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Birmingham 2 - City 2

St Andrews

19.45

Attendance: 24,379

Dubious Penalty Gifts Birmingham A Point

Consecutive away trips to the Midlands and more points dropped.
A highly controversial penalty for Birmingham ensured City left St Andrews with a point for the second season running.

Craig Gardner dispatched the penalty - after Patrick Vieira was harshly penalised for a foul on substitute Kevin Phillips- , as City`s stranglehold on the top four narrows with a disappointing 2-2 draw.

Carlos Tevez and Aleskander Kolarov gave us the lead on two separate occasions, but a defensive mistake and dismal refereeing allowed Birmingham to battle back and claim their second draw against us this season.

Defeating the lesser teams and winning away from home were two problems usually associated with City, but after a devastating run of performances and results away from home, the problems looked to have faded.

However- after firmly looking in place to mount a title challenge- five points dropped in two consecutive games has allowed the chasing pack to edge closer and the leaders to gallop effortlessly into the distance.

St Andrews isn`t a place to usually run riot at with only Everton and the impressive Arsenal registering victories here. Nevertheless, after four minutes City`s initial worries would have faded.

Birmingham deservedly gained a point at Eastland`s earlier in the season with a defensive master class, so the first goal-if it arrived- was very important.

After Tevez and David Silva had linked up well, the Argentine hit man scored to continue his formidable scoring tally. The anxiety surrounding another Birmingham clean sheet was eradicated, a steeping that should have been built on.

Despite the early chance, City failed to settle - the pitch could have been blamed- but City`s passing and link up play was far from fluent. The passing was off-target, the communication non-existent.

We were to quickly realise how damaging our failure to pressurise was with Nikola Zigic scoring for the first time in eleven games. City`s defensive frailty and lack of leadership was evident as Zigic stretched unmarked to level the scoring.

After an extremely impressive return against Notts County, Micah Richards retained his place, but was unfortunately stretchered off in a terrible clash of heads with Nigel De Jong. Stitches and a half-time substitution were required for De Jong, hospital and severe concussion left Richards in a heap.

With one full back injured, it was great timing for another to make an impact. Kolarov- who is looking more destructive each game- had the chance to use his devastating left foot again. Kolarov`s reluctance to shoot is similar to Roberto Carlos`s, any chance you take aim, from 25 yards out he stood over the dead ball powerfully struck goal-wards with great reward.

Taking the lead for the second time was essential. City looked more comfortable, the passing was more direct and the chances were coming our way.

However, with only 15 minutes left, referee Kevin Friend, was exactly that to the home side with a contentious penalty decision awarded. In fine form, Gardner stepped up and levelled.

City`s lead disappeared and so did the three points.

Player Ratings


Hart-6

Nothing wrong, nothing outstanding.

Richards-6

Desperately unlucky to suffer a terrible injury.

Boateng-6

Defending was reasonable his passing wasn't.

Kompany-8

Always performs to a high standard.

Kolarov-7

Defending steadily improving and is becoming lethal going forward.

De Jong-6

Part of the battle field with Richards.

Barry-5

Non-existent in the Midlands again.

Milner-6

Did very little. He is excellent at working hard, but his technique and skill looks a considerable weakness when lining up with Silva.

Silva-7

Influenced the game.

Tevez-7

Was our greatest threat going forward.

Dzeko-6

At times he looked to have entered his high gear, but for the most was lacking.

Kolo Toure-6

Will perhaps find himself on the bench a bit more, after such an impressive start to the season he's gone off the boil.

Vieira-5

Very poor display. Although it wasn't a penalty it was unbelievably clumsy.




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The journalist

Writer: Yak Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday February 2 2011

Time: 10:27PM

Your Comments

I think it was a penalty and Vieira is absolutely gash, should have brought Zabaleta on to replace injured De Jong. Vieira's awfulness cost us but lets be honest it was an appalling performance and we have gone off the rails at the worst possible time of the season. No width means Dzeko is isolated as Tevez and Silva are in a world of their own, ignoring him.
StuMCFC
Why keep SWP if you are not going to use him, what it a simple case of just being a name on the squad list as a home grown player? Well written article OaB agree with your marks and the ref was too quick to award the penalty in my opinion
Buzz Lightyear
Dubious penalty? You're kidding right???
Zbam
Back in serious contention for 4th. Come on Spurs!
TheFamousNo7
Reckon it was a penalty myself although Philips did go down easily. Don't know what Mancini is playing at, why play defensively when we haven't a defense?
Oziman
Those charming redskins just can't help themselves gloating eh famous? Part of the personality defect that attracts you to the bright shiny red thing in the first place. Oh well, living vicariously through the achievements of others and lording it over everyone else must give you quite a warm sense of satisfaction and help you gloss over your own personal deficiencies.
fifthcolumnblue
Zbam, no... deadly serious
Buzz Lightyear
All that money spent and you are not going to win anything!!! Amazing failure really!
irishimp
Who says we're not going to win anything troll? We're still in FA cup and I believe we're favourites for Europa League, are we not? The amount of trolls that come on here when we drop points and they call us bitter, amazing really!
Bluedub
No trophies have been handed out this season yet have they troll? what a silly statement you have just made
mark.mcfc
I'm of the serious belief that these people who show up our of nowhere just to troll when we lose should be IP banned from here. That's just me as I welcome healthy discussion with fans of every club but they are just juveniles with no intent for healthy debate, only trolling.
StuMCFC
Hey folks, don't be so hard on Irishshrimp - his team won't win anything this season - perhaps he's just jealous that we're still in with a chance in several competitions?
fifthcolumnblue
The irony of that last comment fcb. StuMCFC if you can't handle the banter and others opinions, not matter how stubborn they are, I think you're on the wrong site mate.
TheFamousNo7
Off topic : I love this club and I've always dreamed of playing here." Adebayor after scoring his first RM goal. He already loves Real Madrid.. Wow..
Sajit
Kissing the badge and expressing your love means nothing Sajit, football is a fickle sport.
TheFamousNo7
What's with the compulsion to post on here TF7?
Bluedub
TheFamousNo7: What you do is not banter, its trolling. You come here at deliberate times (when City have lost or something pseudo-controversial has happened) and do nothing but insult, yet are anonymous when something else happens. This isn't banter or healthy debate which - as I said I welcome and like - it is classic internet trolling of playing for a rise with no good intentions. Why don't you expend your effort on getting Vital Rag functioning as something more than a graveyard?
StuMCFC
Well I can't really take the p155 when you win can I Stu, it doesn't quite work does it? Also, you don't have to read my posts, you can just decide to ignore them however you would rather throw a hissy fit about it. Bit of advice, instead of getting worked up about every opposition fans comment, take a chill pill, relax. Whether you like it or not it's going to happen. Bluedub, can't you have a joke with your neighbour anymore?
TheFamousNo7
Always have to have an idiot or three having pops at you because they are jealous. I still fancy you for the Cup but next season with one star defender I think you will be awesome. takes time to bed in new players
SFC Forever
 

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