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FA CUP 5TH ROUND REPLAY: Professional Chelsea performance sees off Birmingham

Chelsea shrugged off a traumatic few days for the club by progressing into the sixth round of the FA Cup courtesy of second half goals in the 2-0 success at Championship Birmingham. Chelsea caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo may only have a short tenure in the hot-seat at Stamford Bridge but he immediately made his intentions clear by axing Frank Lampard and Michael Essien and strikers Didier Drogba and Daniel Sturridge from the starting line-up but recalling misfiring front man Fernando Torres.

An open first half saw Juan Mata miss an early opportunity to put the visitor's ahead but it was Birmingham's Nikola Zigic who came closest top opening the scoring with a header.

But two goals in six minutes decided the outcome of the game and gave Chelsea a cushion that they could even afford to miss a penalty.

Mata set the Blues on their way with a scrappy finish from close range after confusion in the Birmingham defence.

Then almost immediately some fine interplay between Raul Ramires, Mata and Branislav Ivanovic ended with Raul Meireles scoring a superb second.

Mata slightly blotted his copy book by having his penalty saved by Colin Doyle after Torres had been brought down which gave the home side hope to launch a late offensive, but without being at their best Chelsea held on comfortably to meet Leicester at home in the quarter finals.

Referee: Taylor

Venue: St Andrews

Attendance: 21,822

Birmingham scorers: Chelsea scorers: Mata 54, Meireles 60

TRIBAL ASKS: Could such decisive team selection by Di Matteo possibly get him the job full time? Yellow cards: Zigic (BIR), Torres (CHE)

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Dave Williams

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