Southend fight back stuns Chelsea in Premier League
LONDON: Luiz Felipe Scolari was given a dramatic introduction to the FA Cup as his Premier League giants were held to a 1-1 draw by League One side Southend at Stamford Bridge here Saturday.
The Blues, second in the top flight, had looked to be cruising into the fourth round until Peter Clarke headed the Shrimpers, who play in the third-tier of English football, level in injury time.
Chelsea, who had lost ground to Liverpool in the Premier League in recent weeks after draws with West Ham, Everton and Fulham, took a first half-lead thanks to Saloman Kalou''s header.
And they squandered chance after chance to leave manager Scolari nursing another headache.
Scolari was without suspended captain John Terry, who watched this match from the stands while he serves the final game of his ban. But the Brazilian, did field a strong side for his first taste of FA Cup action.
With Terry and Michael Ballack suspended, Scolari recalled Ricardo Carvalho for his first start since October after recovering from a knee injury, while Juliano Belletti was preferred in midfield.
Only goalkeeper Petr Cech was rested as Carlo Cudicini took the Czech international''s place between the sticks for what was Chelsea''s opening match of this season''s FA Cup.
Alex and Florent Malouda missed out with hamstring injuries and Nicolas Anelka had to settle for a place on the bench.