Lampard brace sinks Seasiders
Frank Lampard scored twice after John Terry's opener to give Chelsea a 3-1 win at Blackpool and raise hopes of a belated push to defend their Barclays Premier League title.
The Stamford Bridge side's £50million striker Fernando Torres may have drawn a blank again but the two experienced England internationals ensured there was no upset. Jason Puncheon hit a late consolation but Chelsea moved to within nine points of leaders Manchester United with a match in hand.
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.
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.
Blackpool 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.
Within seven minutes of coming on for Didier Drogba, Solomon 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 Premier League debutant 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.