Chelsea vs. Birmingham City: Why 1-1 Draw Isn't a Disaster

Dan RenfroCorrespondent IIIFebruary 18, 2012

Even though Chelsea drew with Birmingham City 1-1, there is no reason for Andre Villas-Boas' side to panic.

Obviously, Villas-Boas did not want to have a replay at St. Andrew's, but that's what has to happen.

Chelsea played horribly in the first half, looked better in the second and heard a raucous of boos from the home fans.

At this point, it's exactly what Chelsea needed.

The first half was horrible. I'm not sure if the players were looking past the game or what, but they certainly didn't show up for the first 45 minutes.

Horrific defending led to Birmingham's first goal, and Chelsea were shellshocked. I'm not sure how every defender can ball-watch and drift to the near post, but it sure happened.

An extremely composed David Murphy buried the bouncing ball, putting the visiting side up 1-0.

Soon after, though, Chelsea looked alive.

Even though it took them 20 minutes to get going, Chelsea started attacking. They were putting pressure on the defense, and they looked genuinely determined.

Still, after a Juan Mata missed penalty (great save) and some other fruitless surging runs, Chelsea went into the half down a goal.

Coming out of the break, however, Chelsea looked good.

Fernando Torres was benched in favor of Didier Drogba, but the attack didn't exactly start to have purpose. Things were bad for Chelsea, and everyone knew it.

Then, Daniel Sturridge equalized. Immediately, Stamford Bridge took a sigh of relief.

It looked like Chelsea were going to steal a win, but Birmingham didn't let them. The visitors held strong and could've won the match as Nathan Redmond broke through. Unfortunately for Birmingham, his shot wasn't much of a test for Petr Cech.

As the teams left the field, the fans booed Villas-Boas and Chelsea as loud as ever. Players looked dumbfounded as they wandered back to the locker room.

The boos seem to strike a chord with the players. They finally realized how bad they've looked since the new year. They know that things need to get better.

Things will get better.

Chelsea are a talented side with something to play for. They certainly didn't want to add an extra match to the schedule, but at least they weren't knocked out of the FA Cup today.

Things aren't good at Stamford Bridge, but the boos should help the club turn things around.

With the vast improvement from half to half and a strong reaction from the fans, Chelsea have learned a lot about themselves with this draw.

Therefore, this draw is not a disaster.