Birmingham City 0 - 1 Chelsea

Scorers: Pizzaro(79')

Starting Eleven:

Belleti, Alex, Carvalho, Bridge
Makelele, Ballack, Wright-Phillips
J.Cole, Anelka, Malouda
subs: Cudicini, Ben-Haim, Sidwell, Pizzaro, Bridge

Maybe he's out of form, a bit too slow for English football, or he's lost his magic.... but Claudio Pizzaro is deadly dangerous against Birmingham City. A tight encounter, but the good thing is that we took all 3 points from St.Andrew's, on a day both Arsenal and Manchester United also took maximum points. Pizzaro was left on the bench to accommodate Anelka, but was forced to play following Wright-Phillips injury and scored from a corner in the 79th minute.

Other than this being the first start of Frenchman Anelka, this is a game that wouldn't remain in the memory of Chelsea fans for long. It was raining from kick-off itself in St.Andrews. Shaun Wright-Phillips needed early treatment after landing awkwardly on an ankle following an aerial challenge from Johnson. Chelsea had majority of the possession and City were on the backfoot for most of the time. Ballack blasted a freekick across the City goal and they were lucky noone got a touch. Cameron Jerome could have put Birmingham ahead after 38 minutes after a blunder by Cech. Cech's miscued clearance was instinctively headed by Jerome and the ball deflected of the post. Not much chances created in the first half and Grant must have been a worried man.

The second half began with possession moving from side to side. Anelka then played a clever ball to Malouda who returned the pass and Anelka was free to shoot. But the shot lacked power and was easily saved by Taylor. Twenty-six minutes into the second-half, McFadden was introduced by McLeish for injured Jerome, along with former Chelsea favourite Forssell who came on for O'Connor. Cech denied McFadden a debut goal with a good save from a freekick. The lone goal of the match came from a Belleti corner. Pizzaro headed to score his second goal in the league, as Larsson failed to make a goal-line clearance.

Not a great win, but a good win indeed. Some would argue Birmingham deserved a point but then Chelsea had the quality to win, even when our squad is depleted and even when we are not firing all cylinders. And lets hope the ankle injury of Wright-Phillips is not serious and that he would return in the next game.