Five star Chelsea demolish Blackburn

Chelsea 5 Blackburn 0

Chelsea gave Carlo Ancelotti a perfect tonic as they soared back to the top of the Barclays Premier League with a 5-0 demolition of Blackburn at Stamford Bridge.

Ancelotti, back in the dugout after visiting his seriously ill father in Italy in midweek, watched his side produce a fabulous performance against ragged Rovers to go two points clear at the summit.

Chelsea destroyed Sam Allardyce's side with two goals from Frank Lampard, one a penalty, plus others from Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and an own goal from Gael Givet.

The game was so one-sided that had Chelsea taken all their first half chances, the scoreline could have been in double figures.

But four goals in a 15-minute second half spell handed Rovers their biggest defeat since Allardyce took charge at Ewood Park and kept Ancelotti's 100% home record intact.

Joe Cole, making his first start since January, should have opened the scoring for Chelsea within the opening minute but he somehow headed a cross from Lampard wide of the target from six yards.

Lampard was inches away from giving Chelsea the lead in the 10th minute when his 20-yard shot just evaded the far post.

But Chelsea broke the deadlock in the 20th minute with a goal of classic simplicity.

A Blackburn attack broke down allowing Michael Ballack to collect the ball in midfield.

The Germany captain fed Nicolas Anelka on the left flank with a superb low pass and when the France international crossed the ball into the six-yard box, it was turned past his own goalkeeper by the unfortunate Givet.

Blackburn had to rely on counter-attacks and in the 25th minute they almost grabbed an equaliser but Morten Gamst Pedersen's 20-yard effort flashed wide of Petr Cech's right-hand post.

Chelsea's players were lining up to shoot and Essien tried his luck from 25 yards in the 29th minute but although the ball dipped violently in the air, it still went over the crossbar.

Lampard wasted another chance to increase Chelsea's lead moments later when Ballack's cross found him unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box. But the England midfielder put his header wide of the target

In the 33rd minute, Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson came to their rescue when Lampard fed Anelka inside the penalty area.

A second goal seemed on the cards but Anelka's shot hit Robinson in the chest, much to the frustration of Ancelotti.

It was shooting practice for Chelsea and Robinson did well to punch away a 35-yard blockbuster from Drogba.

Five minutes before the break, Anelka turned and twisted before firing an 18-yard shot into the sidenetting.

Pedersen was the first player into the notebook on the stroke of half-time for a foul on Branislav Ivanovic. Seconds later Robinson pulled off a magnificent save to deny Lampard again.

Chelsea, somewhat predictably, went further in front in the 48th minute through Lampard.

The England midfielder scored his first goal in open play in the top flight since last April when he finished off a fine Chelsea move.

Essien sent Drogba racing into the penalty area and his cross was only half cleared by Lars Jacobsen, leaving Lampard to pick his spot from eight yards.

It was 3-0 in the 51st minute when Essien sent a 35-yard shot thundering beyond the despairing dive of Robinson.

Anelka then tried to repeat the feat in the 54th minute and his 20-yard shot was so fierce that Robinson had to save at the second attempt.

It got worse for Rovers in the 58th minute when Ryan Nelsen brought down Drogba inside the penalty area and Lampard converted the spot-kick for his second of the game.

Drogba underlined Chelsea's superiority in the 63rd minute when he rose highest to head home a corner by Lampard to make it 5-0. It was the Ivory Coast international's eighth goal of the season.

In the 67th minute Chelsea replaced defender Ricardo Carvalho with youngster Jeffrey Bruma for his Premier League debut.

Cole was then replaced by Daniel Sturridge, making his home league debut, in the 76th minute. Cole received a standing ovation from the fans and a bear hug from Ancelotti.

The England midfielder had shown he was back to his best during an afternoon when Chelsea returned to top form.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness