A never say die attitude guided the Blues to a victory at St. Andrews on Sunday. But the aforementioned Blues were not from London, but from Birmingham as the home side took the three points by virtue of a 1-0 scoreline. A goal on the 17 minute mark from Lee Bowyer was the difference in the scoreline, but Chelsea were made to pay for their profligacy on goal.
Statistics tell much of the story with Chelsea have 61% of the possession with 25 shots on goal and 10 shots on target.
Chelsea welcomed Alex back into center defence, as the Brazilian postponed knee surgery in light of the current injury problems in defence. John Terry and Frank Lampard were both missing due to injury, with Michael Essien serving the second of his three match ban for his sending off against Fulham.
Didier Drogba captained the side once again in the absence of captain Terry and vice-captain Lampard, and he nearly put his side ahead five minutes in as he latched onto a ball through the center from Salomon Kalou, but Ben Foster was equal to the task and made a superb save at the feet of the Ivorian.
Bowyer then compounded the problem by racing through the midfield onto a flicked header from Cameron Jerome and slotted the ball past Petr Cech to give Birmingham the 1-0 lead.
Chelsea would not be deterred and continued to show patience in breaking down a tough Birmingham defence. Drogba was afforded one of Chelsea’s best chances when a 23rd minute cross from Anelka found the head of the striker, but Foster was able to produce a stunning low save.
Foster proved to be the thorn in Chelsea’s side as the Englishman continued a series of magnificent saves that left the visitors frustrated. Drogba tested Foster again in the 35th minute with a free kick that deflected off the wall, with Foster scrambling to his left to turn it around the post. Moments later, Drogba’s free header crashed off the crossbar and it seemed to not be going Chelsea’s day.
Kalou fired wide on 61 minutes after finding himself in space inside the box after Ramires had a penalty shout turned down. The winger cut inside on Foster, but could only fire the shot over the bar which summed up the frustrating day for the league leaders.