Chelsea Hit By Late Strikes  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 1 Blackburn Rovers 2


Dwight Yorke
Yorke: opening strike
Chelsea 1 - 2 Blackburn
Hasselbaink 90   Yorke 85, Dunn 90
Premiership, Saturday February 22, KO 3pm

Chelsea's Champions League aspirations suffered a huge setback when two late strikes from Dwight Yorke and David Dunn secured all three points for the visitors.

There was an overwhelming sense of deja vu at the final whistle for Chelsea, who once again failed to break their home voodoo against Blackburn in the Premiership.

The game failed to spark into life for long periods of the game and it was left until the last fifteen minutes for the drama to unfold.

Dwight Yorke opened the scoring for Blackburn in the 85th minute when he rose above the Chelsea defence to head past Carlo Cuddicini.

The afternoon turned completely sour for the home side in the 90th minute when David Dunn wrapped up the game with a well struck shot inside the box.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's screaming free-kick moments later proved nothing more than a consolation for the beleaguered Blues.

The pulsating finish was a far cry from the opening stages of the game. In an uninspiring first half, where the pace of the game was best described as pedestrian, Chelsea rarely threatened to breach the Blackburn defence.

Instead, it was left to David Dunn, undoubtedly the best creative outlet for the visitors, to provide the first chance of the half. On 20 minutes, the Republic Of Ireland international made a fine run on the right before finding Grabbi, whose shot was well saved by Cudicini. 

A fine piece of skill from Andy Cole in the Chelsea box moments later nearly gave the visitors the opening goal when his shot deflected viciously off Babayaro and ran inches wide of the post.

Chelsea's best chance of the half  fell in the 35th minute when a great double save from Brad Friedel denied Hasselbaink, who was unmarked in the six yard box.

The opening quarter of the second period was equally as poor and it was only when Celestine Babayaro hit a stinging shot from outside the box on 65 minutes that Chelsea finally breathed fire into the game.

Chelsea stepped up the tempo and were unfortunate not to score with the next attack of the game when shots were fired in from both Gudjohnsen and then Hasselbaink.

A perfectly weighted ball from Gudjohnsen on 70 minutes found Hasselbaink once again, but his close range header was directed wide.

Chelsea had a monopoly of possession before the remaining drama tarnished the day for Gianfranco Zola, who was celebrating his 300th appearance for the club.  

Chelsea: Cudicini: Melchiot, Terry, Gallas, Le Saux (Babayaro 19), Stanic (Zenden 64), Morris, Lampard, Gronkjaer (Zola 45), Gudjohnsen, Hasselbaink.
Subs: Babayaro, De Lucas, Gronkjaer, Zenden, Zola, Evans.

Blackburn: Friedel, Neill, Short, Johansson, Berg, Dunn (Gillespie 61), Tugay, Flitcroft, Gresko, Cole (Ostenstad), Grabbi (Yorke 55).
Subs: Yorke, Kelly, Gillespie, Taylor, Ostenstad.

Att: 40,850

Referee: Graham Poll

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