Chelsea see off Blackburn

Stewart Coggin

Captain John Terry headed the Blues in front on the half-hour mark and Raul Meireles quickly doubled the lead against relegated Rovers on the final day of the season.

Yakubu reduced the arrears with a close-range finish but Blackburn’s final Premier League game ended in defeat.

Romelu Lukaku was handed his first Premier League start by Roberto Di Matteo as he rested preferred strikers Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres ahead of the Champions League final against Bayern Munich next Saturday. Ross Turnbull again started in goal while there was a full Premier League debut for youngster Sam Hutchinson at right-back.

For Blackburn, Jake Kean made his debut in goal, replacing the injured Paul Robinson. Adam Henley, Marcus Olsson and Mauro Formica came in to replace Bradley Orr, David Dunn and Anthony Modeste.

Turnbull had to be on his mettle early on as he tipped over a deflected effort from Jason Lowe.

Chelsea soon got into their stride: Kean had to dive at the feet of Lukaku, while Daniel Sturridge headed disappointingly into the side-netting from close range.

Lukaku was clearly enjoying his first league start and it was from his cross that Chelsea took the lead on the half-hour mark. The burly frontman cut in on his left foot and delivered an inswinging cross that Terry headed into the top right-hand corner after rising superbly above Henley.

The Blues quickly doubled the lead when Michael Essien left Morten Gamst Pedersen for dead on the right before dribbling into the area and finding Meireles, whose first-time shot arrowed into the far corner.

Kean had to scramble to keep out an inswinging cross from Lukaku while Ramires spurned a presentable opportunity as the Blues continued to dominate.

Sturridge cut in from the right and fired over the bar and Lukaku shot across goal before being replaced by Drogba early in the second-half.

Blackburn introduced Josh Morris in place of the ineffectual Formica at half-time and the youngster missed a great chance when he shot tamely at Turnbull with all of the goal to aim at.

But Steve Kean’s side got back into the game on the hour when Scott Dann rose above Terry to head a corner towards goal and Yakubu applied the finishing touch from close range.

Ramires struck the bar with a cheeky lob and Sturridge’s goalbound effort deflected off Martin Olsson and forced a spectacular save out of Kean.

Sturridge blasted horribly wide at the far post and Ryan Bertrand came agonisingly close to making it 3-1, but Chelsea ended the domestic season with a victory - and will now turn their attentions to Munich.

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