This was a game where we showed how strong the depth of our squad is as we swept away Blackpool without JT, Frank and Nicolas Anelka present.
However it was also a game of chalk and cheese in terms of the difference between our performance in the first and second half.
Once again we got off to a flying start. It took just two minutes when Drogba’s corner was flicked on by Branislav Ivanovic and Kalou supplied the finish at the far post.
After the match Ian Holloway said that at that point “plan a had gone out of the window” and plan b (if there was one) seemed to follow it quite quickly as just on 12 minutes we got our second.
Kalou put Drogs clear of the Blackpool defence then instead of having a shot himself, he chose to cross brilliantly for the unmarked Malouda to drill home his fifth goal of the season.
Ivanovic almost made it three seconds later but his header from a Malouda corner fell just wide of the upright.
Petr Cech who quite frankly could have being sitting in the proverbial “deck chair” was forced into his first save of the game in the 16th minute when he tipped a shot from Alex Baptiste around the post.
The third goal came on the half-hour when Ashley Cole provided for Didier whose shot on the turn was deflected past Blackpool’s Matthew Gilks. It was Drogba’s fifth of the season.
We were now rampant and in the 38th minute another attack by us almost brought yet another goal as Paulo Ferreira headed the ball into space for Kalou to collect but his cross was smashed wide by Malouda.
Another simple Chelsea move sliced Blackpool open in the 41st minute to make it 4-0. This time Didi’s ball over the top to Kalou was inch-perfect and he crossed for Flo to fire into the bottom corner.
Gilks, who must have been dreading it every time we got hold of the ball then managed to thwart Drogba in the 44th minute as he looked to make it five.
Such is the way we are playing at the moment that for the second half the Matthew Harding must have been licking their lips in anticipation.
All credit to Blackpool though as they were not ready to give up without a fight and quite early on Ivanovic had to clear off the line from DJ Campbell while substitute Gary Taylor-Fletcher brought a fine save from Cech. Later he had another curling shot which was going in until Petr tipped it over the bar.
Moments later Luke Varney squandered a chance for the visitors when he volleyed over from eight yards.
We certainly seemed to have lost the initiative, or maybe we were just conserving energy for the games ahead and at 4-0 we were comfortable but Carlo Ancelotti spent a good deal of time gesturing and arm waving from the dug out.
Another break from Malouda reminiscent from the rampant first half caused Blackpool all sorts of problems when he powered into the box into a one on one with Gilks. This time though, the keeper came off the better as Florent stumbled about the ball before his shot was smothered.
It looked like Blackpool had pulled one back minutes later when another decent move from the visitors saw Charlie Adam square into the box from the right of goal but sub Marlon Harewood hit inches the wrong side of the near post. There was a massive cheer from the orange brigade; I think they would have been very happy, even if we had scored a hatful more, to have gone home with just one in the net.
During the 70th-80th minute when we had reached the safety mark Carlo made a succession of substitutes with Bruma for Alex, Benayoun for Mikel and Zhirkov replacing Ramires who had shown plenty of running for his first Stamford Bridge start.
Drogba continued to threaten right up until the final whistle but Holloway’s side was determined to shut us out in the second half and this they managed to their credit.
So we have won all of our first 5 games and scored 21 goals with only one conceded. A decent performance with sterner tests yet to come. First half couldn’t be faulted even if the second was a bit of a let down.
Graeme’s chant of the day:-
From the Matthew Harding:- “we want 5! we want 5!”
………response from the Blackpool faithful “we want 1! we want 1!!
Gill Reeves – CSG disabled rep