A new era at Chelsea began (again) last night at St Andrews, and despite heading in at half time scoreless Chelsea eventually came out pretty comfortable winners. What follows is a round up of all the action from our FA Cup Replay, (shock horror!) more AVB maligning from the media, and some fascinating Champions League action, including Arsenal trying their hardest to prove to everyone that not only are they so not in a crisis, they are also so good that they actually give opponents head starts in games now, and see if they can still win.
Birmingham match reaction
My selection was just a question of freshening up the team a little bit and getting the energy. It had nothing to do with bravery.
Does Fernando Torres Refuse To Take Penalty? - YouTube
Let the conspiracy theories begin!
AVB sacking fallout
Chelsea sets sights on Pep Guardiola as next manager but also draw up a contingency plan of other candidates - Telegraph
I could post a whole lot of the latest reactions to the AVB sacking, as I have been doing, but this article rounds them all up pretty neatly.
Champions League action
Arsenal 3 - 0 AC Milan, match report: Gunners score, but not enough to advance - The Short Fuse
Arsenal took a good stab at overcoming all the odds and writing a stunning piece of history. Fair play to our London rivals, because they put in a valiant effort even when four behind in the tie.
The evolution of Robin van Persie → The Arsenal Column
And sticking with the Gunners, Arsenal Column is one of "the" top analytical blogs around (in my humble opinion), and this article really does stoke a fire inside one that says we should really try and get RvP in the summer. Of course it won't happen, but it'd be nice to know we tried.
Benfica Vs. Zenit St. Petersburg, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Eagles Win 2-0, Go Through - SBNation.com
This was overshadowed by Arsenal and AC Milan, but by all reports it was in itself a decent game with an interesting tactical side-plot. Our ex-Benfica boys, Luiz and Ramires, will be delighted Chelsea could have the chance to come up against their former club IF we pull off an upset against Napoli.
VIDEO: Miroslav Stoch Kicks Off Scoring In Fenerbahce's 6-1 Win Over Genclerbirligi - From Our Editors - SBNation.com
Miroslav Stoch, ex-Chelsea youth product, scored a great goal. Go watch.