Rovers claim point at Bridge
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The big spending Blues were denied a share of top spot in The Premiership, by a very good Blackburn side who deserved a share of the spoils.
Blackburn went ahead after just 19 seconds, when Rovers broke straight from kick off.
Matt Jansen took advantage of a Marcel Desailly error before finding Andy Cole who made no mistake.
Chelsea came back strong and thought they had levelled after 30 minutes, but Adrian Mutu's effort was ruled out for offside.
However, the Romanian (pictured) was not to be denied and he levelled matters on the stroke of half time when he raced on to Frank Lampard's through ball before finishing past Brad Friedel.
Blackburn then grabbed the lead just before the hour when Cole scored again.
David Thompson put an iniquitous looking corner into the area, however Carlo Cudicini let the ball slip through his hands and Cole was on hand to grab his second.
Chelsea equalised again just after the hour when Lucas Neill was adjudged to have handled a Geremi cross and Dutch star Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink smashed home from the spot.
Hernan Crespo was handed his debut with 20 minutes left, but he could not force a winner.
Portsmouth could actually have gone clear at the top, but they were held to a goalless draw at Molineux by Wolves - who claimed their first point of the season.
Nathan Blake and Teddy Sheringham went close for the two sides, but neither looked like grabbing a winner.
The one major incident of the whole game came midway in the second half when Pompey boss Harry Redknapp was sent to the stands.
Aston Villa secured their first win of the season with a comprehensive 3-1 win over Leicester City at Villa Park.
The home side took the lead after just eight minutes when Ben Thatcher headed into his own net from a Lee Hendrie corner.
Just three minutes later Juan Pablo Angel headed home a Peter Whittingham cross to double Villa's advantage.
The Colombian then grabbed his second of the game when he swooped at the near post to fire home, after good work from Vassell and Whittingham.
Leicester's task was not helped when Les Ferdinand was dismissed for two yellow cards just five minutes before the interval.
Muzzy Izzet curled home a great free kick on 53 minutes to give them some hope, but it was not enough as Villa held on easily for victory.
Birmingham claimed a terrific win at Newcastle, with the only goal of the game coming from David Dunn.
The Blues were well worth all three points and grabbed the crucial goal just before the hour.
Gary Speed brought down Damien Johnson in the area, Dunn stepped up with the penalty which Shay Given saved - but the England man was first to react and hammered home the rebound.
A brace from Barry Hayles helped Fulham to comprehensive 3-0 win over London rivals Tottenham at White Hart Lane.
The first came after 23 minutes when Hayles took advantage of Dean Richard's slip to race clear and fire home.
Fulham's and his second arrived just after the hour when another error, this time from Darren Anderton, allowed Hayles to take advantage and again beat Kasey Keller in the home goal.
It was three with 18 minutes left when Fulham counter attacked in fine style, and Hayles found Luis Boa Morte in the area who finished clinically to make it 3-0.
Middlesbrough's dismal start to the season continued as Leeds punished Boro's poor finishing by securing a 3-2 win at The Riverside.
Lamine Sakho grabbed his first goal for Leeds to put them ahead after 16 minutes when he raced on to a Jermaine Pennant pass before finishing past Mark Schwarzer.
Boro levelled the game on the hour mark when Szilard Nemeth fired past Paul Robinson after being set-up by Gaizka Mendieta.
Steve McClaren's side then took the lead when Juninho curled home from the edge of the area.
Zoumana Camara headed Leeds back into the game when he got on the end of a Pennant corner with 18 minutes left.
Boro had enough chances to bury their Yorkshire rivals, but they failed to convert any of them and were made to pay in the final minute.
Andy Davies, who had an outstanding game, slipped - which allowed Mark Viduka through on goal and he lobbed Schwarzer to give Leeds all three points.
Bolton claimed their first point of the season with a 0-0 draw against Charlton Athletic at The Reebok Stadium.
A pretty dour affair was bereft of any major chances, although Youri Djorkaeff and Jonatan Johansson both had opportunities to possibly win it late on.
Click below for match summaries:
Aston Villa 3-1 Leicester
Bolton 0-0 Charlton
Chelsea 2-2 Blackburn
Middlesbrough 2-3 Leeds
Newcastle 0-1 Birmingham
Tottenham 0-3 Fulham
Wolves 0-0 Portsmouth
Click here for Premiership table