Frank Lampard, left, scored the only goal of the game for Chelsea at Blackburn.
Frank Lampard, left, scored the only goal of the game for Chelsea at Blackburn.

Familiar face rides to Chelsea's rescue


Richard Jolly

BLACKBURN // There was a time when a 1-0 win for Chelsea was barely even noteworthy. It seemed their default scoreline, the sort of result they could churn out on autopilot.

Not any more. But by revisiting their past, they extricated themselves from the most difficult period of Andre Villas-Boas's reign.

After suffering back-to-back league defeats, respite was provided by the reliable Frank Lampard, whose winner halted the slump. Queens Park Rangers and Arsenal have still damaged Chelsea's season, but reports of their demise, not for the first time, are looking a little premature.

This was the Chelsea of old, winning efficiently but with few flourishes. The flair Villas-Boas hopes to add was largely absent, but this was not an occasion for aesthetic appeal."It was important to win, no matter what," he said.

It was all about the result and the clean sheet. After a seismic shock to the system, in the shape of the 5-3 loss to Arsenal, a shutout was necessary.

It was also fortunate. Steve Kean has often deemed his side unfortunate in his unsuccessful reign. Here, his grievances were valid. "We certainly had some chances," he said. "We're disappointed we didn't get anything."

Blackburn were the more threatening side, fashioning more clear-cut chances and given cause to regret their lack of a high-class striker.

Admittedly, Fernando Torres, who meets that description, was guilty of a glaring miss at the other end, but profligacy cost Rovers rather more.

Yakubu was the principal culprit, shooting wide in the ninth minute after Junior Hoilett and Mauro Formica had combined to unlock the Chelsea defence. Given a second clear-cut opportunity, he was denied by Petr Cech.

The goalkeeper also repelled a vicious free kick from Morten Gamst Pedersen and the rebound, scuffed rather than struck, by Grant Hanley. Then a corner, whipped in with trademark accuracy by Pedersen, was headed against his own bar by Branislav Ivanovic.

The right-back Ivanovic played a pivotal part at either end. One of those culpable against Arsenal, he was moved from the centre of defence but illustrated his attacking abilities by setting up Lampard's sixth goal in eight games.

The Serb's cross was brilliantly struck with the outside of his right foot, curling viciously towards Lampard, who stooped to head.

"It was a good goal," Villas-Boas said. "Frank has found his timing to arrive in the box like the old days and the cross from Ivanovic is inch perfect. We managed to get the first goal which was important in terms of emotional stimulus."

Apart from another Lampard effort and the injury-time shot Torres ballooned over the bar, it was an isolated threat. Blackburn were the busier in attack.

"My players gave it everything," Kean said. Their backing for the manager was evident. The supporters, however, are more divided. They circumnavigated the ban on banners by flying a plane over Ewood Park carrying the message "Steve Kean Out".

The Scot claimed he did not see it, although the plane circled Ewood Park for much of the first half. Truth be told, their grounds for protest lie in his overall record rather than recent displays. With three wins in the last 25 Premier League games, their slump has included the majority of 2011.

Results may not have improved, but performances seem to at least.

"I don't think you can continue to play like that without going on a very, very strong run," Kean added. "We are confident we can climb the table."

They need to. But both sides are in search of a winning formula.

Villas-Boas's boldness was apparent when the teamsheets were handed in and Torres was benched. He was summoned after a soporific first half, with Daniel Sturridge sent back to the right flank. But this was not a day for the Chelsea of the future.

It was all too fitting therefore that the winner came from a familiar face as Lampard reprised his old role as match-winner.

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Going grey? A stylist's advice

If you’re going to go grey, a great style, well-cared for hair (in a sleek, classy style, like a bob), and a young spirit and attitude go a long way, says Maria Dowling, founder of the Maria Dowling Salon in Dubai.
It’s easier to go grey from a lighter colour, so you may want to do that first. And this is the time to try a shorter style, she advises. Then a stylist can introduce highlights, start lightening up the roots, and let it fade out. Once it’s entirely grey, a purple shampoo will prevent yellowing.
“Get professional help – there’s no other way to go around it,” she says. “And don’t just let it grow out because that looks really bad. Put effort into it: properly condition, straighten, get regular trims, make sure it’s glossy.”

'Ashkal'

Director: Youssef Chebbi

Stars: Fatma Oussaifi and Mohamed Houcine Grayaa

Rating: 4/5

The specs

Engine: Dual synchronous electric motors
Power: 660hp
Torque: 1,100Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Touring range: 488km-560km
Price: From Dh850,000 (estimate)
On sale: October

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Other ways to buy used products in the UAE

UAE insurance firm Al Wathba National Insurance Company (AWNIC) last year launched an e-commerce website with a facility enabling users to buy car wrecks.

Bidders and potential buyers register on the online salvage car auction portal to view vehicles, review condition reports, or arrange physical surveys, and then start bidding for motors they plan to restore or harvest for parts.

Physical salvage car auctions are a common method for insurers around the world to move on heavily damaged vehicles, but AWNIC is one of the few UAE insurers to offer such services online.

For cars and less sizeable items such as bicycles and furniture, Dubizzle is arguably the best-known marketplace for pre-loved.

Founded in 2005, in recent years it has been joined by a plethora of Facebook community pages for shifting used goods, including Abu Dhabi Marketplace, Flea Market UAE and Arabian Ranches Souq Market while sites such as The Luxury Closet and Riot deal largely in second-hand fashion.

At the high-end of the pre-used spectrum, resellers such as Timepiece360.ae, WatchBox Middle East and Watches Market Dubai deal in authenticated second-hand luxury timepieces from brands such as Rolex, Hublot and Tag Heuer, with a warranty.

SHALASH THE IRAQI

Author: Shalash
Translator: Luke Leafgren
Pages: 352
Publisher: And Other Stories

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

TWISTERS

Director:+Lee+Isaac+Chung

Starring:+Glen+Powell,+Daisy+Edgar-Jones,+Anthony+Ramos

Rating:+2.5/5

The Letter Writer

Director: Layla Kaylif

Stars: Eslam Al Kawarit, Rosy McEwen, Muhammad Amir Nawaz

Rating: 2/5

Friday's schedule at the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

GP3 qualifying, 10:15am

Formula 2, practice 11:30am

Formula 1, first practice, 1pm

GP3 qualifying session, 3.10pm

Formula 1 second practice, 5pm

Formula 2 qualifying, 7pm

While you're here

Michael Young: Where is Lebanon headed?

Kareem Shaheen: I owe everything to Beirut

Raghida Dergham: We have to bounce back

Coal Black Mornings

Brett Anderson

Little Brown Book Group 

MATCH INFO

CAF Champions League semi-finals first-leg fixtures

Tuesday:

Primeiro Agosto (ANG) v Esperance (TUN) (8pm UAE)
Al Ahly (EGY) v Entente Setif (ALG) (11PM)

Second legs:

October 23

Our legal columnist

Name: Yousef Al Bahar

Advocate at Al Bahar & Associate Advocates and Legal Consultants, established in 1994

Education: Mr Al Bahar was born in 1979 and graduated in 2008 from the Judicial Institute. He took after his father, who was one of the first Emirati lawyers

The 24-man squad:

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Koen Casteels (VfL Wolfsburg).

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Thomas Meunier (Paris Saint-Germain), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City).

Midfielders: Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Nacer Chadli (West Bromwich Albion), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Youri Tielemans (Monaco), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur).

Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea/Dortmund), Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Dries Mertens (Napoli).

Standby player: Laurent Ciman (Los Angeles FC).

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-final, first leg
Bayern Munich v Real Madrid

When: April 25, 10.45pm kick-off (UAE)
Where: Allianz Arena, Munich
Live: BeIN Sports HD
Second leg: May 1, Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid

Match info

What: Fifa Club World Cup play-off
Who: Al Ain v Team Wellington
Where: Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain
When: Wednesday, kick off 7.30pm

Liverpool 4-1 Shrewsbury

Liverpool
Gordon (34'), Fabinho (44' pen, 90'+3), Firmino (78')

Shrewsbury
Udoh (27'minutes)

Man of the Match: Kaide Gordon (Liverpool)

The Roundup : No Way Out

Director: Lee Sang-yong
Stars: Don Lee, Lee Jun-hyuk, Munetaka Aoki
Rating: 3/5

SPEC SHEET: SAMSUNG GALAXY Z FLIP 4

Display: Main – 6.7" FHD Dynamic Amoled 2X, 2640 x 1080, 22:9, 425ppi, HDR10+, up to 120Hz; cover – 1.9" Super Amoled, 512 x 260, 302ppi

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, 4nm, octa-core; Adreno 730 GPU

Memory: 8GB

Capacity: 128/256/512GB

Platform: Android 12, One UI 4.1.1

Main camera: Dual 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2) + 12MP wide (f/1.8), OIS, portrait, super slo-mo, hyperlapse

Video: 4K@30/60fps, full-HD@30/60fps, HD@30fps; slo-mo@240/960fps; HDR10+

Front camera: 10MP (f/2.4)

Battery: 3700mAh, 25W fast charging, 15W wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, 'all-day' life

Connectivity: 5G; Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC (Samsung Pay)

I/O: USB-C

Cards: Nano-SIM + eSIM; no microSD slot

Colours: Bora purple, graphite, pink gold, blue; Bespoke Edition in select countries

In the box: Flip 4, USB-C-to-USB-C cable

Price: Dh3,799 / Dh3,999 / Dh4,449

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

PRO BASH

Thursday’s fixtures

6pm: Hyderabad Nawabs v Pakhtoon Warriors

10pm: Lahore Sikandars v Pakhtoon Blasters

Teams

Chennai Knights, Lahore Sikandars, Pakhtoon Blasters, Abu Dhabi Stars, Abu Dhabi Dragons, Pakhtoon Warriors and Hyderabad Nawabs.

Squad rules

All teams consist of 15-player squads that include those contracted in the diamond (3), platinum (2) and gold (2) categories, plus eight free to sign team members.

Tournament rules

The matches are of 25 over-a-side with an 8-over power play in which only two fielders allowed outside the 30-yard circle. Teams play in a single round robin league followed by the semi-finals and final. The league toppers will feature in the semi-final eliminator.

The specs

Engine: Dual synchronous electric motors
Power: 646hp
Torque: 830Nm
Transmission: Two-speed auto (rear axle); single-speed auto (front)
Price: From Dh552,311; Dh660,408 (as tested)
On sale: now

How to avoid getting scammed
  • Never click on links provided via app or SMS, even if they seem to come from authorised senders at first glance
  • Always double-check the authenticity of websites
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for all your working and personal services
  • Only use official links published by the respective entity
  • Double-check the web addresses to reduce exposure to fake sites created with domain names containing spelling errors
The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: seven-speed auto

Power: 420 bhp

Torque: 624Nm

Price: from Dh293,200

On sale: now

Top 10 most competitive economies

1. Singapore
2. Switzerland
3. Denmark
4. Ireland
5. Hong Kong
6. Sweden
7. UAE
8. Taiwan
9. Netherlands
10. Norway

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

The Transfiguration

Director: Michael O’Shea

Starring: Eric Ruffin, Chloe Levine

Three stars


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