• Date: Wed 27 January 2010
  • Venue: Stamford Bridge
  • Ref: Bennett, S
  • Attendance: 41,293


Malouda (5)

Lampard (32)

Lampard (90)

3 - 0

Chelsea vs Birmingham City

Team Lineups


Petr Cech
Branislav Ivanovic
Ashley Cole
Ricardo Carvalho
John Terry
Frank Lampard
Joe Cole (Yuri Zhirkov, 81)
Michael Ballack
Florent Malouda
Souza Deco
Nicolas Anelka (Daniel Sturridge, 88)

Birmingham City

Joe Hart
Stephen Carr
Liam Ridgewell
Roger Johnson
Scott Dann
Lee Bowyer
Sebastian Larsson
Barry Ferguson
Cameron Jerome (Keith Fahey, 56)
Christian Benitez
James McFadden (Miguel Marcos Michel, 72)

Match Report
Two goals from Frank Lampard and another from Florent Malouda propelled Chelsea back to the top of the Premier League table following a 3-0 victory over Birmingham City. With Arsenal held at Aston Villa, this victory over a stubborn Blues side meant that Chelsea overtook the north Londoners and Manchester United to sit pretty at the top of the pile. Birmingham came to Stamford Bridge in fine form but never looked capable of taking one let alone three points and it took just six minutes for the Londoners to open the scoring. Joe Cole was the architect of the move. He beat Lee Bowyer on the right before sending over a deft cross to the unmarked Malouda, who headed comfortably home past Joe Hart. Joe Cole almost hit number two on 26 minutes but his right-footed drive from the edge of the Birmingham penalty area was smothered by Hart. Deco followed up with a long-range effort a minute later, but on 30 minutes it fell to Lampard to show them how it's done. Picking up a pass from Michael Ballack, the England midfielder let fly a trademark piledriver from 22 yards past the hapless dive of Hart. Birmingham, who were undefeated since October, failed to produce an effort of note as they exerted all their first-half energies in trying to contain the home side. Service resumed on 53 minutes with Chelsea almost extending their lead. Ashley Cole sent in a fine cross and Ballack's accurate downward header was snuffed out by the impressive Hart. With 20 minutes remaining, Birmingham had a great chance to get themselves back into the game. James McFadden raced clear onto a long through ball and he got a far as far as just inside the Chelsea penalty area. However, the Scotland international lost his composure and screwed a low right-footer wide of Petr Cech's right post. Cech was forced into action on 76 minutes when he spectacularly tipped over Keith Fahey's toe-poke from just inside the area. With a minute remaining, Chelsea hit number three and it was Lampard who took the honours. He collected the ball off Malouda who arrowed the perfect left footer wide of Hart from just inside the Birmingham net.
Live Text Commentary
Full time

It is full time at Stamford Bridge, as Benitez misses a good chance with the last kick of the game


Malouda finds Lampard with Birmingham lacking bodies at the back. Lampard's finish is a simple one and a deserved one


Daniel Sturridge comes on for Anelka


Lampard twists and turns as he runs towards goal but he's blocked eventually by Michel


Ashley Cole plays the ball to Malouda, who sweeps it towards Zhirkov. The ball falls to Anelka but his shot is deflected over the bar


Joe Cole, who has played very well, leaves the pitch, with Yuri Zhirkov coming on


Malouda skews his shot wide of the post after a flowing move forward from Chelsea, with Joe Cole controlling play once again


Joe Cole is down injured but he should be OK to continue


Cech makes a brilliant save from Fahey after Benitez wastes a glorious chance for Birmingham. Chelsea won't want to give them too many more opportunities like that to score


Ashley Cole beats Larsson to the ball and wins a throw for Chelsea but Birmingham do well to win the ball back


Miguel Marcos Michel comes on for McFadden, who should have converted that brilliant Birmingham chance


Ashley Cole's shot is well saved by Hart. Moments later, Birmingham break forward but McFadden fails to hit the target with a weak shot


More possession football from Chelsea in midfield but Birmingham are showing more of a fighting spirit through Dann particularly


Deco's long range shot goes well wide for Chelsea


Joe Cole finds space to cross the ball after good work from Ivanovic and Malouda's shot is well saved by Hart


Joe Cole plays in Anelka but the striker slips at the vital moment


Birmingham have more of a grip on this game but have failed to create anything in attack


Malouda's cross is cleared by Ridgewell. Malouda takes the corner low towards Ballack, who clips the ball towards the far post


Keith Fahey comes on for Jerome


Ashley Cole's cross finds the head of Ballack, who heads the ball down towards the bottom of the goal but Hart pulls off a brilliant save


Chelsea have slowed the pace of the game down since the start of the half as they look to sit back and protect their lead. This kind of approach could work in Birmingham's favour


Benitez nearly brings the ball down after good work from McFadden but Ballack is there to win possession back for Chelsea


Joe Cole crosses the ball well but Malouda's shot goes over the bar


Ivanovic crosses the ball but Dann does well to clear the danger

Second half

The second half is underway at Stamford Bridge

Half time

It is half time at Stamford Bridge


Birmingham have enjoyed more of the ball in recent minutes but there is no end result to their play


Lee Bowyer is given an ironic cheer by the Chelsea fans after falling over with the ball


Sebastian Larsson delivers a free kick but the ball falls into the hands of Cech


Birmingham look slightly disheartened at the moment; they just can't hold on to the ball when they have possession


Ridgewell finds McFadden, who picks out Benitez but Chelsea manage to win the ball back. Ballack's shot at the other end goes over the bar


Anelka drives the ball low across the face of goal and that was another threatening Chelsea move


Lampard shoots from outside the box into the bottom left hand corner to put Chelsea 2-0 up


Deco shoots straight into the arms of Hart after good work from Lampard


Chelsea look very comfortable at the moment and should have scored more than once


Joe Cole turns and twists his way towards goal and forces another brilliant save from Hart


Joe Cole drives a shot towards goal after some tricky footwork but the ball goes out for a corner


Lampard's shot from Malouda's cross is well saved by Hart


John Terry finds Joe Cole, who plays in a low cross but Scott Dann knocks the ball out for a corner with Anelka waiting to pounce. From the corner, Carvalho's header hits the post


Joe Cole tries to deliver the ball but it strikes Ridgewell and goes out for a throw. Lively start from Joe Cole


Liam Ridgewell nearly plays the ball straight to Anelka but it falls to Joe Hart instead


Lovely possession football from Chelsea, with Michael Ballack and Joe Cole pulling the strings. This is an education for Birmingham right now


Deco plays the ball through a gap in the Birmingham defence, expecting Joe Cole to make the run forward but the move doesn't quite work for Chelsea


Benitez gets away from Deco and passes to Jerome. Jerome's shot takes a deflection and goes just inches over the bar, with Cech stranded


Ashley Cole makes a darting run forward but the offside flag is eventually raised, much to Chelsea's frustration


Branislav Ivanovic shoots but his attempt goes wide


James McFadden bursts forward and tries to pick out Cameron Jerome but he can't quite make the pass. Good response from Birmingham


Joe Cole does brilliantly to pick out Malouda, who scores with a simple finish


Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka cause all sorts of problems up front but Stephen Carr does well in defence. At the other end, Christian Benitez runs past Ricardo Carvalho but gets his shot all wrong and fails to get any pace behind it


A bright start from Chelsea, who are enjoying plenty of possession, with Deco looking lively


Petr Cech eventually clears the ball after a shaky touch in front of goal. Frank Lampard clears the ball down the pitch


The game is underway at Stamford Bridge

Awaiting Kickoff

This will be a tough test for a Birmingham side unbeaten in 15 games in all competitions, with Chelsea seeking to regain top spot in the league