FA Cup - Di Matteo makes winning start
Roberto Di Matteo began life as Chelsea caretaker boss by watching his side complete a comfortable 2-0 win against a battling Birmingham City side in their FA Cup fifth-round replay at St Andrew's.
After an even first half, the Premier League side went up a few gears as goals from Juan Mata (54) and Raul Meireles (60) handed Chelsea some respite only two days after former manager Andre Villas-Boas was fired having overseen just one win in the London side's previous seven games.
Villas-Boas went with Chelsea winning only three of their last 12 Premier League matches. They are also in danger of missing out on qualifying for the Champions League for the first time since Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought the club with Arsenal in fourth place in the Premier League, three points ahead of Chelsea.
With that in mind, this performance was commendable.
Chelsea's reward is a clash with another Championship side in the form of Leicester City in the last eight at Stamford Bridge on March 18.
They lost 1-0 to West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Saturday which prompted Villas-Boas's departure, but this was an altogether happier performance in Birmingham.
Mata prodded the ball home from 10 yards out for the opening goal after the home side failed to clear the danger before Meireles drilled a venomous effort high beyond home goalkeeper Colin Doyle from 25 yards six minutes later.
Chelsea could have added a third when Fernando Torres was clipped by Guiranne N'daw with 22 minutes left, but Doyle dived to his left to make an easy enough stop from Mata, who also saw Doyle save his penalty in the 1-1 draw in the first game last month.
The visitors were almost on the board on three minutes when Doyle was forced to nudge a Mata shot wide after he had been sent scampering clear by Torres.
The home team had their own moments of menace with Chelsea's stand-in skipper Petr Cech halting a shot by Wade Elliott on 25 minutes before he was forced to palm Nikola Zigic's header over his bar 14 minutes later after a lovely cross from Jordan Mutch.
Torres's frustration continued in front of goal. He turned wonderfully well on the edge of the box on 43 minutes, but screwed the ball wide of goal. His last goal for Chelsea remains his effort against Genk in the Champions League last October.
Mata was almost in for his second goal of the night on 58 minutes, but saw a header fly wide as he arrived at the back of Birmingham defender Curtis Davies.
Substitute Daniel Sturridge looked certain to score on 76 minutes, but could not get his shot away from five yards out as a relieved Doyle collected in the home goal.
Birmingham battled until the end, but Mutch chipped over the bar from Chris Burke's ball while Cech stood tall to save from Marlon King as it became clear that the home side were not going to break down Chelsea on the night.