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The FA Cup

Stamford Bridge (ATT 36,870) 18th February 2012 - Kick off 12:30 Ref: M Atkinson

Chelsea Chelsea vs Birmingham City Birm'ham

Chelsea 1

D Sturridge (62)


Birm'ham 1

D Murphy (20)

Live Commentary

Last Updated at 7:21 pm, February 18th 2012

  1. Well, the FA Cup fifth-round gets off to an exciting start and I am sure there is much more to come. Thanks for joining me, I hope you enjoyed the coverage.

  2. Birmingham equipped themselves very well today and Doyle in particular was very impressive for the Championship side. Chelsea lacked ideas and creativity and the pressure will continue to grow under Andre Villas-Boas. They will meet again provisionally on March 6 at St Andrews in a 19.45 kick-off.

  3. It's all over at Stamford Bridge. These two sides will go at it again in a replay. Chelsea may have got the equaliser in the second half but that wasn't enough to prevent more boos from the stands.

  4. 90+3

    The free-kick is pumped into the box but Davies header doesn't have enough power to trouble Cech. They win another free-kick to keep the pressure on Chelsea but Redmond is called offside as they try to attack on the left.

  5. 90+2

    David Luiz is booked for a reckless foul.

  6. 90+2

    Into the second of the three added minutes here.

  7. 90+1

    It is Lampard in fact who hits it but the wall does its job. Chelsea attempt to get the ball back in the box is wasted as the assistant's flag is up for an offside.

  8. 90

    Lots of players in blue fancy it but surely Drogba is the favourite to take this.

  9. 89

    Chelsea have a free-kick now in Birmingham's half. They work the ball towards the box and win another free-kick, this time in a very good position, just outside the area.

  10. 88

    Chelsea lose the ball again and Mutch tries his luck from distance but it goes wide of the target.

  11. 88

    Suddenly a little spell for Birmingham towards the end here. Luiz leaves a gap in defence as goes to claim a header, but the ball falls to Redmond who goes through on goal. He side-foots it unconvincingly though to provide Cech with an easy save. Should have done better.

  12. 87

    Doyle is in no rush as he takes his goal-kick.

  13. 86

    Ivanovic breaks forward on the right. He plays a one-two with Drogba, surging into the box. Before he can get a shot he falls to the floor as Chelsea appeal for a penalty. Not given, correctly it appears.

  14. 85

    Drogba wins a corner after his cross was deflected behind by Ibanez, but no chance is created from it.

  15. 84

    Lampard comes on for Mata. The Chelsea fans don't seem impressed with Mata being replaced.

  16. 83

    Birmingham make their final change with Burke replacing Elliot.

  17. 82

    Before that though they come forward with Meireles who was helped by a fortunate touch. He passes to Kalou who is called offside.

  18. 82

    Chelsea are ready to bring Lampard on at the next opportunity.

  19. 81

    Meireles has an attempt on goal but it goes wide with little threat.

  20. 81

    Redmond chases Cahill all the way in the Chelsea half but the defender does well to get the ball clear and find a blue shirt.

  21. 80

    Spector intercepts Mata's cute ball into the box. Birmingham come forward to win a free-kick in a central position.

  22. 79

    Birmingham come forward with Mutch and try and instigate an attack from the right but are unable to work the ball into the box.

  23. 78

    Luiz searches out Drogba from defence but the striker can't win it in the air.

  24. 78

    Mutch strikes at goal and finds the target but Cech gets down low towards his left post to make the save and hold onto the ball.

  25. 77

    Mutch wins a free-kick for Birmingham in a decent position as he is clipped by Ramires.

  26. 76

    Some good work by Ivanovic allows Chelsea to gain control of possession again.

  27. 76

    Redmond sells Murphy short in a rare spell of possession for the visitors. They do have a thow though on the left.

  28. 75

    Some concern for Birmingham fans as Doyle looks to be in pain with some sort of foot injury.

  29. 74

    Mata gets the ball back from his corner but his cross travels wide, nowhere near a blue shirt.

  30. 73

    The corner is cleared only as far as Meireles on the edge of the area. He blasts the ball goalward but it takes a deflection and goes over. Could have gone anywhere.

  31. 73

    Sturridge threatens from the right, but Murphy sees his intention as clears the ball behind for a corner.

  32. 72

    Birmingham make a change now as Jervis comes on for Elliot.

  33. 71

    Chelsea have a great chance from the following move. Ramires picks out Mata on the left, who fires the ball across the six-yard box. The ball is deflected loose, and Ivanovic comes to finish. Elliot makes a decisive block to prevent the hosts taking the lead there.

  34. 70

    It is all Chelsea at the moment and they have a corner after Droga's presence forced Ibanez to get it clear.

  35. 69

    Chelsea moving the ball well in Birmingham's half but Ivanovic's chipped ball towards Mata in the box is cut out.

  36. 68

    Sturridge then attacks from the right but his cross is claimed by Doyle.

  37. 67

    Chelsea have a free-kick on the left wing now. Meirleles hits it towards the six-yard box but Doyle punches away.

  38. 65

    Chelsea looking comfortable on the ball and look capable of turning this around completely. They will need more quality in the final third however to do that. Ivanovic's cross was the first time they really troubled Birmingham's defence.

  39. 64

    Redmond and Murphy look to combine but the goalscorer's ball back to the winger is cut out by Ramires.

  40. 63

    Kalou has a headed chance as Chelsea seek another goal straight away, but he is leaning backwards and can't help it going over.

  41. 62

    Chelsea's persistance pays off as Ivanovic delivers a super ball in from the right wing. Chelsea had numbers in the box and it was Sturridge who nodded home past Doyle to get them back on terms.

  42. 62

    GOAL - Sturridge.

  43. 61

    Luiz switches the ball forward to the right as Chelsea seek an opening. Rooney almost gets on the end of a cleared ball but Chelsea are able to get the ball back.

  44. 59

    Good chance for Chelsea. The long ball comes in from the left and Mata takes a nice touch to distance himself from his man, but fires narrowly wide with his right foot.

  45. 58

    Chelsea are controlling posession in Birmingham's half. Meireles tries to float the ball into the box but the visitor's defence is looking very sturdy and they are able to see it to the hands of Doyle.

  46. 57

    Kalou is coming on for Chelsea, replacing Mikel.

  47. 56

    Mutch plays a clever ball to the edge of the area for Redmond to have a go, but it flies over. Good idea from Birmingham.

  48. 55

    Mutch swings a good-looking free-kick into the box. Murphy is unable to get his head to it but Birmingham have a corner.

  49. 55

    Cahill is booked for that challenge.

  50. 54

    Luiz looks to play a one-two with Drogba but Mutch intercepts the play well. He looks for Rooney who is fouled by Cahill.

  51. 53

    Kalou looks like he may be making an appearance soon, as Villas-Boas seeks to change the course of this match.

  52. 52

    Specter looks to hit a deep free-kick into the box but Chelsea get it clear.

  53. 51

    Sturridge is called offside as he tries to collect the ball.

  54. 49

    Birmingham are unable to get the ball into the box and Chelsea come forward. Ivanovic searches out Drogba with a diagonal ball from the right, who is unable to get to the ball before it runs out. Drogba's attempt to get the ball back in play as soon as possible is popular amongst the Chelsea faithful.

  55. 48

    Ivanovic does well to deal with the threat of Redmond but Chelsea are unable to get the ball clear and Birmingham have a throw on the left flank.

  56. 48

    Drogba's first involvement as he chases down a long ball into the box. Doyle comes out well to claim the ball.

  57. 47

    Chelsea now with a free-kick in the middle of the park.

  58. 46

    Ramires fouls Murphy for a Birmingham defensive free-kick.

  59. 46

    Birmingham get us underway again. A half-time change for Chelsea as Torres is replaced by Drogba. Could this make a big difference to the second-half? Only time will tell.

  60. Well, Chelsea were heavy favourites to win this one and as you can imagine, those odds have changed. SkyBet have Chelsea at 13/8 to turn this tie around, Birmingham are 15/8 to seal victory while the draw is available at 7/4. Visit for all your in-game betting needs.

  61. Martin Atkinson blows his half-time whistle to a chorus of Chelsea boos.

  62. 45+1

    Mata bursts forward into Birmingham's box but he is tackled excellently by Ibanez.

  63. 45

    Just a minute to be added to this first half.

  64. 44

    Chelsea forward again. Ivanovic goes past Redmond and then crosses. Torres looks to control the ball but takes an awful touch. Mata almost spares his blushes by rushing in to head towards goal, but Doyle is able to make the save.

  65. 43

    Chelsea having plenty of the ball in Birmingham's half but struggling to advance past Birmingham's organised defence. Strurridge's low shot is blocked.

  66. 42

    'Jose Mourinho' is the chant from the Chelsea fans...Worrying times for Villas-Boas.

  67. 41

    A good move by Chelsea, but Sturridge's through ball into the box is deflected back. The ball falls to Mikel, who from distance, goes for goal. His attempt goes just wide but Doyle had it covered.

  68. 40

    Ramires loses control of the ball on the left wing, allowing Birmingham to clear their lines.

  69. 39

    Unlucky for Sturridge. Torres heads the ball down towards him, he takes a touch before blasting it on the half-volley. It goes narrowly over.

  70. 38

    Danger is not over as Ramires swings the ball in towards the back post. Ivanovic makes a good run but can't quite reach it as the ball runs out of play.

  71. 37

    Chelsea have a free-kick which Mata floats into the box but Birmingham head clear. They have been unchallenged so far in the air this afternoon.

  72. 36

    Birmingham work the ball forward and Redmond is found onside on the left side of the box. His shot is saved by Cech from a tough angle.

  73. 35

    The corner is cleared without danger.

  74. 35

    Luiz hits it accurately and with power but Doyle tips it over for a corner.

  75. 34

    Luiz is fouled by Mutch after a surging run into the Birmingham's half. The defender will take the free-kick.

  76. 33

    Birmingham are unable to find a target in the box and ball is cleared.

  77. 32

    Birmingham advance well with Mutch. The ball is passed to Murphy on the left wing, his cross deflecting out for a throw.

  78. 31

    Mata goes for goal from a long way out and that is an easy catch for Doyle. Chelsea are playing better but are looking extremely frustrated.

  79. 30

    Meireles hits an inswinging cross from the left but it fails to find a blue shirt.

  80. 29

    Mata controls the ball nicely as Chelsea move forward. He feeds Torres on the left area of the box, who tries to cut inside but is challenged well by Davies.

  81. 28

    Ramires fouls Fahey to give Birmingham a free-kick in their own half shortly after Chelsea were denied a claim for a second penalty when Ibanez appeared to have brought down Sturridge. Would have been very soft.

  82. 27

    Good chance for Chelsea as they come forward on the break. Sturridge hits a low cross in from the left towards Torres. Davies makes a great interception however to deny the Spaniard a shot on goal.

  83. 26

    Redmond now on the left wing for Birmingham but Ramires does well to win the ball.

  84. 25

    Cahill pumps the ball forward towards the right side of the box but Birmingham head clear.

  85. 24

    This game has suddenly come to life.

  86. 23

    Mata hits the penalty towards the left corner but Doyle does brilliantly to save on to the post. Birmingham are able to clear the ball. Disaster for Chelsea.

  87. 22

    Penalty for Chelsea. Chance for an instant reply for the hosts as Ramires is tripped by Elliot in the box.

  88. 21

    Mutch's corner is headed on by Rooney. Complete disarray in the Chelsea box as the hosts' defence are unable to get to the ball, which falls to Murphy at the back post to fire home. 1-0 to Birmingham.

  89. 20

    GOAL - Murphy.

  90. 20

    Redmond then wins a corner off Ivanovic.

  91. 19

    Birmingham enter Chelsea's half with Murphy coming forward.

  92. 18

    Birmingham enjoy some good passing until Elliot gives the ball to Mikel. The Nigerian however returns the favour by hitting an aimless ball forward for Doyle to gather.

  93. 17

    Chelsea certainly in control of the game at the moment but are yet to have an effort on goal.

  94. 16

    Chelsea enjoy some passing on the left wing. Mata tries to put the ball into the box but Murphy heads away. The ball is then crossed from the right into the path of Mata, who if his first touch was better bringing the ball down, would have had an excellent chance to open the scoring. Goal-kick.

  95. 15

    Bertrand almost plays himself into trouble in defence but the ball deflects out for a Chelsea throw on the left.

  96. 14

    Birmingham take control of the ball following Chelsea's goal-kick.

  97. 13

    Chelsea's throw-in on the left results in Mikel trying to loft the ball into the box but Birmingham clear their lines.

  98. 12

    Carr has hurt himself and will have to come off. He passes the armband to Davies and is replaced by Spector.

  99. 11

    Luiz's header from the corner is a bit dangerous for Chelsea, but fortunately for him it deflects Murphy to go out for a goal-kick.

  100. 10

    Birmingham win a corner after Redmond's run on the left forces Cahil to slide the ball behind.

  101. 9

    Ivanovic intercepts the ball well in the centre and bursts forward. The ball falls to Sturridge who tries to skip past Davies but the defender does well to force him wide and then earn a goal-kick off the forward's legs.

  102. 8

    Bertrand stops Carr's threat on the right wing and wins a throw-in for his side at the same time.

  103. 7

    Ramires tries to run the ball to the by-line and deliver a cross into the box but he goes too far and concedes a goal-kick.

  104. 6

    Chelsea regain possession and Luiz's long ball is chested down well by Torres, but the move breaks down.

  105. 6

    Ramires concedes a foul to allow Doyle to punt it up the field for Birmingham.

  106. 5

    Sturridge runs down the left wing for Chelsea but his attempted cross doesn't beat the first man.

  107. 4

    Nice bit of skill from Meireles in the middle of the park before he feeds Torres on the left. Chelsea keep possession for a bit in Birmingham's half without really threatening and the ball ends up going out for another goal-kick.

  108. 3

    Ivanovic races down the right wing but asks too much of himself and runs the ball out of play. Goal-kick for Birmingham.

  109. 2

    Chelsea have a goal-kick which Cech has to take again as the ball was not inside the six-yard box.

  110. 1

    Luiz feeds Meireles who tries to curl the ball into the box with the outside of his right boot but Birmingam are able to gather the ball easily.

  111. 1

    Chelsea kick-off in their blue home kit with Birmingham in yellow today.

  112. Chelsea are 2/7 favourites to win this tie with SkyBet. Birmingham are 17/2 to cause an upset while the draw is available at 9/2. Chelsea should be comfortable winners today and I would tip a 3-1 victory for the hosts, which is available at 11/1. Visit to view all markets.

  113. Today's referee is Martin Atkinson.

  114. Frank Lampard, Michael Essien and Jose Bosingwa all miss out as Chelsea make four changes for today's FA Cup fifth-round tie against Birmingham. Ramires, John Obi Mikel and Gary Cahill are recalled after injury and illness, Ryan Bertrand is handed a rare start at left-back for the injured Ashley Cole, while Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou are surprise substitutes following the African Nations Cup. Npower Championship promotion chasers Birmingham make five changes, drafting in Colin Doyle, Pablo Ibanez, Morgaro Gomis, Nathan Redmond and Adam Rooney.

  115. Here are the teams..

  116. Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Bertrand, Ramires, Mikel, Meireles, Sturridge, Torres, Mata. Subs: Hilario, Essien, Lampard, Drogba, Malouda, Bosingwa, Kalou.

  117. Birmingham: Doyle, Carr, Davies, Ibanez, Murphy, Redmond, Fahey, Mutch, Elliott, Gomis, Rooney. Subs: Butland, Caldwell, Burke, Spector, Asante, Reilly, Jervis.

  118. Welcome to Stamford Bridge for this FA Cup fifth-round tie between Chelsea and Birmingham. I'm Oliver Bell and I'll steer you through the match minute-by-minute. In the meantime send your thoughts and predictions to and I'll try and post as many as possible. Team news coming up...

  119. Kick-off is at 1230 GMT.


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    Sat 18th Feb - Fifth Round