Birmingham may have held Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City to draws and can claim to have been the only side to have stopped Chelsea scoring in a game this season in the 0-0 draw at St Andrew's on Boxing Day but there was no shame in the manner of Wednesday night's defeat.
As Arsenal stumbled at Aston Villa, Chelsea were a team on a mission; intent on reclaiming the top spot after Manchester United sneaked, almost unnoticed, to the summit of the Premier League on Saturday.
Head boy: Florent Malouda opens the scoring at Stamford Bridge after seven minutes
In his programme notes, Ancelotti stressed Chelsea had 'theopportunity to show why we were top of the league before Arsenal andManchester United played their extra games', emphasising 'it isimportant that we return to the top as quickly as possible'.
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