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Chelsea 4-0 Blackpool


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Chelsea 4-0 Blackpool


Salomon Kalou scored after just 71 seconds whilst Florent Malouda and Didier Drogba also found the net in a comfortable victory for Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea.

The champions were excellent in the first-half and opened up an impressive 4-0 lead after just 41 minutes thanks to Salomon Kalou's early opener, a brace from Florent Malouda and a strike from captain Didier Drogba. But whilst the Blues were exceptional with their passing and moving in the first-half, they demonstrated the defensive qualities of their starting eleven with a resilient display in the second half, despite captain John Terry missing out through injury.

Carlo Ancelotti made a host of changes to the side that thrashed MŠK Žilina in Slovakia on Wednesday, with Ashley Cole, Paulo Ferreira, Alex, Ramires, Salomon Kalou and Didier Drogba all returning to the side. But his players showed no signs of a European hangover when Kalou hooked the ball home after little more than a minute. Drogba's inswinging corner was headed on at the near post by Branislav Ivanovic, giving Kalou the freedom of the six yard box to poke the ball home and give the Blues a very early lead.

Michael Essien, currently in great goalscoring form, then had a couple of chances. After spanking an effort from distance just over, he then tried to bundle the ball home in the box but in the midst of an on-pitch melee, a Blackpool foot found the ball first and Tangerines were able to clear.

But the Blues' whirlwind start was seeing them impossible to contain, with Paulo Ferreira and Ashley Cole effectively acting as additional midfield players. And the paying customers at Stamford Bridge did not have to wait long for their team to double the lead when Malouda fired home his fifth of the season after a well-crafted passage of play.

In a move that showed the swift efficiency of the champions, Kalou fed the ball down the channel to Drogba, who in turn crossed intelligently for Malouda to fire under Matthew Gilks in front of the Shed End. Gilks may have performed heroics at St James' Park the previous weekend, but he was praying for a miracle as Chelsea continue to turn on the style. That being said, it took a good piece of goalkeeping from Gilks' opposite number; Petr Cech, to maintain Chelsea's lead when he made an exceptionally good low save from Alex Baptiste's low strike.

Cole and Malouda were particularly rampant, with the marauding Essien also posing a massive threat to Ian Holloway's side. The Frenchman then fired awkwardly wide after Drogba had fashioned a chance, but the chances were Chelsea were going to score again considering the array of attacking talent on the pitch - even though the likes of Frank Lampard, Nicolas Anelka and José Bosingwa were all absent.

And it was Drogba who extended the home side's advantage when he fired home via a deflection after Essien had dissected the Blackpool defence. The Ghanaian played a long, raking ball to Ashley Cole, who in turn fed Drogba. The rest was typical of the Blues' number 11; the turn and instant shot deflecting beyond a stranded Gilks.

Cole then fired across the face of goal before Malouda made it 4-0 with an emphatic finish that gave Gilks no chance. Kalou had squared from the right after Drogba had played his compatriot through after winning possession in the centre circle and spraying the ball forward. Kalou demonstrated good ball retention to feed it to Malouda, who wasted no time in returning to the top of the Premier League scoring charts - six in five for the Frenchman, now.

Whatever Ian Holloway did at half-time seemed to work for Blackpool as they had their fair share of possession and the chances in the second half. First, DJ Campbell saw an effort hooked off the line by Branislav Ivanovic, before Luke Varney hooked over after Charlie Adam had played a brilliant ball to the far post. Cech then had to be at his best to deny Gary Taylor-Fletcher a consolation; tipping over his deflected effort.

Kalou's touch then let him down as Gilks denied Chelsea their fifth goal, before Malouda found the goalkeeper's midriff with a decent effort. Though the Blues had shown great gusto in their first half display, they were looking lethargic following the interval - Ancelotti clearly had an eye on the midweek Carling Cup clash with Newcastle. And that line of thought was highlighted when Jeffrey Bruma came on to replace Alex. Yossi Benayoun and Yuri Zhirkov would also later join the fray, replacing John Mikel Obi and Ramires - two players who had enjoyed fine afternoons.

Chances then became few and far between - Malouda poked wide when trying to complete his hat-trick, before Kalou hit only fresh air from a pull-back by the Frenchman. The ball fell to Cole, who saw his shot blocked, and Chelsea's second half performance was summed up when Drogba smashed the ball over from twelve yards.

The Blues might have had a penalty late on, but referee Mark Clattenburg signalled an end to the game and a very satisfying result for Chelsea. Some fans may be disappointed they did not build on their impressive half-time lead, but Ancelotti's side showed their defensive qualities in the second half with an efficient rearguard performance. A one-hundred percent record after five games makes for impressive reading - three points against Manchester City next weekend would make that statistic even more eyebrow-raising.


Chelsea - Cech; Ferreira, Ivanovic, Alex (Bruma 71), Cole; Essien, Mikel (Benayoun 77), Ramires (Zhirkov 74); Kalou, Drogba, Malouda

Blackpool - Gilks; Eardley (Taylor-Fletcher 46), Keinan, Evatt, Crainey; Bapiste; Grandin (Ormerod 60), Vaughan, Adam ©, Varney (Harewood 60); Campbell

The TalkChelsea.net Man of the Match was Chelsea's number 15, Florent MALOUDA


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Props to Holloway.. We could've sunk Blackpool with the way we were playing but he made 1 sub which seemed to sort that left hand side of defence, he put on Taylor-Fletcher and suddenly we found it harder to score. He also made some positive changes bringing on Harewood almost to say "we've got nothing to lose now, let's see if we can shake their defence up a bit"

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Again, as against Zilna the passing was frightening at times, unbeleivable, and could quite easily have ended in double figure score line.

Their fans chanting ''Can we Play you every week ?'' when 4-0 down made me laugh.....

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