Chelsea had the chances to win by a far greater margin
By David Ornstein
Chelsea produced an impressive attacking display to expose Blackburn's flaws and claim a thumping win which sends them top of the Premier League.
They opened the scoring when Gael Givet diverted Nicolas Anelka's cross into his own net and Frank Lampard fired home from close range to make it two.
Michael Essien curled in from distance before Lampard slotted a penalty after Ryan Nelsen tripped Didier Drogba.
Drogba completed the rout, out-jumping Nelson to head in Lampard's corner.
The win was Chelsea's biggest ever against Blackburn and sees them leapfrog Manchester United, who face Liverpool on Sunday.
Pleasure to watch Chelsea - Ancelotti
Boss Carlo Ancelotti now prepares his side for Wednesday's visit of Bolton in the Carling Cup and then their trip to the same opponents in the league on Saturday.
While this result was achieved against depleted opponents who deployed negative tactics and still ended up being torn apart, the Italian should be delighted with the way his players bounced back from their defeat at Aston Villa last time out in the league.
He will also be buoyed by the performance of Joe Cole on his first Premier League start since January following a cruciate knee ligament injury.
The England midfielder was at the heart of Chelsea's attacking play from the outset and might have marked his comeback with a goal inside 30 seconds, only to nod Lampard's lofted pass wide from a completely unmarked position.
Lampard himself came tantalisingly close to opening the scoring with a rasping 25-yard drive which sailed just wide of the top right-hand corner.
The omens were not good for Blackburn, who have now lost their last nine away league games, are yet to claim a point away from Ewood Park this season and have not scored a goal in their last seven matches against Chelsea.
Chelsea put them on the back foot from the outset and, when they did look to counter-attack, lone-striker Jason Roberts was dealt with comfortably by John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho.
That gave the hosts enough confidence to set up base camp in the Blackburn half and it came as no surprise when they opened the scoring.
Michael Ballack sent Anelka racing down the left wing and the Frenchman's low centre, aimed for the on-rushing Drogba, was poked into his own net by a sliding Givet.
A succession of chances came Chelsea's way but they were denied by a combination of their own profligacy and the inspired reflexes of Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson.
Cole loving return to football
The former Tottenham stopper came off his line to expertly foil Anelka before repelling a venomous swerving strike by Drogba and turning away a goalbound Terry volley with a magnificent dive to his right.
In between those chances, Morten Gamst Pedersen drilled wide after neat hold-up play by Roberts and Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech was relieved to see Essien clear after he came to punch Pedersen's long throw but completely missed the ball.
Chelsea continued to flood forward at the beginning of the second half and swiftly gained reward for their dominance.
Drogba rolled Martin Olsson and, after Lars Jacobsen failed to deal with his cross from the right, Lampard smashed the ball home from 10 yards to notch his first league goal from open play since April.
Sam Allardyce's men were firmly on the ropes and five minutes later Essien received possession from Ballack and found the net with a curving shot from 35 yards which Robinson will feel he should have saved.
With Robinson now looking a shadow of the player that repeatedly thwarted Chelsea in the first half, the Blues began taking shots from all angles and distances.
We were pathetic - Allardyce
So perhaps it came as something of a surprise to the Blackburn defence when Drogba attempted to trundle his way towards goal. Nelson tripped the powerful Ivorian and Lampard wrong-footed Robinson from the spot.
The rout was completed when Drogba outmuscled Nelson and headed Lampard's corner past a flapping Robinson.
In the final act Terry, to the crowd's delight, ensure a clean sheet for Chelsea when he bravely cleared off the line after Olsson had lobbed Cech.
The scoreline could have been far worse for Blackburn and, after hosting Peterborough in the Carling Cup, they face a daunting trip to Manchester United next Saturday.
90:00+3:35 The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
90:00+2:27 Free kick awarded for a foul by Michael Essien on Nicola Kalinic. Strike comes in from El-Hadji Diouf from the free kick,
save by Petr Cech.
88:29 Shot from just outside the area by Steven Nzonzi goes over the bar.
88:02 Brett Emerton produces a cross, Michael Essien makes a clearance.
85:57 El-Hadji Diouf crosses the ball.
85:39 El-Hadji Diouf delivers the ball, clearance by Michael Ballack.
85:02 Michael Ballack gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on El-Hadji Diouf. El-Hadji Diouf crosses the ball in from
the free kick, clearance made by Didier Drogba.
84:32 Frank Lampard takes a shot from 25 yards. Save made by Paul Robinson.
84:07 David Hoilett gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Michael Ballack. Michael Ballack restarts play with the free
82:54 El-Hadji Diouf has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses right.
82:22 Free kick awarded for a foul by Frank Lampard on Keith Andrews. Keith Andrews takes the direct free kick.
80:48 Michael Ballack has an effort at goal from outside the area which goes wide left of the target.
79:32 Daniel Sturridge takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.
79:14 The ball is delivered by David Hoilett, John Terry makes a clearance.
78:31 Michael Ballack produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses left.
76:32 Substitution Daniel Sturridge is brought on as a substitute for Joe Cole.
75:24 The ball is delivered by Didier Drogba, Ryan Nelsen makes a clearance.
74:16 Nicolas Anelka takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson. The assistant referee signals for offside against Frank Lampard. Indirect
free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
73:30 The ball is swung over by Branislav Ivanovic, save made by Paul Robinson.
71:42 A cross is delivered by Didier Drogba, clearance made by Michel Salgado. Michael Ballack delivers a pass corner to short.
71:06 Corner taken by Frank Lampard from the left by-line to the near post, Keith Andrews makes a clearance.
70:07 Branislav Ivanovic produces a cross.
69:12 Centre by Branislav Ivanovic.
68:13 Substitution David Hoilett replaces Morten Gamst Pedersen.
66:02 Substitution Jeffrey Bruma joins the action as a substitute, replacing Ricardo Carvalho.
65:06 Martin Olsson takes a shot. John Terry makes a clearance.
63:07 The assist for the goal came from Michael Ballack.
63:07 GOAL - Didier Drogba:Chelsea 5 - 0 Blackburn Didier Drogba scores a headed goal from close in. Chelsea 5-0 Blackburn.
62:44 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Michael Ballack played to the near post,
62:05 Michael Ballack takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Ryan Nelsen.
61:52 Foul by Nicola Kalinic on Paulo Ferreira, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Frank Lampard.
61:21 Corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard to the near post, clearance made by Ryan Nelsen.
60:07 Branislav Ivanovic restarts play with the free kick.
60:07 Substitution Juliano Belletti goes off and Paulo Ferreira comes on.
60:07 The official flags Morten Gamst Pedersen offside.
59:23 Substitution Lars Jacobsen leaves the field to be replaced by Michel Salgado.
59:18 Didier Drogba provided the assist for the goal.
58:43 GOAL - Frank Lampard:Chelsea 4 - 0 Blackburn Penalty taken right-footed by Frank Lampard and scored. Chelsea 4-0 Blackburn.
58:00 Didier Drogba fouled by Ryan Nelsen, the ref awards a Penalty.
57:33 Michael Essien takes a shot. Gael Givet gets a block in.
57:13 Frank Lampard sends in a cross, clearance by Martin Olsson.
56:49 The ball is sent over by El-Hadji Diouf.
55:20 Brett Emerton challenges Michael Ballack unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ricardo Carvalho takes the direct free kick.
54:57 Nicolas Anelka takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.
54:26 Effort from 30 yards by Nicolas Anelka. Save made by Paul Robinson.
53:58 A cross is delivered by Morten Gamst Pedersen, save by Petr Cech.
53:32 The ball is delivered by Morten Gamst Pedersen, blocked by Michael Ballack.
52:37 Substitution Nicola Kalinic joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jason Roberts.
51:43 Assist on the goal came from Michael Ballack.
51:43 GOAL - Michael Essien:Chelsea 3 - 0 Blackburn Michael Essien finds the net with a brilliant goal from 35 yards to to the bottom left corner of the goal. Chelsea 3-0 Blackburn.
51:21 Nicolas Anelka delivers the ball, clearance by Gael Givet.
49:24 Centre by Joe Cole, Gael Givet makes a clearance.
48:31 Ricardo Carvalho produces a cross, clearance made by Ryan Nelsen.
48:23 El-Hadji Diouf sends in a cross, clearance by Ricardo Carvalho.
47:16 GOAL - Frank Lampard:Chelsea 2 - 0 Blackburn A goal is scored by Frank Lampard from inside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Chelsea 2-0 Blackburn.
47:14 The ball is delivered by Didier Drogba.
46:02 The ball is delivered by Branislav Ivanovic, clearance by Gael Givet.
45:01 The referee gets the second half started.
45:00+2:24 The ref blows to end the first period.
45:00+1:45 Inswinging corner taken by Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba takes a shot. Save made by Paul Robinson.
45:00+0:47 The free kick is swung in right-footed by Frank Lampard. John Terry takes a shot. Paul Robinson makes a fantastic save.
45:00+0:47 Booking The referee books Morten Gamst Pedersen for unsporting behaviour.
45:00+0:37 Unfair challenge on Branislav Ivanovic by Morten Gamst Pedersen results in a free kick.
43:33 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jason Roberts by Branislav Ivanovic. Free kick crossed right-footed by Brett
Emerton from left wing, save by Petr Cech.
41:42 Free kick awarded for a foul by Keith Andrews on Didier Drogba. Didier Drogba produces a strike on goal direct from the free
kick. Effort from a long way out by Frank Lampard goes wide right of the goal.
Correction - 40:53 The offside flag is raised against Jason Roberts. Petr Cech takes the free kick.
40:53 The assistant referee signals for offside against Jason Roberts. Indirect free kick taken by Petr Cech.
40:11 Nicolas Anelka produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the goal.
39:31 The assistant referee flags for offside against El-Hadji Diouf. Free kick taken by Petr Cech.
38:37 Long distance effort from Frank Lampard misses to the left of the goal.
38:27 Centre by Michael Ballack, clearance by Ryan Nelsen.
36:42 Didier Drogba takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard from the left by-line
to the near post, clearance made by Keith Andrews.
36:25 Michael Ballack fouled by Morten Gamst Pedersen, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Michael Ballack.
35:23 The ball is swung over by Morten Gamst Pedersen, clearance made by John Terry.
32:54 Foul by El-Hadji Diouf on Juliano Belletti, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Juliano Belletti.
32:10 Nicolas Anelka takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.
30:59 The ball is swung over by Juliano Belletti, clearance made by Ryan Nelsen. Headed effort on goal by Frank Lampard from inside
the penalty box misses to the right of the goal.
29:15 Shot by Michael Essien from a long way out goes over the target.
28:22 Brett Emerton challenges Michael Essien unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Ricardo Carvalho.
27:01 Unfair challenge on Ryan Nelsen by Didier Drogba results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
26:22 Morten Gamst Pedersen has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
24:58 The referee penalises Keith Andrews for handball. Free kick taken by Michael Ballack.
23:37 Michael Ballack takes a shot. Blocked by Gael Givet.
22:55 The assistant referee signals for offside against Jason Roberts. Free kick taken by Petr Cech.
21:47 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Frank Lampard, Shot from close range by Didier Drogba misses to the left
of the target.
19:08 The assist for the goal came from Nicolas Anelka.
19:08 GOAL - Gael Givet:Chelsea 1 - 0 Blackburn Gael Givet scores an own goal. Chelsea 1-0 Blackburn.
19:06 The ball is swung over by Nicolas Anelka.
18:52 The ball is crossed by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
18:10 Centre by Joe Cole, save by Paul Robinson.
16:45 Free kick awarded for a foul by Branislav Ivanovic on Martin Olsson. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Brett Emerton
from left wing, Petr Cech makes a save.
16:14 The ball is delivered by Branislav Ivanovic, clearance by Ryan Nelsen.
15:19 Brett Emerton produces a cross. The assistant referee signals for offside against Morten Gamst Pedersen. Petr Cech takes
the indirect free kick.
13:14 Unfair challenge on El-Hadji Diouf by Michael Ballack results in a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Brett
Emerton, Petr Cech makes a comfortable save.
11:56 Brett Emerton is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Shot comes in from Frank Lampard from the free kick.
11:48 The ball is swung over by Didier Drogba, clearance made by Ryan Nelsen.
10:01 Frank Lampard produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses right.
9:14 Branislav Ivanovic fouled by Jason Roberts, the ref awards a free kick. Michael Ballack restarts play with the free kick.
3:18 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Keith Andrews by Michael Ballack. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
0:32 Joe Cole has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.
0:00 The match has kicked off.
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