Blackburn were made to rue missed opportunities, as Chelsea snatched a late winner to take all 3 points at Ewood Park.
Sam Allardyce decided to reinstate Samba and Nelsen in defence, whilst Benjani was given the role of being the target man upfront
With Blackburn shaped to sit behind the ball, it was Chelsea who attacked from the opening minute. A sweeping cross slightly evaded Drogba, whilst Malouda was found flapping at a tame shot early on.
Though once Blackburn got on the ball, they did create the best of the early chances. MB Dioufs cross become shot almost dropped into the net, a fingertip save from the off balanced Petr Cech sending the ball for a corner. Neat play by Brett Emerton found Benjani, skipping past his man and darting into the box. However, his final touch was left wanting, a tame shot straight at Goalkeeper Petr Cech. Brett Emerton then hit on the counter, intercepting a pass in his own half. Dashing 60 yards, Emerton should of taken the shot, however decided to cut the ball across to Benjani, but the Chelsea defence scrambled well.
And so the game continued, Rovers actually out playing Chelsea in the midfield, with Jones putting in a superb shift infront of Fabio Capello who graced Ewood Park with his precense. And rightfully so, it was Rovers who took the lead.
The Dangeround El Hadji Diouf took the ball along the left flank, drifting in a cross, where Benjani rose highest, heading into the bottom left corner of the net. 1-0 Blackburn.
Chelsea lifted there game, but so did Rovers, who continued to threaten. Gael Givet picked up a knock on the other end, Olsson replacing him. Chelsea pressed, and pressed, with Anelka and Drogba trying to find a way to penetrate the Rovers defence. Poor marking providing the opportunity, and they pounced. A long ball saw Drogba draw in 2 Rovers defenders, heading back across goal for Anelka to finish. 1-1….
The game carried out to the break, Rovers unfortunate to not be leading….
Benjani came off with a tight hamstring, with Jason Roberts making his first appearance for the campaign. Both teamss struggled to create much in the opening phases of the second half, however MB Diouf and Brett Emerton were looking dangerous down the right flank.
Rovers first chance of the half came from a Gamst Pedersen free kick. The ball fizzed across the goal, deflected towards the far post, and a lunging attempt from MB Diouf just couldnt force the ball goal wards into the empty net.
Rovers pressed and Dunny came on for EH Diouf. Then came the turning point. 8 minutes to go, Jason Roberts picks up the ball on the 18 yard box. He jinxed past his man, leaving him one on one with Petr Cech. Good ol Jason Roberts lived up to the cry of couldnt even score in a brothel, slashing his effort wide of the goal….And so Chelsea countered, and the rest was history, Ivanovic heading into the goal after poor marking from Olsson……
Paul Robinson 7
2 magnificent saves, thought he could of anticipated the Drogba header back across goal a touch earlier, but not at fault
Chris Samba 7
Very solid in defence, would be dissapointed at his partners letting him down
Ryan Nelsen 5
Not as solid as always, maybe a bit Rusty the Admiral was!
Michel Salgado 6
Played well, nothing too fancy
Phil Jones 8
Superb shift from the youngster, hopefully Capello was taking note!
Brett Emerton 7
Much Much Much better from Emo, worked well with MB Diouf and Salgado
EH Diouf 7
Consistent performance from Dioufy, if only he judged the long ball over the top well, he would of been through on goal
MB Diouf 8
Very impressive, right flank looks like a position he can make his own
Same as always, good for some, bad for some
Scored a neat goal, missed a good chance, il take that strike rate
Jason Roberts 2
Apart from that one turn, he did nothing. When he was needed most, he couldnt convert….no wonder why nobody put a bid in for him….
Martin Olsson 3
Very poor defencive game from the Swede. Looks really out of place in defence, Chimbonda should get a chance