Birmingham City Vs. Chelsea, 2012 FA Cup: Di Matteo Has Perfect Debut

Though it wasn't exactly pretty or against the highest level of competition, Roberto Di Matteo's first match in charge of Chelsea FC went well. His team looked a bit poor in the first half of their FA Cup replay against Birmingham City at St. Andrews, but looked like the much better team in the second half as they eventually coasted to a 2-0 victory.

Juan Mata scored the opener 54 minutes in on a move that was more encouraging than just about everything that either team did in the first 45 minutes, even before the ball hit the net. Ramires created the chance with a cross, which fell to Daniel Sturridge. He couldn't get a shot off and Birmingham couldn't clear. With the ball bouncing around, Mata eventually stepped up and blasted the ball over the line to give his side the lead.

Raul Meireles scored the clinching goal six minutes later with an absolutely stunning strike. Branislav Ivanovic started the move by beating his man on the right and putting the ball into the box. A few touches around the box eventually resulted in Ramires laying off for Meireles, who ripped a brilliant strike into the net from 25 yards.

Fernando Torres drew a penalty in the 70th minute on a foul by Guiranne N'daw, but Mata didn't take a great spot kick and Colin Doyle was able to make a save. It would ultimately not matter, as Birmingham failed to score. Chelsea advance to host Leicester City in the FA Cup quarterfinals.

For more on the Blues from West London, check out Chelsea FC blog We Ain't Got No History.

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