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Premier League

  • May 13, 2012
  • • 10:00 AM
  • • Stamford Bridge, London
  • Referee: L. Mason
  • • Attendance: 40742

Chelsea 2-1 Blackburn: Terry and Meireles on target as Blues warm-up for Champions League with narrow win

Di Matteo's much-changed side created plenty of chances at Stamford Bridge but made victory harder than it should have been by failing to kill off the already relegated Rovers

The Champions League final proved little distraction for Chelsea as it condemned Blackburn to defeat in its last Premier League game of the season.

The west Londoners flew out of the blocks at Stamford Bridge, creating numerous openings in the first 25 minutes. However the deputizing Jake Kean made an impressive start in the Rovers' goal and was at hand to keep the scores level.

A goal looked inevitable though, and did eventually come through John Terry after half an hour, a second from Meireles following after a matter of minutes. It was completely one-way traffic from there on in, with the hosts wasted several chances to add a third before the break.

The hosts started strongly in the second-half too, nearly adding a third early on. However it was the visiting side that scored the next goal, Scott Dann heading into the back of the net. Despite the set-back, the home-side managed to see-out the win with ease.

With just a couple of minutes on the clock the hosts nearly found a breakthrough, however Florent Malouda's cross was scrambled away by Kean.

The exciting start continued as Blackburn then had a good chance, Jason Lowe's strike from outside the box taking a wicked deflection off Raul Meireles which forced Turnbull to athletically tip it over.

Di Matteo's men hit back with two more decent attacks within the opening quarter-of-an-hour. Daniel Sturridge won a corner off Olsson, from which Lukaku got himself into a good position but headed wide.

Kean's goal continued to be threatened as Sturridge fired another low ball into the six-yard box, but the Rovers' keeper made an important interception to stop the ball from finding a Blue shirt.

Lukaku looked determined to give Di Matteo something to think about, and the Belgian was indeed the man who created the opening goal on the half-hour. Terry met the forward's cross from the right-flank with a powerful header, which Kean could do nothing to stop.

The flood gates then looked as if they might open, as the Blues wasted no time in doubling their lead. The Blackburn defense allowed Michael Essien too much space on the edge of their box, before the Ghanian managed to shift the ball on to Meireles who found the back of the net with a low strike.

Two minutes into the second period and Blackburn were under pressure once more. Firstly, Sturridge skilfully cut-inside onto his right-foot and narrowly smashed an effort over the bar. Then, Lukaku advanced on the right-flank before beating his man, only to drag a poor effort well-wide.

The game had quietened down after that, but then out of nowhere Dann rose above Blues' goalscorer Terry to head home from a corner himself, making it 2-1.

Chelsea nearly provided an instant reply though, as Kean rashly rushed out to try and meet a cross, however a mix-up with this defense led to the ball rolling to Ramires who hit the bar with a fantastic improvised first-time effort from outside the box.

Rovers started to look as if they could get something out of the game, which became fairly stretched at times. Junior Hoilett beat a number of Blue shirts before firing over, then Didier Drogba embarked on a powerful run, only to be denied a shot on goal by a last ditch tackle by Dann.

Both sides continued to look for the important next goal, and Sturridge came close to finding with just over 20 minutes left. The forward's strike was spectacularly saved by a diving Kean, though.

Di Matteo's men continued to dominate, but Sturridge wasted another great chance five minutes later, firing a decent opportunity way-ward. Then, Ryan Bertrand nearly got himself on the end of a cross, but couldn't grow enough.

Then, in the final stages, both sides had chances to grab a late goal, however Turnbull threw himself at Olsson's cross to deny Rovers and Terry failed to get a proper connection on Drogba's delivery.

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