Four goals in the first half, both the Chelsea and Blackpool supporters expected a lot more, but they never came.
With no Lampard, Terry or Anelka in the starting line up, this was never guaranteed, especially against a team that likes to attack, yet Chelsea got off to the perfect start, a corner from Drogba flicked on at the near post by Ivanovic for Kalou to volley home within 90 seconds of kick off.
Chelsea unpicked Blackpool’s 4-1-4-1 formation with ease, and it was only 11 minutes or so later that it was 2-0. An incisive Chelsea break saw Kalou play the ball down the right-hand channel for Drogba, who ran the ball into the area and squared to the onrushing Malouda who rifled it home into the bottom corner.
It was Drogba who then made it 3-0 after Ashley Cole cut inside the Blackpool right back and laid the ball to our captain for the day, who turned as he slipped as he did so, with a deflection assisting the balls path past the Blackpool keeper. Malouda made it 4-0 on 40 minutes with a low strike that gave the Blackpool keeper no chance after some great work in the midfield by Drogba.
With the half time came a change in formation and thinking from Blackpool and they set out to attack Chelsea, making efforts throughout the half and were unlucky not to score. The Blackpool supporters were always in good voice and spirits with chants of ‘We’re gonna win 5-4’ and as the match drew on, ‘We want one, we want one, we want one’.
By all accounts they enjoyed their day out a lot more than their team, and if they keep on playing as they did in the second half, then I expect them to avoid relegation this season. Chelsea could and should have had more, but once the game was secured, who could blame our boys for easing off a bit.
Apologies for the brevity of this report, I’m still somewhat hungover from a session with some of the Blackpool lads last night, a top set of supporters and I’m looking forward to the return leg in their neck of the woods.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Ferreira, Alex (Bruma 71), Ivanovic, Cole; Essien, Mikel (Benayoun 77), Ramires (Zhirkov 74); Kalou, Drogba (c), Malouda.
Scorers Kalou 1, Malouda 11, 40, Drogba 30.