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Barclays Premier League

St Andrews Stadium (ATT 24,357) 20th November 2010 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Halsey

Birm'ham Birmingham City vs Chelsea Chelsea

Birm'ham 1

L Bowyer (17)

ft

Fabulous Foster denies Chelsea

Lee Bowyer scores winner in epic clash at St Andrews

By James Riach.   Last Updated: 20/11/10 6:05pm

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Foster: Heroic display

Foster: Heroic display

Birmingham City held on for a remarkable 1-0 win over champions Chelsea in the Premier League, following a heroic display from goalkeeper Ben Foster and the entire defence.

Man of the match: Ben Foster was a man possessed in the Birmingham goal and somehow kept Chelsea at bay - superb performance. Goal of the match: Lee Bowyer took his goal with aplomb, sliding the ball home after a great knock-down by Cameron Jerome. Save of the match: Many to pick from...the best coming in the first-half when Foster somehow clawed out a Didier Drogba header that was flying in the far corner. Moment of the match: As the second-half drew on it became apparent that it was just going to be one of those days for Chelsea - epitomised when Foster dived out to deny Salomon Kalou at his feet. Talking point: Three league defeats in four, is it time to worry if you are Carlo Ancelotti?

Still smarting from their humbling at home to Sunderland last weekend, the Londoners travelled to the Midlands looking to right the wrongs of their previous outing, but time and time again they were thwarted by Foster.

Lee Bowyer scored the only goal of the game in the 17th minute - latching on to a Cameron Jerome knock-down and finishing coolly past Petr Cech with his left foot.

It proved to be their last shot on target as in a scene akin to the Alamo, Birmingham set their stall out to defend their goal as if their lives depended on it.

Didier Drogba hit the crossbar with a header in the first half, but it was epic stuff from Roger Johnson, Scott Dann and in particular Foster, that condemned Chelsea to three league defeats in four games.

Chelsea were quickly into their stride and Salomon Kalou missed an early chance to put them ahead.

First miss

Drogba's flick found Kalou with only Foster to beat but his shot went through the legs of the keeper and just past the post.

Foster made a fine save to keep Birmingham on level terms after Drogba was sent clear by Kalou.

It was the kind of chance Drogba would normally convert but Foster raced off his line to reduce the angle and saved low to his left.

Chelsea had quickly established a grip of the game and were taking advantage of having an extra midfield player.

But Birmingham stunned Chelsea by taking the lead via their first worthwhile attack after 17 minutes.

Sebastian Larsson's right-wing cross was headed down by Jerome to Bowyer who was completely unmarked and lashed the ball past Cech for his first goal of the season.

Chelsea tried to retaliate and Foster went down to his right to hold onto Drogba's effort from the right of the box.

He then made a superb reflex save to keep out Drogba's close-range header from Nicolas Anelka's centre.

Chelsea continued to dominate and Foster again did well to beat out an Ashley Cole shot after he had seized onto a pass from Kalou.

Chelsea were carving chances almost at will and Alex had a free header from Florent Malouda's corner but directed it past the post.

Drogba tried his luck with a low 30-yard free-kick and Foster was again alert to turn it around the post.

But he was helpless after 38 minutes when Drogba crashed a header against the crossbar from Malouda's cross.

Ramires was first to react to the rebound but from eight yards out slashed his shot wide.

Chelsea continued in the same manner after the break although there were less clear-cut openings.

Great challenge

Johnson produced a superb tackle to stop Ramires after his run into the box and needed treatment to his knee before being able to continue.

Kalou had Chelsea's best chance to date of the second period when turning back inside but he curled his shot over the bar with Foster off his line.

Carlo Ancelotti brought on Jose Bosingwa in place of Paulo Ferreira after 65 minutes.

The chances started to come again for the visitors with Foster holding onto a Drogba free-kick and Kalou heading wide from Anelka's cross.

Scott Dann's backpass played in Kalou but Foster took the ball away from his feet with a perfectly timed challenge.

Foster parried aside a Branislav Ivanovic header as the pressure again became relentless.

Liam Ridgewell was yellow carded for bringing down Bosingwa but Chelsea could not find a way through.

Birmingham CityTeam StatisticsChelsea
1Goals0
11st Half Goals0
1Shots on Target9
1Shots off Target15
1Blocked Shots8
4Corners16
10Fouls3
0Offsides0
2Yellow Cards0
0Red Cards0
69.9Passing Success81.3
10Tackles10
70Tackles Success70
37.8Possession62.2
40.9Territorial Advantage59.1

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 17 42
2 Manchester City 17 39
3 Manchester United 17 32
4 West Ham United 17 31
5 Southampton 17 29
6 Arsenal 17 27
7 Tottenham Hotspur 17 27
8 Swansea City 17 25
9 Newcastle United 17 23
10 Liverpool 17 22
11 Everton 17 21
12 Aston Villa 17 20
13 Stoke City 17 19
14 Sunderland 17 19
15 West Bromwich Albion 17 17
16 Queens Park Rangers 17 17
17 Crystal Palace 17 15
18 Burnley 17 15
19 Hull City 17 13
20 Leicester City 17 10

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