||1 - 2
||Yorke 85, Dunn 90
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
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
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
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,
Blackburn: Friedel, Neill, Short, Johansson, Berg,
Dunn (Gillespie 61), Tugay, Flitcroft, Gresko, Cole (Ostenstad),
Grabbi (Yorke 55).
Subs: Yorke, Kelly, Gillespie, Taylor, Ostenstad.
Referee: Graham Poll