Chelsea fail to beat Birmingham in FA Cup

Fans jeer under-fire manager Andre Villas-Boas' lacklustre Chelsea after they fail to beat Birmingham in Saturday's fifth round FA Cup clash

Daniel Sturridge's 62nd minute header spared Chelsea from a humiliating FA Cup exit at the hands of Championship side Birmingham but Saturday's unconvincing 1-1 draw will do little to ease the pressure on Andre Villas-Boas.

Birmingham's David Murphy scores against Chelsea during Saturday's
FA Cup Rd 5 match at Stamford Bridge. Pics/AFP, Getty Images

The home side recovered after falling behind to David Murphy's first half goal to earn a fifth round replay.
But the chorus of boos as the players left the Stamford Bridge pitch confirmed this had been another sub-standard display from Villas-Boas's side.

Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas

Birmingham fully deserved the opportunity to take this tie back to St Andrew's where they will justifiably believe they have a good opportunity of reaching the quarter-finals.

The Chelsea manager was anxious for his side to produce a positive performance after another troubled week at Stamford Bridge during which he admitted he did not have the full support of all of his squad.

But there was little to cheer the young Portuguese manager during a dismal first half display that hit rock bottom when Murphy lashed home from close range in the 20th minute.

The damage inflicted, however, appeared to be limited when the home team was handed the chance to level a minute later after Wade Elliott tripped Ramires and referee Martin Atkinson pointed to the penalty spot.

Juan Mata lined up to take the spot-kick in the absence of Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard but sent a tame left foot effort too close to keeper Colin Doyle who turned the ball onto the post and wide.

Fernando Torres had been particularly ineffective and Villas-Boas responded by replacing the Spain forward with Drogba at half time.

Drogba's arrival did little to swing the balance of the game, though, and Birmingham could have doubled their lead had Nathan Redmond taken more care with a 56th minute shot.

Six minutes later, full back Branislav Ivanovic got forward to deliver a cross towards Sturridge who directed an excellent header beyond Doyle and inside the far post.

Other results:
Everton 2-0 Blackpool
* Millwall 0-2 Bolton
* Norwich 1-2 Leicester

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