Youngsters from west London take an emphatic scoreline into the second leg at Ewood Park thanks to some fine passing in the final third and cool finishing from their strikers
Chelsea ran out 4-0 winners in the first leg of their FA Youth Cup final against Blackburn, thanks to a double from from Islam Feruz as well as first-half goals from Nathaniel Chaolbah and Lewis Baker.
Chaolbah was impressive throughout, and opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a header from Amin Affane's cross, before Baker doubled the lead as he rounded off a fine team move with an exquisite curling shot.
Chelsea extended their advantage in the second half, as Feruz was sent through on goal twice and showed a cool head on both occasions to give the hosts a strong lead going into the return leg.
The hosts started brightly, with right-back Todd Kane finding space before cutting inside and forcing a low save from Rovers goalkeeper Matt Urwin.
In the ninth minute, however, Blackburn missed a great chance to take the lead, as Osayamen Osawe controlled a ball over the top with his chest before striking a volley straight at Jamal Blackman in the Chelsea goal, who was able to push the ball wide.
The visitors applied plenty of pressure in the opening 15 minutes, with a succession of corners and quick counters aided by their high-tempo playing style, pressing Chelsea as soon as they got the ball.
But the hosts took the lead in the 20th minute. Amin Affane worked some magic wide on the right before cutting in on his left foot and whipping in a great ball for Chaolbah to nod into the far corner.
The visitors survived a controversial moment just moments later, however, when goalkeeper Urwin looked to have handled the ball outside of his area after a raking pass from Chaolbah looked to have set free left-back Adam Nditi, but replays confirmed the keeper was just inside the box.
Chelsea doubled their lead five minutes later. A low cross from Kane was controlled by Lucas Piazon and laid off to Baker, who curled a beautiful effort into the top corner, giving Urwin no chance.
Half-time came without any more real action, as both sides defended well and tried to get the ball down on a fairly poor surface, which had failed to regrow after Wednesday night’s first-team game against Barcelona.
Blackman was then tested twice in the early moments of the second period, making a good save after John O'Sullivan shot from wide on the right, and another from the resulting corner.
Just before the hour mark, Josh Swift came close with a header from a corner, but nodded his effort wide of the far post after good work from Kane initially won the set-piece.
Two minutes later Chelsea added their third, Feruz slotted home calmly underneath Urwin after a sublime pass from Chalobah that split the Rovers defence wide open.
The hosts further extended their lead 10 minutes later, this time Piazon supplied the assist for Feruz, who just managed to poke the ball past Urwin into the far corner.
Blackburn began to apply more pressure in the hope of reducing the deficit before the second leg at Ewood Park, but the hosts were staying solid, with Nathan Ake and Alex Davey creating a formidable partnership in central defence.
Osawe had the clearest chance for Rovers, but his shot in the 79th minute was deflected wide of the far post.
Kane almost got the goal his overall display merited, but, after a great run down the right and a neat one-two, his shot was charged down by desperate defending inside the Blackburn box.
Minutes later the final whistle rang out, and Chelsea take an emphatic scoreline into the second leg.