Blackburn beat Chelsea 1-0

Blackburn, May 3:

Steven Reid turned home a free kick from Robbie Savage and Blackburn edged newly crowned Premier League champion Chelsea 1-0 on Tuesday to guarantee its berth for the UEFA Cup next season.

The only goal of the game came two minutes before halftime at Ewood Park as Mark Hughes’ team moved within a point of fifth-place Arsenal and became only the fourth club to have beaten Jose Mourinho’s team in league action this season.

Rovers joined Manchester United, Fulham and Middlesbrough — and Manchester City in October 2004 — as clubs to have defeated the Blues in the Premier League in their last 75 games.

With Chelsea having captured its second Premier League title in a row by beating Manchester United 3-0 on Saturday, Mourinho rested seven of his regulars at Ewood Park and the Blues made little impact in the first half.

Two minutes before halftime, Savage curled in a free kick from the left flank and the ball got the slightest of touches off Reid’s head and went inside the far post.

Chelsea replied strongly in the second half and Rovers’ American goalkeeper, Brad Friedel, made a top quality, reflex save to thwart a first-time shot from Eidur Gudjohnsen and then flicked a long range shot from substitute Joe Cole over the bar. Chelsea players angrily sought a penalty when Hernan Crespo was felled inside the area with 10 minutes to go.