Bad start frustrates McLeish

Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish blamed his side's poor start for their 3-0 defeat at Premier League leaders Chelsea.

McLeish's side had not tasted defeat since the 3-1 loss at Arsenal in mid-October, but their 15-match unbeaten run always looked like coming to an end once they had conceded two goals first-half goals at Stamford Bridge.

Florent Malouda opened the scoring after only five minutes with Frank Lampard adding a second before half-time. Lampard made it 3-0 in stoppage time.

A downbeat McLeish admitted:"We shot ourselves in the foot with a bad start. It was most unlike us. We were caught flat-footed and that first goal was too easy. We're playing against a world-class side there.

"I don't think anyone has won here this season and they've battered better teams than us. We had chances at 2-0 and it would have been interesting had we got the goal back, but we never took the opportunities.

"I'm not disappointed with the players at all. They deserve tremendous credit for the run they've been on and they have the character to bounce back.

"Chelsea are a good side. They have the foreign flavour, their keep-ball and movement is excellent.

"They're one of the favourites for the Champions League, let alone the Premier League. We've kept the ball better than that and were wasteful in possession, but I'll forgive the players this one. There's no disgrace losing here."

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