Blackburn 0-1 Chelsea

By Neil JohnstonBBC Sport
Petr Cech
Cech found himself in the wars as he frustrated Yakubu

Frank Lampard's sixth league goal of the season secured Chelsea victory as Blackburn's troubles continued.

Andre Villas-Boas's side had lost their previous two league matches - but Lampard headed in Branislav Ivanovic's clever cross.

Blackburn fans hired a plane to fly over Ewood Park with a banner calling for manager Steve Kean's dismissal.

And the pressure increased on Kean after misses by Yakubu and Grant Hanley, while Gael Givet hit the bar.

Kean hails Blackburn's attitude

Blackburn only had themselves to blame for failing to secure at least a point against a Chelsea side which struggled to get going until the second half.

John Terry returned to the starting line-up after being rested for the Champions League draw against Genk.

But his presence failed to inspire his team-mates who were lacklustre against a team without a win in their previous five league games.

Chelsea's cause was not helped by a seven-minute hold up to allow keeper Petr Cech to receive treatment after colliding with Ashley Cole and Yakubu while stopping the Blackburn striker from scoring.

A flowing move involving Junior Hoilett and Mauro Formica presented Yakubu with a golden chance from close range inside the opening quarter of an hour.

But the former Everton man fired wide, Cech receiving lengthy treatment for a bloodied nose before going on to play a key role in his side's victory.

Chances were few and far between and Chelsea struggled to mask their frustration.

Daniel Sturridge was fortunate to escape a booking after appearing to dive following a challenge with Chris Samba, the Chelsea striker infuriating Blackburn keeper Paul Robinson by appealing for a spot-kick.

Blackburn, who have now taken just two points from the last 18 available, were not helped by the loss of captain Samba due to a suspected hamstring injury at the end of the first half.

Villas-Boas happy with Chelsea win

Rovers fans were banned from displaying banners inside the ground calling for Kean's removal.

However, they got around the ban by hiring a plane to fly over the ground with a message demanding his dismissal.

The mood inside Ewood was not helped when Lampard pounced in the 51st minute with what proved to be the winner.

A delightful cross by Ivanovic found the unmarked England midfielder on the edge of the six-yard area, Lampard nodding past Robinson to stretch Blackburn's run of games without clean sheets in the league to 14.

Still Blackburn had a chance to salvage a point, Cech spilling a free-kick by Morten Gamst Pedersen into the path of substitute Hanley before the Chelsea keeper redeemed himself with a fine save to deny the teenager.

In a dramatic finale, Givet was denied an equaliser by the woodwork before Fernando Torres fired wastefully over for the visitors from close range.

Angry Rovers fans called for the Blackburn manager's head after the final whistle with one banner stating "Taxi For Kean".

Blackburn manager Steve Kean:

"We're not far from going on a really good run. We created a lot of good chances and but had a lot of bad luck.

"For vast spells in the game we played very well and we're very disappointed not to get anything.

"Yak [Yakibu] maybe should have done slightly better, but I can't fault him because he's getting into goalscoring positions.

"We're convinced with the run of games coming up that we will put lots of points on the board."

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas:

"It's been a really tough week for us so we wanted to get back to winning ways and that's what we've done.

"What can I say about Petr? He hung on bravely with a broken nose. He's very injury prone in football and all sorts of things have happened to him.

"We have come to a difficult place and got the points we wanted. Hopefully we can build on this."

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