Chelsea 4-0 Blackpool- Blues cause downpour on Seasiders
Written by Joe Carroll
Chelsea romped their way to a 4-0 victory yesterday as they welcomed newly promoted Blackpool to West London in a fashion that has become typical of the Premier League champions.
A first half downpour was enough to see off the Seasiders, extending an impressive 100% winning record in domestic competition to five games. Goals from Soloman Kalou, Didier Drogba and a brace from Florent Malouda did enough to open up a four point gap at the top of the Premier League.
Blues fans would have taken their seats upon kick off in much the same anticipation as they would have for the last four league outings. More than just rubbing their hands together to keep warm in the autumnal conditions, the Chelsea faithful must have been rubbing them with glee at this fixture. Despite Blackpool’s excellent start to the season, the highlights of which includes a 4-0 opening day hammering over Wigan and a well fought 2-0 snatch-and-grab at St James Park, the bookies were not about to predict an upset here.
And the hosts began as they meant to go on. Within just two minutes clocked up, Chelsea took the lead. The statisticians worked out that Blackpool touched the ball just once before Kalou opened the scoring. That touch gave the home side a corner from which Branislav Ivanovich flicked on at the near post, in turn giving the Ivorian forward a simple tap in at the back.
Their intention was purposeful and clear for all present at Stamford Bridge, and even more clear was that this was a side that even without first team regulars such as Frank Lampard, John Terry and Nicolas Aneka, were in the mood to party. Not that Chelsea were particularly flash in their play. In the true style of champions they were both direct and ruthless in their pursuit of three points.
With 12 minutes of time passed, the Blues found their lead doubled, and you began to sense that it would be another one of those days in West London. Drogba was released down the right hand channel and his well placed cross provided Malouda with the simplest of tap-ins. Blackpool were completely overwhelmed by the sheer forcefulness of Chelsea’s opening performance. So often have we seen the Blues so unforgiving in front of goal in the first exchanges of a game, and this was no exception as Chelsea toyed with and attacked the visitors at every opportunity.
In an almost identical fashion to their midweek tie in European competition, Chelsea found themselves strolling and three goals to the good by the half hour mark. Ashley Cole, who due to his overwhelming coverage of the left flank could be forgiven for putting up a ‘Keep Off Ashley’s Grass’ sign was causing havoc once more. Cutting inside the England international found Drogba who, with his back to goal swung an ambitious right boot at the ball. His shot deflected unkindly against the shin of the unfortunate Ian Evatt, leaving goalkeeper Matthew Gilks with nothing to do but pick the ball out of his net.
If the Tangerines were struggling, the task of salvaging something from the game was about to get a lot more difficult. Ian Holloway would have been desperate to get his players into the dressing room with the damage as it was. However Chelsea had other ideas. The attacking trio of Drogba, Kalou and Malouda were proving a hit all afternoon, and moments before the break the three combined to extend Chelsea’s lead. Drogba found his international team mate with an inch perfect pass who in turn provided the ball that allowed Malouda to net his second of the game, finishing low into the bottom corner.
The game as a contest was effectively over by the time Mark Clattenburg blew to the tune of thousands of home fans dash for their half time pie. But perhaps for the better of the neutral, and certainly for the better of the travelling support, Carlo Ancelotti’s men took their foot off the gas somewhat. In fact the first real chance of the second half fell to the Seasiders, as DJ Campbell found that he had somehow breached the Chelsea defence- a feat that seemed utterly beyond them in the first half. The Blackpool striker struck low and hard, and with the effort beating Petr Cech Chelsea had Ivanovich to thank for keeping their clean sheet intact.
A number of flurrying attacks from either side was enough to liven up the game without relying on a Chelsea whitewash. And whilst Blackpool can be pleased with their efforts in the second half, the home side may feel they could have done more in the closing period to make the 19th September a more memorable occasion. Not that Ancelotti could possibly be aggrieved with his players in anyway. With important players missing, his team were more than value for money, and performed to the high standards we’ve come to expect from a championship winning side.
Whilst still early days at the Bridge, Chelsea fans could not have asked for a better start, knowing that goals and more importantly wins breed confidence for those all important games against stronger opposition. The only worry for Ancelotti is that his squad gets complacent. But on the evidence of the second half yesterday afternoon, that won’t happen too easily.
The defence held firm when they needed to, whilst the Blues could play with freedom and expression in the final third without the worry or panic of needing a goal. Unfortunately for Blackpool, it doesn’t just rain on the Lancashire coastline, it pours.
How impressive were the Blues without a bunch of their star names?…Do 6 and 4-0 thrashings put the side in good stead for the more challenging fixtures?…please leave your comments below…
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