Birmingham City 1-1 Chelsea – Newspaper Reports, Goal Videos, Managers’ Reaction

Newspaper reports

The Observer, Joe Lovejoy: “It was Chelsea who were left with the blues after the battle thereof, dropping two more priceless points in a dangerous mid-season hiatus: they have only one win in their past seven matches in all competitions. The league leaders, who failed to score for the first time in 34 games, are increasingly vulnerable to Manchester United, whose trip to Hull today has the look of a gimme.”

Sunday Telegraph, Sandy Macaskill: “The roar that met the final whistle at St Andrews spoke volumes. Birmingham City have come a long way since the start of the season, but holding Chelsea, the league-leaders, to a draw is some achievement. And if anything, they were the victims of human error, Christian Benitez incorrectly ruled offside when he turned in a shot from Liam Ridgewell from less than a yard.”

Sunday Times, David Walsh: “You may consider it two points dropped by Chelsea but it wasn’t. They played well and but for an outstanding performance by Birmingham’s goalkeeper Joe Hart, they might have won. Even when Hart was beaten, the crossbar seemed to dip slightly and take Alex’s free-kick on the forehead. But this is just one side of the story.”

Official Chelsea FC Website: “Birmingham became the first side to stop Chelsea scoring since Barcelona in April as Ancelotti’s men found the home team’s keeper in man-of-the-match form. The chances were there to win the early Boxing Day kick-off as a club record run of 34 games without an opposition shut out came to an end but Joe Hart produced three outstanding stops.”

Managers’ reaction

Carlo Ancelotti: “It’s not a good result for us considering what we did on the pitch because Chelsea played well, had a lot of chances, had a lot of heart and the keeper for Birmingham made some fantastic saves.

“We are disappointed with the result but not with the team. We improved after the game against West Ham and Chelsea did our best for this moment.

“It is not our best moment because it is not good for us to draw.

“But I don’t see a big problem, I think we have some problems because we have two very good players out, Anelka and Essien, and always we play good football, even today we played good football.

“Our aim is to win the title, we are in the top of the league at this moment and this is good for us. We do a good job, we work hard and we can win. It is not possible to win the title in December, you have to win it in May and we have to be ready in May.”

Alex McLeish: “It was an unbelievable and fantastic performance.

“For Chelsea to come here to St. Andrew’s and not score was quite incredible.

“It’s a measure of how well our guys can defend, but we also gave them problems and on another day we could have had a famous three points.

“We should have had a goal in the first half.

“We saw the pictures and Drogba was lying on the ground and certainly played Chucho on.

“I’m sorry for the wee fella because he’s desperate to get a goal.

“He’s put in a lot of hard work and he gave their two centre halves Alex and Terry a tough time and it was similar from Cameron.

“So it was a great front running performance from these two and they’ve just got to keep doing that and they’ll get their rewards.”

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