathon Douglas' volley, though Blackburn quickly regained possession as Chelsea struggled to clear the ball.

Michael Gray, another one of the game's debutants, crossed to Markus Babbel, who headed the ball back across goal, allowing Flitcroft to athletically volley home.

Defensively Gray looked less assured as Chelsea started to probe down the Blackburn left.

It was down that side that Parker skipped clear, but having done all the hard work, the newboy's final pass was poor.

On 24 minutes Hasselbaink raced down the Blackburn left before picking out Lampard, who swept the ball home.

Ten minutes before the interval Chelsea took the lead after Tugay gave away possession in his own half.

Emmanuel Petit picked up the ball and threaded a pass through to Lampard, once again making a perfectly-timed run, and the England man calmly side-footed home.

Soon after the interval Souness introduced Gallagher and Alan Mahon.

The Blackburn substitutes quickly combined down the Chelsea left, but Gallagher's goal was disallowed for offside.

With four minutes remaining Gallagher showed better judgement to stay onside and as the ball bounced past Bridge, the youngster clipped his shot across Cudicini into the net.

Within minutes Chelsea had regained their lead as Johnson capitalised on more Blackburn defensive nervousness to fire the ball past Friedel.


Blackburn: Friedel, Neill, Babbel, Todd, Gray, Emerton, Flitcroft, Tugay, Douglas (Mahon 56), Cole, Yorke (Gallagher 56).
Subs Not Used: Jansen, Johansson, Enckelman.

Booked: Tugay, Neill.

Chelsea: Cudicini, Johnson, Gallas, Terry, Bridge, Makelele, Lampard, Parker (Gronkjaer 68), Petit (Melchiot 81), Hasselbaink, Mutu (Gudjohnsen 90).
Subs Not Used: Nicolas, Sullivan.

Attendance: 24,867.

Referee: D Gallagher (Oxfordshire).




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