- Venue:Stamford Bridge
- Referee:Bennett, S
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
The second half is underway at Stamford Bridge
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
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
Chelsea welcome Birmingham City to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening as they look to continue their title charge at the top end of the Premier League table.
Carlo Ancelotti continues to enjoy his debut season in England and his side saw off the challenge of Championship outfit Preston North End in the FA Cup on Saturday to give the Blues a realistic chance of grabbing cup glory this term.
With Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal all out of the competition, Chelsea face Cardiff City at home in round five of the competition.
Since the 2-1 defeat at Manchester City on December 5, Chelsea have went six games unbeaten in the league and their last Premier League clash threw up a magnificent 7-2 home success against Sunderland.
Nicolas Anelka was the chief terrorist that day as he hit a well-taken hat-trick.
With Ivory Coast eliminated from the Africa Cup of Nations, Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou will return to the fold and could feature against Alex McLeish's impressive City side.
You would have to go back to October 17 to Birmingham's last defeat and they are the form side of the league as they continue to silence their critics.
Arsenal were the victors on that day and they have won seven and drawn five of their last 12 league games.
They have also progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup after Saturday's excellent 2-1 triumph over Everton at Goodison Park.
However, the clash against Chelsea should pose a real test of their resolve as they look to make it 13 unbeaten following their promotion from the Championship last term.
Star-striker Cameron Jerome (ankle) could be fit for the contest but Lee Carsley (ankle), Garry O'Connor (hip) and Teemu Tainio (knee) will miss out.
Chelsea's Ashley Cole (ankle) may struggle to make the side and Jose Bosingwa (knee) nears a comeback from his lay-off.
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.
Shots off target