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Chelsea 0 - 0 Blackburn


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Stamford%20Bridge%20Stadium.jpgChelsea 0 - 0 Blackburn Rovers Premier League – 15 September - Stamford Bridge - 17:15 kick-offAfter a brief international break, Chelsea resumed their Premier League campaign with a frustrating and eventful encounter with Mark Hughes' Blackburn Rovers.A controversial decision upset José Mourinho when Salomon Kalou tapped home from Juliano Belletti's pin-point cross on the hour-mark, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside. Mourinho and assistant Steve Clarke berated the fourth official and the linesman on the near side, with their point a fair one - as television replays indicated that whilst the ball was played forward, Kalou was clearly onside.After the game, Mourinho revealed that he would be "waiting for an apology" from referee Howard Webb, although he admitted it was not so much the referee's decision that cost the West London team all three points and a chance to climb to second in the Premier League table, rather that of the linesman.The draw means that after six games, Chelsea have eleven points - their worst start to a Premier League campaign since Claudio Ranieri was the manager. With a midweek encounter with Norwegian side Rosenborg before the crunch showdown with champions Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday, Chelsea could find themselves well behind current league leaders Arsenal, who also have a game in-hand over their neighbours. Not only this, but Chelsea are also sitting fourth in the Premier League and have not scored a goal in almost four hours of football.For the game against a Blackburn side who earned a highly-creditable draw at Ewood Park against Arsenal, Mourinho opted to stick with the same backline and goalkeeper that had started the 2-0 loss to Aston Villa. Juliano Belletti began at right-back, with Ashley Cole operating on the opposite flank. John Terry and Alex played at centre-half, with Petr Cech looking to build on the clean-sheet he had kept for the Czech Republic on Wednesday. The midfield, still lacking Frank Lampard, featured three English players. Michael Essien began once again, this time Steven Sidwell playing alongside him in central midfield. The impressive Joe Cole made his first start of the campaign after two excellent displays for England - Florent Malouda dropping to the bench. Shaun Wright-Phillips was hoping to score his first goal of the season for Chelsea after opening the scoring for England in the 3-0 victory over Israel, and Andrei Shevchenko was finally available to replace the injured Didier Drogba alongside the exciting Salomon Kalou. Tal Ben Haim, John Obi Mikel, Paulo Ferreira and Carlo Cudicini joined Malouda on the substitute's bench.Blackburn had Tugay missing, so Mark Hughes returned to his favoured 4-4-2 formation with Roque Santa Cruz returning to the fold. The team was highly recognisable from the last campaign, with Friedel in goal, Warnock, formerly of Liverpool, at left-back, Bentley, Savage, Norwegian winger Pedersen and Dunn in the midfield, and former Porto striker Benedict McCarthy beginning alongside Santa Cruz. McCarthy had been an ever-present in José Mourinho's all conquering European Champions of 2004 and subject to plenty of media speculation during the summer regarding a possible transfer to Stamford Bridge.However, but for all of Blackburn's stout defending, there was little sign of the sense of adventure usually shown by Mark Hughes' side, and the Blues' record of 65 unbeaten home Premier League games rarely looked under threat.A minute's appreciation for former Chelsea manager Ian Porterfield was followed by an amazing period of atmosphere from the Stamford Bridge faithful. The opening exchanges showed that both managers were prepared to throw men forward when on the attack, as possession exchanged hands on plenty of occasions.Joe Cole; still flying high after his two excellent performances for England in the past week, was causing problems already for Blackburn, and his opposite number David Bentley was proving to be a handful for Ashley Cole. However, the experienced former-Arsenal man showed why he is first-choice for José Mourinho, resulting in Blackburn’s ventures down the Chelsea left coming to waste.With ten minutes played, Blackburn were already living up to their reputation of strong tacklers. Wright-Phillips launched a shot across goal after Joe Cole and his namesake Ashley had made space. Meanwhile, the Chelsea backline was standing firm from Blackburn pressure, with Sidwell, Essien and Alex all fulfilling their defensive responsibilities.A further ten minutes past, with Chelsea already asserting their authority on the ball. Belletti was catching the eyes of the sell-out crowd at Stamford Bridge, with most of the Blues’ play coming through the Brazilian and Wright-Phillips on the right-hand flank.On twenty two minutes, Belletti continued to impress when he launched a pin-point cross through the eye of a needle. Shevchenko connected with the cross, but the Ukrainian sent the ball well over Brad Friedel’s crossbar from a magnificent cross that deserved an equally splendid finish. Shevchenko, however, was unable to deliver.Belletti continued to show enthusiasm to pump balls into the box, feeding Kalou with plenty of deep crosses. However, Chelsea’s lack of a natural target man was obvious as Claudio Pizarro and Didier Drogba and their ability to hold the ball up was apparently missed.On twenty seven minutes, Chelsea were presented with the best chance of the game, and it took all of Blackburn’s brilliant goalkeeper Friedel to stop the team from going a goal down to Chelsea, who were by now beginning to take the game by the scruff of the neck.Joe Cole took on three Blackburn players, before knocking the ball into the feet of Michael Essien’s driving run. The Ghanaian powered past a defender to earn himself a yard of space, and his screaming shot stung the fingertips of Brad Friedel, who tipped the ball over the bar with the greatest of agility.Shevchenko continued to frustrate both himself and the Chelsea fans on the half hour mark, and Joe Cole set up an inventive through ball which Kalou duly collected. Placing the ball to Shevchenko’s feet, the Ukrainian was unable to get the ball into his instep, and Friedel collected before Shevchenko could get a shot off in time. The Chelsea number 7’s luck had not been the same since he had joined the club the previous summer.Wright-Phillips found space before shooting wide as Chelsea were presented with a number of goal scoring opportunities before the half-time whistle was sounded. Essien’s shot from distance after a labouring run from Ashley Cole was deflected wide for a corner, which was then cleared, before Joe Cole launched a shot into Friedel’s midriff. Joe Cole was looking the most likely goalscorer, as he continued to make the Blackburn full-backs work for their money. Launching a lob just before half time, the clever pass fell just short of Ashley Cole who was merely yards out.Half-time went, and Mourinho was not happy with his side. Having already disappeared to prepare his half-time team-talk, good news began to filter through that Liverpool had drawn at Fratton Park against Portsmouth. It was the perfect opportunity to leapfrog the Anfield side.55 minutes in, Mourinho was displeased. Substituting both Sidwell and Wright-Phillips, Mikel and Malouda were introduced into the fray with little over half an hour to earn all three points. Mourinho changed to a 4-3-3, with Mikel slotting into Sidwell’s vacant midfield position alongside Essien, and Joe Cole completed the new line-up. Malouda moved into a front three, with Shevchenko operating as a lone striker with the Frenchman and Kalou in support.The flowing football earned Chelsea even more possession, and on fifty seven minutes, Chelsea seemed to had found the breakthrough. Belletti steered a wonderful cross that evaded everyone bar Salomon Kalou, who duly scored. However, the goal was chalked off for offside – a decision that displeased Mourinho and mortified the stadium. Enter a substantial period of abuse for the referee.On 69 minutes, the ineffective McCarthy was replaced by Jason Roberts as Mark Hughes sensed there was more than a chance for Blackburn to steal the game as time passed. Belletti and Joe Cole found themselves in the referee’s notepad moments later, but the Blackburn freekick lacked any serious conviction as Petr Cech won his goalkick.Moments later, Chelsea’s goalkeeper had to use every muscle in his body to tip over a powerful drive from Robbie Savage. With Blackburn beginning to get a foothold in the game, Cech dealt with the Welshman’s shot brilliantly as he parried it away for a corner. The resulting corner saw Chelsea fans hold their breath as a shot from a Blackburn player found the side netting with Cech rooted to the spot.Kalou sent a shot inches wide after a long range clearance from the goalkeeper Cech, but all of Chelsea’s luck was summed up when Shevchenko headed goalwards. Friedel threw himself to save the attempt, and in the fracas that followed, an accident occurred in which Shevchenko’s boot connected unintentionally with the head of Christopher Samba. The Blackburn defender was substituted after a lengthy spell of treatment.Ben Haim was introduced to add some steel to the backline as John Terry was moved upfront as a striker to hold the ball up. Unfortunately, despite the crowd’s best efforts to galvanise their team, the final whistle sounded moments after a barrage of Chelsea attacks from Kalou and Andrei Shevchenko in particular, and Blackburn had survived.Squads and RatingsChelsea (4-4-2) Cech: Belletti, Alex, Terry ©, A Cole (Ben-Haim 87): Wright-Phillips (Malouda 55), Sidwell (Mikel 55), Essien, J Cole, Kalou, ShevchenkoBooked J Cole, Belletti.Blackburn (4-4-2) Friedel: Emerton, Samba (Ooijer 90), Nelsen ©, Warnock: Bentley, Savage, Dunn, Pedersen, Santa Cruz, McCarthy (Roberts 67).Booked Savage.Chelsea RatingsCech - 7 – Excellent when called in to action.Alex - 8 – Strong display, looked unbeatable.Terry - 7 - A typical day at the office for the Chelsea skipper.A. Cole - 7 – Looked solid with Joe Cole on the left flank.Belletti - 8 – Arguably the most exciting player on the pitch.Ben Haim – 6 – – Tried his hardest and looked solid.Sidwell - 6 –Took a while to settle.Wright-Phillips - 6 – Seemed ineffective against Warnock, but some moments of class shone through.Joe Cole - 8 – Man of the Match candidate – had inspiration where others lacked conviction. Essien - 7 – Tried his hardest to push his team to three points.Malouda - 6 - – Added some much-missed creativity.Mikel – 7 – – Added some security to the midfield when Blackburn threatened.Shevchenko - 7 – Tried his hardest.Kalou - 7 - Had a couple of good chances.Referee - 3/10 Chelsea - Stats - Blackburn0 - Goals - 0 6 - Shots on Target - 1 9 - Shots off Target - 44 - Blocked Shots - 1 9 - Corners - 2 21 - Fouls - 13 6 - Offsides - 0 2 - Yellow Cards - 10 - Red Cards - 0 58% -Possession - 42% Star ManJoe ColeViews of the Blues
that’s one of the 5 most frustrating games of all time. We were excellent yesterday i think, we did nothing wrong, we did win anyway but only got 1 point for it. as the saying goes...'it was just one of those days'. We did nothing wrong, we played good stuff (well defensively, the long balls pissed me off), we dominated the game, we scored, we didn’t concede, Brad Friedel made a stunning save, we created numerous chances. Can't moan at the team, or the performance. It was just one of those days.Think about it....Birmingham = Deserved to win as we battered them, but only ended up winning 3-2, but yeah, we won and deserved to.Reading = they missed a sitter at 1-0 up which hit the post, we were shocking in the first half, but 2 goals at the start of the second half won us the game. A draw would of been the fair result in all seriousness, but we won, so 2 pts better off.Liverpool = We deserved to lose, got a dodgy pen and equalised, 1 point better off.Portsmouth = We were crap tbh, Portsmouth should’ve scored at the end and would’ve done if it wasn't for Ashley Cole’s diving header off the line. Portsmouth deserved a draw. 2 points better off.Aston Villa = We were better in the first half, we played great stuff, specially in the first 20 mins but didn't take our chances. Villa played well in the 2nd half and took their chances. Draw would of been the fair result but we lost so 1 point down. for that one.Blackburn = Thoroughly deserved to win, but 2 points dropped. If it was on what we deserved, we would be on 9 points, but we have 11. We can't complain to much. you win some, you lose some, you draw some, its football. Gotta try taking the positives.The thing that frustrated me the most was Man Utd getting another shitty 1-0 with a header from a corner. They deserve to be like 15th. There's a long way to go. We all know who the best team is, and they don't play in red.

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