English Premiership

Chelsea see off Rovers

2012-05-13 19:07
John Terry (File)

London - Chelsea will head off to the Champions League final in good heart after rounding off their Premier League campaign with a 2-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers at Stamford Bridge.

First-half goals from John Terry and Raul Meireles - both suspended for the meeting with Bayern Munich - put Roberto Di Matteo's side in control.

Ayegbeni Yakubu's second-half strike briefly gave relegated Blackburn hope they might end a disastrous season with an unexpected point but their efforts quickly faded.

That allowed Chelsea to run down the clock without exerting themselves as they secured a sixth place finish - ensuring they must win the Champions League to secure a place in next season's competition.

With victory assured, the only concern for Blues caretaker manager Di Matteo was the injury sustained by Florent Malouda in the first half.

The midfielder was withdrawn with a minor hamstring injury and Di Matteo will hope the France international recovers quickly.

This was a game both sides would have happily done without.

Chelsea's minds are understandably elsewhere while Blackburn's relegation last week meant the end of the season couldn't come quickly enough.

Di Matteo's team sheet reflected the fact that in terms of personnel, this was an exercise in damage limitation ahead of the trip to Munich.

Terry and Meireles were joined by Ramires and Branislav Ivanovic, the other two members of Di Matteo's squad who will watch from the stands in the Allianz Arena.

Of the other seven starters, only Malouda, Daniel Sturridge and Michael Essien had any chance of forcing the manager into a change of plan before next Saturday.

For Blackburn, goalkeeper Jake Kean was given his debut in place of injured Paul Robinson and Rovers attempted to sign off from the Premier League on a high. It quickly because apparent there was little chance of that happening.

Jason Lowe saw an early sot tipped over but that was the last meaningful attack from the visitors as Chelsea confirmed they were intent of rounding off the domestic campaign in style.

The opening goal came when Romelu Lukaku drifted out of the central striker position to deliver a 31st minute cross that was met with a powerful header from Terry.

Three minutes later Meireles looked as though he had made the game safe when he converted after good work by Essien.

The Ghana midfielder has struggled to find anything like his best form since returning from a serious knee injury earlier this season.

But he created the second goal with a powerful run off the right hand flank and into the area before squaring the ball to Meireles who drove a low shot beyond Kean from the edge of the area.

Di Matteo surprisingly introduced Didier Drogba early on in the second half and the home crowd immediately made it clear they want the forward to remain at the club.

Drogba is out of contract at the end of the season and negotiations about a new deal have so far stalled with the club unwilling to meet the 34-year-old's demands for a two-year deal.

Blackburn forced their way back into the game on the hour when Yakubu halved the deficit.

The Nigeria forward has been one of Blackburn's few success stories this season and he netted his 17th goal of the season when he diverted Scott Dann's header home after Morten Gamst Pedersen had delivered a corner from the left flank.

There was little risk of Rovers forcing a second goal and Di Matteo introduced Fernando Torres to increase the pressure on the visitors.

Ramires came close to adding a third with a lob from outside the area after a poor Blackburn clearance.

Read more on:    english premier league  |  soccer

Birds flying with Hyundai

51 minutes ago


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Device lets disabled people talk through their nose

A device that converts nose breaths into speech will open new doors for people with Parkinson’s or motor neuron disease.


For chic geeks...

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real
Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!
20 September 2014
Queens Park Rangers v Stoke City, Loftus Road Stadium 13:45
Swansea City v Southampton, Liberty Stadium 16:00
Newcastle United v Hull City, St. James' Park 16:00
Burnley v Sunderland, Turf Moor 16:00
Aston Villa v Arsenal, Villa Park 16:00
West Ham United v Liverpool, Boleyn Ground 18:30
21 September 2014
Leicester City v Manchester United, King Power Stadium 14:30
Tottenham Hotspur v West Bromwich Albion, White Hart Lane 14:30
Manchester City v Chelsea, Etihad Stadium 17:00
Everton v Crystal Palace, Goodison Park 17:00
27 September 2014
Liverpool v Everton, Anfield 13:45
Manchester United v West Ham United, Old Trafford 16:00
Crystal Palace v Leicester City, Selhurst Park 16:00
Southampton v Queens Park Rangers, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Sunderland v Swansea City, Stadium of Light 16:00
Chelsea v Aston Villa, Stamford Bridge 16:00
Hull City v Manchester City, The KC Stadium 16:00
Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur, Emirates Stadium 18:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Is Louis van Gaal the right man to restore the glory days at United?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.