John Terry opened our account on 20 minutes, scoring a header whilst unmarked from a Lampard corner. Lampard then made it 3 in the space of five minutes after scoring from the spot and then open play.
Jason Puncheon got a late consolation goal for the Tangerines on 86 minutes, after finding himself with space in the Chelsea penalty area and firing low and hard under Petr Cech keeping up Blackpool’s record of scoring in every home game.
As the two sides lined up before kick-off at Bloomfield Road the fans could read the attacking intent Blackpool boss Ian Holloway was bringing to the touchline. “I’ll still try and attack because we need to win the game, although a draw wouldn’t be a bad result,” he said in his pregame programme notes.
Ashley Cole was making a landmark 200th appearance in a Chelsea shirt in the Premier League clash which we were hoping to take three points from after beating league leaders Manchester United 2-1 in our previous game.
After just 7 minutes Richard Kingson in the Blackpool goal had an extended spell laid out in his own penalty area after a clash with Didier Drogba. Cue a worried looking Holloway on the side-line as substitute ‘keeper Mark Halstead ran the line in preparation for coming on for what would have been his first Premier League appearance. Thankfully for the Seasiders their man between the sticks recovered.
It was just before the 20 minute mark before anything of note happened in front of either goal. Terry beat Kingson from a Lampard corner after a bright start for the home side. The Chelsea skipper made a run from the edge of the area amidst poor marking and connected with the corner, heading the ball into the awaiting goal to make it 1-0 Chelsea.
Just Minutes later the Blackpool goal was threatened again as José Bosingwa found himself in space on the right hand corner of the Seasiders’ penalty area and blasted a shot which was curling into the top far corner, forcing an acrobatic save from Kingson.
James Puncheon nearly pulled one back for Blackpool after a mistake by Yuri Zhirkov saw him run at the Chelsea defence and fashion enough space for himself to get the shot away. It was a low, powerful shot which skipped along the surface of the turf. Petr Cech, making the save, nearly pushed the ball into his own net – but luck was on his side as the ball bounced away off of the inside of the left hand post.
Blackpool went on to enjoy a spell of positive possession with a number of attempts on target and a few half chances – defenders Ian Evatt and Neal Eardley coming closest.
It was Ramires though who had the last chance of the half. Cutting in from a wide position and finding himself on the edge of the Blackpool D. He let rip with a long range effort but Kingson pounced quickly to push the ball out for a corner.
The referee called time on the first half after 48 minutes of end-to-end, open, flowing football. We were leading by one goal, but Blackpool were still firmly in contention.
Ten minutes into the second half Drogba picked up an injury after a collision with James Beattie in his own penalty area. He signalled that a change needed to be made and after what seemed to be an age Saloman Kalou came on to replace him in his 93rd appearance for the Blues from the bench.
On 61 minutes Blackpool gave away a penalty after Evatt brought down Kalou in the box.
Step up Lampard to send Kingson the wrong way, coolly slotting the ball to the left of the ‘keeper low and hard along the ground.
Lampard scored again just moments later, earning himself two goals in five minutes, after receiving a clever ball from Kalou which cut through the Blackpool defensive line. The 20-goal-a-season midfielder took a touch and ran into the Tangerines’ box and with just Kingson left to beat placed his shot to the right this time as the keeper could only watch the ball roll into the back of his net.
Moments after the third goal, Kingson headed off the pitch for Halstead in a substitution that seemed a long time coming.
With 15 minutes remaining Fernando Torres received the ball a few yards into the Blackpool half from Michael Essien. He worked his way into the box and tried to beat the fresh keeper with a cheeky chip with the outside of his boot. Halstead held comfortably, furthering the frustrating start Torres has had to endure so far during his time with us.
Blackpool had a chance to secure themselves a consolation goal in the last 10 minutes as Matt Phillips found himself free on the break. But it wasn’t to be as the substitute screwed his shot wide across the face of goal from the left after working himself into a decent shooting position.
However, on the 86th minute the Seasiders finally managed the goal they probably felt they deserved and it was Puncheon who found the back of the net after a ball from Beattie. He struck the ball low and hard to the right of Cech who was unable to get down quick enough to stop the shot.
With just two minutes of the game left Brett Ormerod nearly put the home side right back in it, coming very close to scoring in a packed Chelsea penalty area but shooting just wide.
So with United’s second loss in a row, this time at Anfield the door to the title may just have opened a little.
Because of that the next league game against Manchester City becomes vital. A win there and the desired minimal fourth place finish would be more than likelihood and everyone could be looking at Chelsea again.
Gill Reeves – disabled rep CSG
Stats from the BBC website:
Blackpool 1-3 Chelsea
• Puncheon 86
• Terry 20
• Lampard (pen) 62
• Lampard 66
• 28 Kingson (Halstead 66)
• 03 Crainey
• 05 Eardley
• 06 Evatt
• 15 Baptiste
• 04 Southern
• 11 Vaughan
• 29 Carney (Phillips 73)
• 42 Puncheon
• 43 Reid (Ormerod 72)
• 44 Beattie
• 13 Halstead,
• 14 Grandin,
• 23 Phillips,
• 10 Ormerod,
• 12 Taylor-Fletcher,
• 16 Varney,
• 41 Kornilenko
• 01 Cech
• 03 A Cole
• 04 David Luiz
• 17 Bosingwa
• 26 Terry
• 05 Essien
• 07 Ramires (McEachran 74)
• 08 Lampard
• 18 Zhirkov (Malouda 72)
• 09 Torres
• 11 Drogba (Kalou 55)
• 22 Turnbull,
• 02 Ivanovic,
• 19 Ferreira,
• 15 Malouda,
• 46 McEachran,
• 21 Kalou,
• 39 Anelka