Chelsea celebrate their clinching second goal against Blackburn
By Sam Sheringham
BBC Sport at Stamford Bridge
Second-half goals from Branislav Ivanovic and Nicolas Anelka fired Chelsea back into the top four of the Premier League and eased the pressure on under-fire boss Carlo Ancelotti.
A disjointed first-half performance gave way to a commanding second-half display as the Blues showed signs of rediscovering their old swagger and suggested they may just be able to revive the defence of their title.
Both goals came from corners as Chelsea took advantage of some slack marking in the Blackburn defence to secure a win, which brought palpable relief to fans who had endured the club's worst league run in almost 15 years.
Ancelotti confident Chelsea have turned corner
And although Tottenham can regain fourth place with a home victory over Manchester United on Sunday, there were plenty of signs that the champions may have turned a corner.
Only a last-ditch tackle from Michel Salgado denied Didier Drogba after a clever through-ball from Anelka and, from the resulting corner, Ivanovic flicked the ball on for Ramires, who lashed a half-volley against the bar.At the other end, Nikola Kalinic, returning from a three-match ban, did his best to give Blackburn an outlet, teeing up Martin Olsson for a long-range drive which Petr Cech saved comfortably.
Having failed to score the early goal that would have settled their nerves, Chelsea's play became increasingly ragged, with a failure to get behind the visitors prompting Drogba and Jose Bosingwa into speculative efforts from distance.
Meanwhile Blackburn, perhaps sensing their hosts' fragile confidence, settled into the game.
Just after the half-hour mark, the contest sprung to life with a frantic passage of play, Lampard's first-time ball releasing Drogba, whose slight hesitation allowed Gael Givet to produce a brilliant saving tackle.
And moments later, it was almost 1-0 to Blackburn as David Hoilett cut inside from the left and drew a sharp low save from Cech.
Kean hopes to seal Jones deal after Chelsea defeat
Chelsea saw out the half firmly on the front foot and had three further chances to take the lead.
First Anelka curled a shot wide from just outside the box, then Lampard planted a header over the bar from Bosingwa's cross.
And just before the break, Anelka flicked a wicked low cross from Drogba on to the corner of post and bar.
The Frenchman went close again right at the start of the second half as his low shot from the right side of the penalty area drifted wide of the far post.
Just as the Chelsea fans were beginning to direct their frustration at Ancelotti, their prayers were answered with the opening goal.
A Malouda corner was flicked on by John Terry and the ball found its way to Ivanovic, who drilled a low shot under Paul Robinson from a tight angle.
Terry came close to doubling Chelsea's lead when his header from Lampard's mis-hit volley fizzed inches past the upright.
Drogba cautious over Chelsea title chances
Then a disastrous back-pass from Christopher Samba presented Drogba with a gilt-edged chance but the Ivorian's shot was saved by Robinson with his legs.
From the resulting corner, Ivanovic climbed highest to head towards goal and Anelka diverted the ball past Robinson.
With the game safe, Chelsea's players started to exude confidence. Robinson was at full stretch to palm away a curling effort from Lampard and Drobga's audacious chip sailed just over the bar.
Ancelotti took the opportunity to give further experience to youngsters Josh McEachran and Daniel Sturridge as the Blues comfortably saw out a crucial and morale-boosting win.
90:00+3:27 The final whistle is blown by the referee.
90:00+1:30 Shot from just outside the area by Daniel Sturridge goes over the bar.
90:00+0:14 Mame Diouf fouled by Ashley Cole, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
87:06 Corner taken by Didier Drogba from the right by-line played to the near post. Effort from inside the area by Daniel Sturridge
misses to the right of the target.
86:13 Shot from just outside the box by Didier Drogba goes over the crossbar.
86:13 Substitution Daniel Sturridge is brought on as a substitute for Florent Malouda.
85:01 Florent Malouda takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.
84:42 Salomon Kalou takes a shot. Ryan Nelsen gets a block in.
82:54 Jason Lowe gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Florent Malouda. Didier Drogba has an effort direct from the
free kick, Christopher Samba gets a block in.
78:45 Substitution (Chelsea) makes a substitution, with Joshua McEachran coming on for Michael Essien.
78:45 Substitution Nicolas Anelka leaves the field to be replaced by Salomon Kalou.
78:09 Florent Malouda takes a shot. Blocked by Christopher Samba.
77:36 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gael Givet by Michael Essien. Free kick taken by Gael Givet.
75:44 Didier Drogba takes a shot. Outswinging corner taken by Florent Malouda from the left by-line, Branislav Ivanovic takes a
shot. Branislav Ivanovic provided the assist for the goal. Nicolas Anelka gets a block in.
75:44 GOAL - Nicolas Anelka:Chelsea 2 - 0 Blackburn Nicolas Anelka finds the net with a goal from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Chelsea 2-0 Blackburn.
69:24 Free kick awarded for a foul by Gael Givet on Didier Drogba. Jose Bosingwa restarts play with the free kick.
67:17 Nicolas Anelka takes a shot. David Hoilett gets a block in. Corner taken left-footed by Florent Malouda. Header by John Terry
from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target. Frank Lampard takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.
67:17 Substitution Jason Roberts replaces David Hoilett.
59:37 Florent Malouda takes a shot. Paul Robinson makes a save.
56:16 Florent Malouda takes a outswinging corner to the near post, the assist for the goal came from John Terry.
56:16 GOAL - Branislav Ivanovic:Chelsea 1 - 0 Blackburn Branislav Ivanovic finds the back of the net with a goal from close in low into the middle of the goal. Chelsea 1-0 Blackburn.
54:08 Corner taken by Florent Malouda, Effort from inside the area by Didier Drogba misses to the left of the goal.
52:29 Inswinging corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Close range headed effort by Mame Diouf goes wide of the left-hand upright.
51:33 Foul by Michael Essien on David Hoilett, free kick awarded. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
49:27 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mame Diouf by Florent Malouda. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
49:27 Booking Florent Malouda receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
47:59 John Terry concedes a free kick for a foul on Martin Olsson. Direct free kick taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
46:10 Nicolas Anelka produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the target.
45:26 Substitution Roque Santa Cruz on for Nikola Kalinic.
45:01 The match restarts for the second half.
45:00+3:08 The whistle is blown to end the first half.
45:00+0:54 Corner from right by-line taken by Florent Malouda.
44:03 The assistant referee flags for offside against Nikola Kalinic. Free kick taken by John Terry. The referee blows for offside.
Branislav Ivanovic takes the indirect free kick.
41:58 Corner taken by Didier Drogba from the right by-line, clearance made by Mame Diouf.
40:56 Jose Bosingwa takes a shot. Morten Gamst Pedersen gets a block in. Corner taken right-footed by Didier Drogba, clearance by
Christopher Samba. Nicolas Anelka takes a shot.
39:40 Nikola Kalinic challenges Branislav Ivanovic unfairly and gives away a free kick. Petr Cech takes the direct free kick.
39:20 Ramires concedes a free kick for a foul on Gael Givet. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
Correction - 37:46 Ramires takes a shot. Blocked by Ryan Nelsen.
37:46 Effort from inside the area by Ramires misses to the left of the goal.
37:00 Christopher Samba gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Didier Drogba. Direct free kick taken by Frank Lampard.
36:08 Close range headed effort by Frank Lampard clears the crossbar.
34:18 Shot from just outside the box by Nicolas Anelka misses to the left of the target.
33:12 Jason Lowe takes a shot. Save made by Petr Cech.
32:25 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba takes a shot. Clearance made by Jason Lowe.
31:29 Frank Lampard concedes a free kick for a foul on Ryan Nelsen. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
29:31 Jose Bosingwa has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the target.
28:53 Corner taken by Frank Lampard.
23:09 Didier Drogba has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses right.
23:09 Substitution David Dunn goes off and Jason Lowe comes on.
22:26 David Hoilett is caught offside. John Terry restarts play with the free kick.
21:22 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nikola Kalinic by Branislav Ivanovic. Morten Gamst Pedersen restarts play with
the free kick.
20:10 Foul by David Dunn on Frank Lampard, free kick awarded. John Terry restarts play with the free kick.
19:06 Short corner taken by Nicolas Anelka from the right by-line.
18:14 Mame Diouf challenges Branislav Ivanovic unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by John Terry.
17:08 Corner taken by Frank Lampard, Header from close in by Michael Essien misses to the right of the goal.
15:15 The offside flag is raised against Florent Malouda. Indirect free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
12:32 Michael Essien challenges Morten Gamst Pedersen unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
10:09 Jose Bosingwa gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Martin Olsson. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
5:19 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard from the left by-line, clearance by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
3:21 David Hoilett takes a shot. Petr Cech makes a save.
1:06 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Florent Malouda. Ramires takes a shot.
0:00 The game gets underway.
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