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Page last updated at 16:55 GMT, Sunday, 17 May 2009 17:55 UK

Chelsea 2-0 Blackburn

By David Ornstein

Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda
Anelka drew level with Cristiano Ronaldo as the league' s top scorer

Nicolas Anelka set up one goal and scored another as Chelsea strolled past Blackburn in manager Guus Hiddink's final match at Stamford Bridge.

Florent Malouda met Anelka's cross with a fine header to score his third goal in four games and put Chelsea ahead.

Ryan Nelsen and Christopher Samba headed over for Blackburn while Frank Lampard saw a shot rebound off the bar.

Anelka made it two with a low drive into the bottom corner and Chelsea had numerous chances to double their lead.

They remain three points behind second-place Liverpool with one game remaining and Blackburn stay 14th, a point behind Bolton and two adrift of Wigan.

The margin of Chelsea's victory could have been far greater but that did little to dampen the carnival atmosphere as the home fans bid an emotional farewell to Hiddink, who finished undefeated at Stamford Bridge in his three-month reign.

He was greeted with placards and banners begging him to stay on at the end of the season, when he is due to resume his full-time job as Russia coach.

606: DEBATE
Davgroos

The Dutchman named an unchanged side from that which started the 4-1 victory over Arsenal last time out and his decision to give Anelka another opportunity alongside Didier Drogba in attack paid immediate dividends.

Just four minutes had passed when Jose Bosingwa broke forward and fed Anelka, who crossed accurately from the right for an on-rushing Malouda to power a near-post header beyond Paul Robinson.

Right-back Keith Andrews seemed to be daydreaming as the Chelsea winger ghosted into the Blackburn penalty area, but the hosts deserved credit for their slick build-up and Malouda for a fine run and finish.

Hiddink pays tribute to Chelsea fans

With little at stake for either team, they both looked to surge forward whenever possible and it resulted in an open, free-flowing and attractive first half in which goalscoring opportunities were plentiful.

Inside a minute Morten Gamst Pedersen cut in from the left and opened the home defence before shooting straight at Petr Cech and, shortly after Chelsea's opener, Nelsen nodded over from El-Hadji Diouf's right-wing cross.

Robinson saved well with his feet to deny Anelka before Frank Lampard met the Frenchman's cut-back and crashed a first-time effort against the bar.

As Chelsea went in search of a second, Diouf was afforded too much time on the right and, having sidestepped Ashley Cole, he centred for Samba to head over from a glorious position six yards out.

Everyone wants Hiddink to stay - Cole

The crowd were being treated to an end-to-end encounter and Chelsea almost doubled their lead when Malouda again got inside Andrews, collected Drogba's chip and flicked the ball over Robinson, only for Nelsen to clear off the line.

It was understandable that the intensity dropped somewhat as half-time approached and Blackburn were not helped by an injury to Nelsen, which meant makeshift striker Samba had to drop back into defence.

That said, the second half ebbed and flowed from the off - Stephen Warnock was foiled by Cech and Malouda, sliding in at the back post, diverted Lampard's cross into Robinson's hands when it would have been easier tap into the net.

The home supporters showed their appreciation of Chelsea's attacking endeavour by serenading Hiddink with standing ovations and songs urging owner Roman Abramovich not to let him depart at the end of the season.

Injuries caused us problems - Allardyce

Cole had a penalty shout rejected after a shove from Andrews prevented him from reaching Drogba's cross but moments later crossed for Anelka to drill home from the edge of the box.

It was the striker 18th goal of the season and drew him level with Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the Premier League's golden boot.

Lampard was thwarted expertly by Robinson when one-on-one with the goalkeeper and Drogba, Anelka twice and Michael Essien all came close with fierce shots.

Cech clung on well to deny Tugay from long range but the result was never in doubt and Chelsea's preparations for the FA Cup final on 30 May continued in style.


Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce:

"We'll make a few changes with the playing staff, that's inevitable - we must try and progress and get better.

"The vast majority of the squad are good enough but there will be some natural wastage. But we don't just want to bring in squad players, the players we bring in must be better than what we've got.

"We should at least be a mid-table side, and if we can have a particularly good season and steer clear of injuries, we can do well in the cup competitions and excite the fans and keep them coming to Ewood Park."


Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, Ashley Cole, Essien, Mikel, Lampard, Drogba, Anelka, Malouda.
Subs Not Used: Hilario, Ivanovic, Di Santo, Sinclair, Belletti, Mancienne, Stoch.

Booked: Bosingwa.

Goals: Malouda 4, Anelka 59.

Blackburn: Robinson, Andrews, Nelsen (Doran 44), Givet (Khizanishvili 46), Warnock, Diouf, Kerimoglu, Grella, Pedersen (McCarthy 65), Samba, Villanueva.
Subs Not Used: Bunn, Mokoena, Treacy, Olsson.

Booked: Doran, Khizanishvili.

Att: 40,804

Ref: Rob Styles (Hampshire).


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Florent Malouda with 7.61 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.



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see also
Hiddink did consider Chelsea stay
17 May 09 |  Chelsea
Premier League as it happened
17 May 09 |  Premier League
Premier League photos
17 May 09 |  Premier League
Chelsea Player Rater
22 Jul 08 |  Live Text


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