Chelsea win without hitting top gear

Blackpool 1 Chelsea 3

If Chelsea are to mount a belated defence of their Barclays Premier League title, they will have to play a lot better than they did at Blackpool.



But crucially Carlo Ancelotti's side showed they can still win without hitting top gear.



January's £50million transfer Fernando Torres may have drawn yet another blank in his fifth match since joining from Liverpool, but fortunately for the Blues they did not need his goals.



There will come a time in the run-in when the Spain striker will have to produce the goods if they are to have a chance of reeling in Manchester United's nine-point advantage, even with a match in hand.



But at Bloomfield Road it was Chelsea's tried and tested players who did the job, with Frank Lampard scoring twice in the second half after captain John Terry had given them the lead before the interval.



Jason Puncheon's late goal caused a few wobbles in the visitors defence, but the Stamford Bridge side had enough experience to ensure there were no slip-ups.



The scoreline may have looked comfortable for Chelsea but, like many visitors to the seaside this season, they found themselves on the back foot for long periods in the first half.



David Carney, on his first appearance for almost a month, had a productive 45 minutes down the left wing as Jose Bosingwa found himself turned inside-out on several occasions.



The Australian tried to test Petr Cech early on, cutting the ball back on to his right foot, but could only curl a shot straight at the Chelsea goalkeeper.



Minutes later he found himself clear in the area after Bosingwa failed to win possession but opted not to shoot, mis-placed his pass and the opportunity was lost.



Blackpool looked far more the inventive team, with Chelsea's front two of Didier Drogba and Torres - still to open his account for his new club after 406 goalless minutes of action - again failing to impress as a partnership.



However, the hosts could not make their early possession tell and Seasiders manager Ian Holloway would have been fuming with the manner in which his side conceded the opening goal against the run of play.



When Lampard swung over a 20th-minute right-wing corner, Terry easily slipped his marker to head home the simplest of chances.



The visitors briefly threatened to press home the advantage, with Bosingwa forcing Richard Kingson into a fingertip save with a left-footed shot from the right angle of the penalty area, but it was not long before Blackpool resumed control.



They were almost gifted an equaliser in the 33rd minute when Puncheon found space in the inside-right channel to skip past David Luiz and shoot low at Cech, who let the ball slip through his fingers and was relieved to see it bounce off a post.



The Czech goalkeeper was only slightly more convincing when he just managed to get a fingertip on Ian Evatt's cross-shot to help it over the crossbar.



Chelsea finished the half as they had started it, under pressure, although Ramires' long-range effort had Kingson diving to his right to palm his shot behind in added time.



Drogba lasted less than 10 minutes of the second half before he fell under a challenge from James Beattie in the Chelsea penalty area and was replaced by Solomon Kalou.



More by luck than invention the substitution provided the visitors the spark which they had been missing for most of the game.



Within seven minutes of coming on, Kalou won a penalty when Evatt felled him in the box, allowing Lampard to put his side in the comfort zone from the spot.



Four minutes later the England midfielder slotted home his fourth goal in as many matches after Kalou again provided the through-ball.



As if things were not bad enough for Blackpool, Kingson then had to go off injured and be replaced by Mark Halstead.



With nine minutes to go, substitute Matt Phillips should have reduced the deficit when sent racing clear by Keith Southern, but he flashed a shot wide of Cech's far post.



Puncheon succeeded where his team-mate had failed from a similar position in the 86th minute, but it did nothing to ease Blackpool's growing worries.



They have won only once in the last nine matches and have been sucked into a relegation battle, just two points above the bottom three.



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015