Champions League

Chelsea advance in FA Cup

2012-03-07 07:13
Juan Mata (AFP)

London - Chelsea reached the FA Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday, winning a replay 2-0 at Birmingham in its first match since firing coach Andre Villas-Boas.

Juan Mata and Raul Meireles scored second-half goals to take the Premier League club through to a meeting with another second-tier side, Leicester.

Roberto Di Matteo, who has stepped up from his role as Villas-Boas' assistant to lead the team for the rest of the season, left Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and Daniel Sturridge out of his starting lineup.

Although the influence of experienced players was widely cited by British newspapers as being central in Chelsea's poor performances under Villas-Boas, Di Matteo's decision may have been motivated by a desire to keep them fresh for the club's ailing challenge for Champions League qualification.

"My thoughts tonight go to Andre," Di Matteo said. "It was important tonight to go through to the next round, for our club and for our supporters.

"We have two months left to the end of the season. We have to try to achieve what we have set ourselves for this season. It's only possible if the 25 players in the squad are a little bit unselfish and work together."

Nikola Zigic troubled Chelsea's defense through an even first half, but Mata poked in a 53rd-minute opener after Birmingham failed to clear a cross by Ramires.

Ramires then set up Meireles seven minutes later for a 25-meter (yard) strike into the top corner to seal the team's first win without Villas-Boas.

"You have to move on. Today(Tuesday) was the first step," Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech said. "The board and the directors took the decision, which you as a player have to respect."

Tottenham hosts third-tier club Stevenage in another replayed fifth-round match on Wednesday.

Read more on:    champions league  |  juan mata
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

3 must-do trail runs

If you love trail running, you have to put these on your bucket list.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route
Watch: Insane road bike skills!
Fixtures
04 November 2014
Zenit St Petersburg v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Petrovski Stadium 19:00
Arsenal v RSC Anderlecht, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Benfica v Monaco, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Juventus v Olympiakos, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Real Madrid v Liverpool, Santiago Bernabéu 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Galatasaray, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
FC Basel v Ludogorets Razgrad, St Jakob-Park 21:45
Malmö FF v Atlético de Madrid, Swedbank Stadion 21:45
05 November 2014
FC Bayern München v Roma, Allianz Arena 21:45
Ajax v Barcelona, Amsterdam ArenA 21:45
Shakhtar Donetsk v BATE Borisov, Arena Lviv 21:45
Sporting Lisbon v FC Schalke 04, Estadio José Alvalade 21:45
Manchester City v CSKA Moscow, Etihad Stadium 21:45
NK Maribor v Chelsea, Ljudski Vrt 21:45
Paris Saint Germain v APOEL Nicosia, Parc des Princes 21:45
Athletic Club v FC Porto, San Mamés 21:45
25 November 2014
CSKA Moscow v Roma, Arena Khimki 19:00
BATE Borisov v FC Porto, Borisov Arena 19:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Athletic Club, Arena Lviv 21:45
Sporting Lisbon v NK Maribor, Estadio José Alvalade 21:45
Manchester City v FC Bayern München, Etihad Stadium 21:45
APOEL Nicosia v Barcelona, GSP Stadium 21:45
Paris Saint Germain v Ajax, Parc des Princes 21:45
FC Schalke 04 v Chelsea, VELTINS-Arena 21:45
Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which team will win the 2013/14 Champions League title?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.