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Match Report


Posted Sun 19 Sep 10 at 21:38 PM


Blackpool fell to their second defeat of the season as they were beaten 4-0 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but the Seasiders will be buoyed by a bold second half showing.

Ian Holloway made one change from the side that beat Newcastle 2-0 last weekend, with Alex Baptise returning in place of Brett Ormerod.

The Seasiders abandoned their favoured 4-3-3 formation as they looked to contain a Chelsea side who have started the season in rampant goal-scoring form; Baptiste anchoring a five-man midfield.

But the visitors were dealt a devastating early blow when Salomon Kalou swept home Didier Drogba's corner-kick to make it 1-0, with supporters still taking their seats.

Things got even worse for the Seasiders on 11 minutes as Drogba found himself with time and space down the right to slide a perfect cross along the penalty area and into the path of Florent Malouda to slot home his fifth of the season.

But Blackpool came within inches of pulling a goal back as Baptiste let fly with a 20-yard effort that had Petr Cech scrambling across his goal.

The chance appeared to give the visitors confidence as the five-man midfield began to display the pass and move football that has yielded seven points from their opening four Barclays Premier League games.

And the Tangerine's resolve was nearly rewarded as Ian Evatt, making his 100th start in tangerine, rose to meet Charlie Adam's dangerous corner-kick but the effort drifted just wide of Cech's right-hand post.

Yet even with John Terry and Frank Lampard absent, Chelsea appeared dangerous with every attack as Ashley Cole raided the left-flank time and again.

And when the left-back escaped the attentions of Neil Eardley on 28 minutes and laid the ball to Drogba inside the box, the Ivorian swivelled and finished with ease, although the shot did appear to take a cruel deflection off Evatt.

Three-nil soon became four as Chelsea eased through the gears; the irrepressible Malouda driving home with chilling efficiency, five minutes before the break.

Eardley made way for Gary Taylor-Fletcher at half-time with Baptiste moving to right-back as Blackpool reverted to their usual shape.

With the shackles removed, the Seasiders looked instantly at ease and were unlucky not to pull a goal back on 48 minutes.

Luke Varney sped through midfield and spotted DJ Campbell making a trademark burst behind the back four and the striker slipped the ball past the onrushing Cech only for Branislav Ivanovic to make a last gasp goal-line clearance.

Just minutes later and Blackpool were at it again when Adam produced a wondrous pass with the outside of his left boot into Varney's path, but his volley flew high into the Shed End.

With the tangerine army in full voice, the visitors continued to attack in numbers and Cech had to be at his best to keep out Taylor-Fletchers delicate, curling effort that appeared destined for the top right-hand corner.

Marlon Harewood and Ormerod were introduced on the hour mark to freshen things up in place of Varney and Grandin.

Drogba and Kalou forced Matt Gilks into two fine saves before Ormerod nearly made an instant impact , heading over Stephen Crainey's sumptuos cross.

It was then the turn of fellow substitute Harewood to miss by the narrowest of margins when he fired into the side netting from six-yards out with the travelling support celebrating what appeared to be a certain goal.

Blackpool continued to press for a consolation but they weren't to be rewarded for a valiant second half display as it finished 4-0 at Stamford Bridge.

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