Lampard heads winner for Chelsea

Blackburn 0 Chelsea 1

Frank Lampard’s second-half winner provided Chelsea with some much needed cheer – but they rode their luck at Ewood Park.

Branislav Ivanovic created the all-important goal, delivering a brilliant cross with the outside of his right foot which Lampard met with a diving header.

The result was a major boost for the Blues following back-to-back Premier League defeats and the recent furore surrounding captain John Terry.

Lampard’s goal – his seventh of the season – came six minutes after the interval and livened up what had been a dull game.

Both teams struggled to create chances during a first half in which Petr Cech was left with a bloodied nose after a collision with Chelsea team-mate Ashley Cole.

It happened during a scramble that ended with Yakubu missing a great chance to put Blackburn ahead, firing wide from close range when it seemed easier to score.

Despite his injury, Cech carried on and underlined his importance with a crucial second-half save to keep out Yakubu’s curling effort after a mix-up between Terry and Alex.

But Chelsea were also reliant on some terrible Rovers finishing.

Yakubu’s early miss paled into insignificance compared to Grant Hanley’s failure to equalise when presented with a virtually open goal.

After Cech could only parry Morten Gamst Pedersen’s free-kick, Hanley looked certain to level but shot straight at the prostrate Chelsea keeper.

And the visitors had another lucky escape when Pedersen’s late corner was headed against the bar by Gael Givet.

Chelsea missed a sitter of their own in injury time.

Fernando Torres, on as a half-time substitute for the ineffective Florent Malouda, volleyed Cole’s cross woefully over from five yards out.