Full-time - 90'
1 - 1
16:00 +00:00, March 21, 2010
Ewood Park, England
Referee: Steve Bennett
FULL TIME! Chelsea's title hopes suffer a big blow as they are held to a 1-1 draw by Blackburn. Drogba opened the scoring but Diouf equalised, and it was a superb defensive display from the home side.
Jason Roberts has been bodychecked but Bennett waves play on.
It is getting fractious and there are just seconds left...
David Hoilett replaces Nzonzi and Terry fails to direct a header on goal from the corner.
Chelsea have a corner but Nzonzi is down requiring treatment. He hobbles off.
Big appeals from the Chelsea fans for a penalty as Lampard goes down in the box, but Pedersen appeared to get a good touch on the ball.
We will have four minutes of added time.
The last throw of the dice for Ancelotti as Daniel Sturridge comes on for Nicolas Anelka.
A Lampard cross is cut out by Martin Olsson as Chelsea continue to press. These are nervy moments.
Chelsea take the long ball route again, to no avail. This hasn't been a good performance from the visiting side.
Zhirkov hauls down Jason Roberts and is given a booking as he prevents a Blackburn counter-attack.
Lampard fires one in from 20 yards but Andrews throws his body in the way to block. From the resulting corner, Drogba's effort is turned round the post by a fantastic save from Brown.
Chris Samba produces two important clearing headers and the defender has been very, very good today.
Samba stabs clear when Anelka plays the ball into the six-yard box as the pressure mounts on the home side.
For a second the ball looks to have fallen kindly for Deco on his left foot but Nzonzi anticipates the danger and boots the ball clear.
Chelsea pour forward in numbers but Blackburn continue to defend superbly. Jones, the debutant, has been impressive.
So Chelsea have just seven minutes to score a winner. This is a crucial period in their season.
Lampard rolls the set-piece to Alex and he thumps the ball off target. How often do those free-kicks go in? The percentage must be tiny.
Keith Andrews is raging with Bennett after chopping down Anelka and being penalised for a foul. Not sure why, it was a blatant offence.
Diouf falls over like a feather in a gust of wind and Bennett awards the free-kick. That was dubious, to say the least.
Anelka tries to pick out Drogba with another long ball but Samba is equal to the task and heads clear.
Replays show that the throw that led to the Blackburn goal should have been given to Chelsea. A bit of controversy there.
Turnbull comes to punch as Pedersen's free-kick is deflected high into the air and the keeper just about gets enough on it.
Roberts is guilty of another heavy touch as he initially loses possession, but the striker atones by winning a free-kick from Terry.
Jason Roberts tries to trick his way past Alex but the big Brazilian nicks the ball away from the striker.
Ancelotti makes a change with Deco replacing Kalou.
It is Drogba who takes the free-kick and he strikes the wall.
Diouf is furious, furious, after Drogba appears to exaggerate the effects of contact from Pedersen. Drogba? Surely not.
Well, how can Chelsea respond to that setback? They were widely criticised after losing to Inter in midweek and this would be a disastrous result for their title hopes.
It is El Hadji Diouf with the finish! Michel Salgado swings in a fine cross from the left and Diouf rises above Ferreira to head past Turnbull. Game on, and Wenger and Ferguson will be looking on with glee.
GOAL! Blackburn equalise!
Pedersen controls a deeep cross well but his dink across goal has far too much behind it. Meanwhile, replays show it was never a penalty, Roberts was backing into Terry.
Jason Roberts goes to ground in the box and Terry did sseem to clatter him somewhat. We might need a replay of that one.
Jones does well to cut out a long ball from Lampard as Chelsea try to release Didier Drogba. At 1-0, they will not be feeling altogether comfortable.
Pedersen trips Malouda from behind and the Frenchman is furious about it. No card from referee Bennett though.
Allardyce hauls off Kalinic and replaces him with Jason Roberts, provoking boos from a disapproving home support. Why not leave two strikers on and have a proper go at Chelsea?
Paulo Ferreira produces a frankly rubbish shot that dribbles along the floor, allowing Samba to hoof the ball clear.
Great interplay between Terry and Lampard allows Chelsea to keep the ball in play but when Mikel works it to Malouda, he fires a shot well off target.
Kalinic miscontrols in the box and Chelsea breathe a sigh of relief. That was a decent chance for the Croatian striker.
Anelka races onto a pass from Drogba and Samba clumsily brings him down. Steve Bennett waves play on but there was no attempt to win the ball. Perhaps Anelka was too far away from the ball when the challenge was made, but it looked a foul and Samba was the last man.
Emerton is on and, surprisingly, it is David Dunn who comes off. He must have been feeling the pace.
Drogba and Samba are involved in a nasty collision when challenging for a high ball and the physios are on. That is a battle of two heavyweights, isn't it? Ouch. Both players are up though.
Blackburn appear to be readying Brett Emerton on the sidelines, perhaps to provide more of a threat from crosses and set-pieces.
Pedersen is offside when pulling down a high ball from Nzoni. It must be said, this game has been a touch short of quality.
Now El Hadji Diouf wants a free-kick after contact with Ferreira but there was very little in it.
Chelsea prepare for another Pedersen long throw but in fact he takes it short to Andrews who fails to find a team-mate when turning the ball on. Blackburn want handball when Kalou cuts it out but it was not even close.
Now Lampard unleashes a shot from 30 yards that swerves just wide of the upright. A great shot from a man who has been quiet so far today.
Blackburn work the ball well down the right and when Pedersen takes possession of the ball, he fires a shot high over the bar from outside the box.
Yuri Zhirkov is forced to clear off the line! Samba got on the end of a long throw from Pedersen and Turnbull was stranded.
KICK OFF! No changes from either side.
HALF-TIME Diouf swings in a cross but John Terry heads clear and that is the last action of the first half. Back in 15 minutes!
We will have two minutes of first-half injury time.
Chelsea are forced into a change as Ivanovic cannot continue, seemingly due to the fact Diouf trod on his leg. Yuri Zhirkov comes on so Paulo Ferreira will move to right back.
Diouf gets the decision he wants this time when tussling with Kalou at the corner flag.
Diouf is furious that a corner has been signalled, oblivious to the fact that Branislav Ivanovic is writhing in pain below him. It looked as though Diouf trod on his ankle, accidentally.
Malouda produces some great trickery out on the far touchline and tries to find Anelka, but Jones thumps the ball clear. The youngster has performed well so far.
Brown is forced into making a sharp save to deny Malouda, on his right foot. The Frenchman was played in by Drogba after Steven Nzonzi lost possession.
Carlo Ancelotti is out of his seat and barking orders at the team. "More energy" probably, or something along those lines.
Chelsea have not really looked like scoring in the last quarter of an hour and Blackburn will be happy with how they have prevented the visitors from threatening.
More impressive goalkeeping from Ross Turnbull as he races off his line to claim a free-kick. Fears over his possible vulnerability have proved misguided so far.
A few strong challenges fly in and the volume rises significantly at Ewood Park. Blackburn really need to unsettle Chelsea.
Kalou leaps like a Salmon, or should that be a Salomon, as he tries to reach a Lampard cross but the ball is just too high for the forward.
Samba acts as a focus at the other end for a Pedersen long throw and then a Salgado cross, but on neither occasion can he do enough to test Turnbull.
Samba has to cut out a cross with Drogba waiting to head home. Lucky, then, that he is something of a giant and heads clear.
Dunn, who has enjoyed a productive season in the hole for Blackburn, looks to play in Kalinic but puts too much on his pass.
Morten Gamst Pedersen enjoys a decent chance when the ball pops up to him in the box but his volley has far more speed than accuracy and flies well off target.
It sounds as though one set of fans is singing "Jose Mourinho". It's either a piece of homage from the Chelsea fans or Blackburn supporters having a joke at their opponents' expense.
Now Martin Olsson blocks a volleyed attempt from Alex. That is good defending from the home side.
Anelka again looks to tee up Drogba but a combination of Samba and Jones prevent the striker from testing Brown.
Lampard dinks a cross out to Kalou on the right and after jinking past El Hadji Diouf, he squares for Anelka who stabs his shot over the bar.
Morten Gamst Pedersen's delivery is dealt with easily by Turnbull, but Blackburn will feel they are beginning to exert a bit of pressure on the visiting side.
A nice one-touch move from Blackburn results in Michel Salgado winning a corner from Paul Ferreira.
Malouda now feeds Anelka in the box but Olsson does well up against the striker and the Chelsea man fails to get a shot away.
Now Chelsea win a free-kick and when Lampard floats it long to the back post, Kalou heads the ball into the arms of Brown.
Andrews connects with the delivery but his header is flicked over the bar. Blackburn will draw confidence from this phase of play.
Pedersen takes the set-piece from 25 yards and stings the hands of Turnbull, who gives away a corner.
Alex is penalised when bringing down David Dunn with a messy challenge. Blackburn look to take it quickly, only for Kalinic to shoot wide, but Steve Bennett calls it back.
Now a cross from Kalinic floats onto the top of the net. Turnbull saw it over though.
Again Martin Olsson finds space on the left but he rushes his cross and Chelsea clear. Blackburn need to take advantage of situations like that if they are to get anything out of the game.
The youngster Jones produces a good header to clear with Drogba lurking and ready to convert a cross from Malouda.
Blackburn are not seeing a lot of the ball at all and this could be a long, long afternoon for Sam Allardyce's men.
Kalinic is hot on the heels of Terry when chasing onto a long ball over the top but Turnbull is quickly off his line to grab the ball on the edge of the box. Decisive goalkeeping.
Alex leaps to connect with a corner from Florent Malouda but it lacks the necessary power and direction to beat Brown. Kalou then heads wide from another corner, and that was a great chance.
So, are we looking at a heavy win for Chelsea today? They are certainly capable of it.
Nicolas Anelka got away from Keith Andrews down the right and rolled the ball across for Drogba, who slotted calmly home past Brown. Sent off against Inter, he is probably keen to make amends today.
GOAL! Chelsea score!
Martin Olsson bursts into space down the left but his attempted cross is weak and causes the Chelsea defence no problems.
Anelka squares for Drogba and the Ivorian takes a first-time shot, curling the ball just wide of the far post. Jason Brown looked to have it covered though.
John Terry's first touch is greeted by a chorus of boos from the home fans. I suspect he is fairly used to that by now.
Now Blackburn look to open up Chelsea and David Dunn attempts to slip in Nikola Kalinic, only to get his pass all wrong.
Salomon Kalou dinks a nice ball over the top for Drogba but Brown is off his line quickly to deal with the early threat.
We are just about ready to go...
Chelsea are five points behind United but with two games in hand, this being the first. It is therefore imperative that they win. Blackburn are ten points from danger, so might be feeling a touch comfortable.
Blackburn are also missing their first-choice keeper as Jason Brown replaces Paul Robinson. In defence, Phil Jones makes his Premier Leauge debut, against Didier Drogba. Oh dear.
Chelsea have been poor away from home this season but Ancelotti has fielded a positive team with Kalou joining Drogba and Anelka in attack, and Malouda and Lampard in midfield. John Obi Mikel is the only defensive player in the front six.
Chelsea are of course looking to respond to their Champions League exit at the hands of Inter, with Carlo Ancelotti under pressure. Blackburn will also be hoping to get at Ross Turnbull (full teams are down to the right).
Welcome to our live coverage of Chelsea's game at Blackburn Rovers. Arsenal and Man Utd have both emerged victorious this weekend, can the Blues do likewise?
Morten Gamst Pedersen
Amine Linganzi Koumba
John Mikel Obi