- Chelsea beat Birmingham 2-0 in FA Cup fifth round replay
- Juan Mata and Raul Meireles score second half goals for the Blues
- First match for Chelsea since the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas
- Returning Carlos Tevez scores for Manchester City second string
Chelsea battled to a 2-0 win at second flight Birmingham City in an FA Cup replay Tuesday in Roberto di Matteo's first game since taking over from the sacked Andre Villas-Boas.
Two goals in six second-half minutes by Juan Mata and Raul Meireles ensured the Italian made a winning start to his reign as interim manager as the west London side made the last eight of the famous cup competition.
Di Matteo also showed he will be his own man by leaving midfielder Frank Lampard and striker Didier Drogba on the substitutes' bench, but his side were good enough to advance to a quarterfinal home tie with another Championship club in Leicester on March 18.
There was also a welcome return to the bench for Chelsea captain John Terry, who has made a quick return from a knee injury.
Chelsea were unimpressive in the first half and Fernando Torres continued his goal drought by missing a great chance, while former Valencia player Nikola Zigic, forced visiting keeper Petr Cech into a stunning one-handed save.
But in the 54th minute, Mata slotted home from close range after a Ramires cross had caused problems for the home side.
On the hour, Portugal star Meireles struck with a superb long range strike to effectively seal victory.
They could even afford to see Mata's 69th-minute penalty saved by Colin Doyle after Torres was brought down by Guirane N'Daw.
Cech, captain for the day, told ITV they had to put the Villas-Boas sacking behind them.
"You have to move on. Today was the first step," Cech said.
"The board and the directors took the decision (to sack Villas-Boas) which you as a player have to respect."
Meanwhile, Carlos Tevez played his first game in front of the public since healing his rift with Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini.
Tevez scored the equalizer for City reserves as they beat their Bolton Wanderers counterparts 3-1 Tuesday. He was substituted almost immediately after getting on the scoresheet in the Manchester Senior Cup tie.