Ouijer Gets The Blues On Debut  (Sky Sports)

Blackburn Rovers 0 Chelsea 2

Michael BallackAndre Ooijer endured a nightmare Blackburn Rovers debut as Premiership champions Chelsea ground out a 2-0 triumph at Ewood Park.

The new signing from PSV Eindhoven conceded a penalty, which Frank Lampard converted, early in the second half after mauling John Terry.

He was then shown up for a lack of pace inside the closing 10 minutes as he failed to keep up with Didier Drogba, who stayed on his feet before firing past an exposed Brad Friedel.

Having been thrust into the side for his Blackburn bow, Ooijer's first contribution was to sloppily concede a free kick on the edge of the area for a foul on Salomon Kalou.

Though Rovers dealt with the immediate threat from Lampard's set-piece, the clearance went as far as Michael Essien, who volleyed over the bar.

Robbie Savage was wayward from 25 yards, while Essien is developing a penchant from shooting from distance and another attempt deflected wide off Zurab Khizanishvili.

An Ooijer back-pass almost put Friedel in trouble as both teams struggled to locate a rhythm in a largely lacklustre first half.

David Bentley delivered a series of fine passes and crosses from the right, with one such ball headed over the bar by the leaping Morten Gamst Pedersen.

The Norwegian winger then had a free kick dip tantalisingly over the bar after taking a heavy deflection off Kalou.

Savage was harshly booked for tangling with Essien, with both players seemingly more intent on clattering into each other than connecting with the ball.

Andrei Shevchenko was looking to build on his first Premiership goal against Middlesbrough in midweek, but was wildly off target after the ball broke to him.

The £30 million signing was then allowed to surge forward by the Blackburn defence before his drive was spilled by Friedel, who held on at the second attempt as Kalou closed in.

Michael Ballack, making his Premiership debut, slowly crept into the game and curled a free kick over after Essien had been felled by Brett Emerton.

The German, and midfield partner Lampard, then combined cleverly to play in Kalou, but he was bundled over by Lucas Neill, who got a touch on the ball first.

Just three minutes into the second half, Chelsea were gifted the chance to go in front after Ooijer carelessly manhandled Terry in the penalty area.

Lampard, whose free kick had created the unease, stepped up to take the spot kick and was relieved to see his effort squirm under the hand of Friedel.

Ooijer showed further uncertainty in failing to deal with a high ball and the malaise spread to his centre half partner Khizanishvili, whose mix-up with Friedel almost granted Kalou a chance.

Blackburn's best chance of the game came on 55 minutes when Benni McCarthy chested down Emerton's cross and his prod goalwards was brilliantly kept out by the sharp reflexes of Petr Cech.

The hosts asked the question of referee Mark Clattenburg on 73 minutes when Ricardo Carvalho had a lengthy tug on Jason Roberts' shirt, but the referee shied away from giving a penalty, although in fairness his view appeared to be obscured by the figure of Claude Makelele.

Dutch defender Ooijer had a chance to atone for his earlier error when rising to meet a corner unmarked, but he failed to connect cleanly as he diverted the ball over the bar.

Cech momentarily had cause to panic from Neill's shot from 25 yards, but the Australian's strike veered away from the upright.

With nine minutes left, Chelsea killed off the game as they again exposed Ooijer's lack of pace. Essien's pass released substitute Drogba, who shrugged off the attentions of the flailing centre half to lash a shot beyond Friedel.

The hosts responded with Steven Reid having a free kick tipped over, and Bentley flashed a shot wide, but Blackburn lacked the class to take advantage of a Chelsea team still searching for fluidity.


Blackburn Rovers Team Statistics Chelsea
0 Goals 2
0 1st Half Goals 0
2 Shots on Target 5
9 Shots off Target 5
1 Blocked Shots 5
7 Corners 3
10 Fouls 15
2 Offsides 3
3 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
49.9 Possession 50.1


Blackburn Rovers Friedel, Khizanishvili, Neill, Ooijer, Bentley, Emerton, Pedersen (Gallagher 69), Reid, Savage, McCarthy, Roberts
Subs Not Used Brown, Todd, Jeffers, Kuqi
Booked  Savage, Ooijer, Khizanishvili

Chelsea  Cech, Boulahrouz, Bridge, Carvalho, Terry, Ballack, Essien, Lampard, Makelele (Mikel 88), Kalou (Drogba 56), Shevchenko (Wright-Phillips 83)
Subs Not Used  Cudicini, Ferreira
Booked  Makelele
Lampard (pen) 50, Drogba 81

Attendance  19,398

Referee  M. Clattenburg

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