Sturridge rescues Chelsea

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Football News

Birmingham City survived a second-half fightback to secure a replay against Chelsea in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

The Championship side had taken a one goal lead into the break after David Murphy but Chris Hughton's Blues ahead with only 20 minutes gone, before Juan Mata saw his penalty saved by Colin Doyle.

However, Chelsea instantly started the second period with extra impetus when the ineffectual Fernando Torres was replaced by Didier Drogba, and Daniel Sturride ensured the home side took the game to St Andrew's.

Andre Villas-Boas had opted to start Torres ahead of Drogba with the latter only recently back with the club after the heartbreaking loss in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Torres, though, endured a dreadful 45 minutes in which Birmingham took advantage of a lacklustre Chelsea side.

It was a scrappy goal, but a goal nevertheless, as Murphy guided home a touch from Curtis Davies after the defender hand flicked on a corner from Nathan Redmond.

Chelsea did have the opportunity to register an instant reply as Wade Elliot hacked down Ramires in the area. But Doyle saved superbly from Mata; tipping the effort onto the post.

Drogba then gave Chelsea some more thrust up front in the second half, and they were soon rewarded for improved application when Sturridge levelled proceedings.

Branislav Ivanovic did the work down the right flank; providing a pinpoint cross for Sturridge to head past a helpless Doyle.

Chelsea had a good shout for another penalty rejected as they pressed for a win, but Birmingham held out for a replay.

Daniel Sturridge
FA Cup

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