'Angry' Chelsea have turned a corner, claims Ivanovic

Chelsea 2 Blackburn Rovers 0

"Last chance" read the ominous sign that flashed up on the electronic advertising hoardings surrounding the pitch here midway through the first half.

Not, it turned out, a message from owner Roman Abramovich in his Caribbean hideaway to his insecure manager Carlo Ancelotti; nor a warning from Ancelotti to those senior players in the side who have not been pulling their weight for some time now. It was, in fact, only an exhortation to brow-beaten supporters urging them to part with more of their cash, this time at the January sale at Chelsea's club shop.

The sentiment could, however, have applied to pretty much anyone in the Chelsea camp of late. Before Saturday's game they had managed 10 points from 11 league games, their worst run for almost 15 years.

Abramovich is expected back in London any day now and on this display it appears the club may have finally turned the corner, and just in the nick of time, too. Following the previous weekend's 7-0 thrashing of Ipswich, Chelsea looked an altogether more confident side, with greater urgency and far fewer simple mistakes. The major concern for Ancelotti will be that that for all Chelsea's dominance their goals, from Branislav Ivanovic and Nicolas Anelka, came from corners. Although they also hit the bar twice, it remains a concern they could not score from open play.

Chelsea played with their three most experienced strikers in Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda and Anelka, a trio who between them scored 67 goals last season, yet their most potent threat was defender Ivanovic. His opportunistic shot from Malouda's corner put the champions ahead, and he won a header late on that Anelka knocked in from close range.

Ancelotti said he preferred to wait until after Chelsea's next game, away to Bolton Wanderers, before declaring the "difficult moment" is over but Ivanovic was happy to stick his neck out.

"We have our focus back. We are training hard, enjoying our sessions. We are going to get better in the future," the Serb declared. "We have changed our character. Everyone has been a little bit angry about the things that have happened and we want to show our real power. This is going to count in the games coming up."

Ancelotti was more circumspect in his assessment of Chelsea's progress. "Next we are away at Bolton. It is the key game of our season but my feeling is that we are ready," he said.

Blackburn's moments were few and far between, although David Hoilett forced a wonderful save from goalkeeper Petr Cech when the score was 0-0. Manager Steve Kean gave loan signing Roque Santa Cruz a 45-minute run-out, and hopes to add American midfielder Jermaine Jones from Schalke very soon.

Booked: Chelsea Malouda.

Man of the match Ivanovic

Referee M Atkinson (W Yorkshire).

Attendance 40,846.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power