Brief: Blackburn Rovers 1 – Chelsea 2

Today’s game against Blackburn Rovers was preceded by a minutes applause for Ronnie Clayton, Blackburn’s former captain and winger who died yesterday at the age of 76. He was also a member of the 1958 England World Cup squad.

The first half performance was very reminiscent of our last two away games against Aston Villa and Man City. The play was very slow and lethargic, and the home sides tactics of closing us down quickly and being very hard in the challenges did not help Chelsea to get any fluent play going.

Blackburns’ attacks stemmed from simply pumping the ball into our box hoping to reach one of their attackers, and on 21 minutes Benjani popped up ahead of John Terry to steer the ball past Peter Cech.  We were one down, not undeserved it has to be said.

Chelsea had not had a shot on target up to this point, but it took some neat passing and a Drogba measured header back for Anelka to equalise on the 39th minute (with the clock showing ‘39’ which of course, could have been for his shirt number).  This was his 11th goal in 15 games against Rovers.

The second half was a much better showing, Ashley Cole and Branislav Ivanovic were running riot down the wings, and it took until the 84th minute before Yuri Zirkov floated a great ball across goal for Ivanovic to head in the winner.

All in all, a good win in difficult circumstances which keeps us 5 points clear of Arsenal and Manchester United going into another difficult away game next weekend at Liverpool.

“Win or Lose – Up the Blues”