Frank Lampard struck six minutes after half time at Ewood Park to secure their first win in two games and increase the pressure on Blackburn boss Steve Kean.
Lampard was on hand to head home Branislav Ivanovic’s clever cross and give the Blues a much needed victory after losing their previous two games. Coach Andre Villas-Boas had come in for some criticism after last week’s 5-3 defeat at home to Arsenal but his players produced a gritty display to see off Rovers who remain in the bottom three.
It was yet another loss for Kean and despite his side looking the better side for long periods it didn’t stop Rovers supporters from once again voicing their displeasure over his place in the dugout. Once the noises from the stands were all about Kean with fans calling for his dismissal after seeing their side win one game all season. However those grumbles would have turned to cheers had Rovers taken advantage of their first half supremacy with Chelsea unable to get going until after the restart.
Without a win in five games the home side came out of the traps quickly and should have taken the lead through Yakubu only for the Nigerian to drag his shot wide after a flowing move involving Junior Hoilett and Mauro Formica. Chelsea almost lost keeper Petr Cech aftr he came off worst after racing out to deny Yakubu colliding with him and team-mate Ashley Cole requiring seven minutes of treatment. Rovers enjoyed plenty of possession but struggled to create any clear cut chances that came back to haunt them later in the game.
They suffered a major blow on 18 minutes though when captain Christopher Samba hobbled off with a hamstring injury just before half time and it proved to be crucial as Lampard struck six minutes after the restart. The England midfielder was on hand to head home his sixth goal of the season after Ivanovic’s cross found him unmarked in the area.
That goal meant it’s now 14 games since Blackburn kept a clean sheet in the Premier League although they should have at least gained a point with a flurry of chances after Chelsea had broken the deadlock. Youngster Grant Hanley had the best opportunity of them all but could only fire wide with the goal gaping after Cech has spilled Morten Gamst Pedersen’s free kick. Gael Givet then struck the bar in the frantic final minutes as Rovers searched for an equaliser but were almost caught on the break but Fernando Torres couldn’t seal the game wastefully firing over.