Chelsea finally stopped the rot today as they beat Blackburn Rovers to climb back into the top four. Looking to end their worst run in the league for almost 15 years after winning just one of their previous nine games, the Blues dominated from start to finish at Stamford Bridge.
Both their goals came from corner kicks courtesy of Branislav Ivanovic and Nicolas Anelka, with their final ball continuing to let them down in open play. The duo also found the net against Rovers back in October – Anelka continuing a superb personal record against Blackburn – but their efforts today were arguably even more precious.
Despite reports he might attend the game, there was no sign of billionaire owner Roman Abramovich prior to kick-off. Chelsea needed no extra motivation to end their miserable run, knowing they could leapfrog fourth-placed Tottenham for at least 24 hours. And buoyed from Sunday's 7-0 FA Cup thrashing of Ipswich, the home side flew out of the traps.
Ramires smashed the ball against the bar, Michael Essien just put a header wide and both Didier Drogba and Jose Bosingwa fired over from range in a swashbuckling first half.
But, without a goal, they were almost caught out themselves when they gave Junior Hoilett space to shoot and force a fine save from Cech, with only desperate defending preventing Nikola Kalinic and Lowe pouncing on the rebound.
An under-pressure Frank Lampard nodded from point-blank range before Anelka was desperately unlucky not to score when he flicked Drogba's wicked ball against the post.
Chelsea finally got the goal their overall dominance deserved in the 57th minute. Pedersen flicked John Terry's header from Florent Malouda's corner straight to Ivanovic, who held off Ryan Nelson before squeezing a shot past both him and Salgado.
Almost 20 minutes later, Ivanovic leapt highest to head goalward, with Anelka making sure from point-blank range.
Daniel Sturridge replaced Malouda for the final three minutes and Chelsea comfortably played out time.