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Page last updated at 17:03 GMT, Saturday, 12 December 2009

Birmingham   1 - 0   West Ham

Lee Bowyer slots in Birmingham's winner
Bowyer slots the ball past Green from 10 yards after 52 minutes

By Julian Shea

Former West Ham midfielder Lee Bowyer gave Birmingham their fourth straight win after a lively encounter that sent the Hammers back into the drop zone.

Cameron Jerome had the home side's best chance of the first half when he headed just over the crossbar.

Alessandro Diamanti went close after the break before Bowyer's third goal in four games put the Blues in front.

Substitute Kieron Dyer hit the post but once Mark Noble was sent off for a second caution West Ham's hopes died.

Birmingham's victory lifted them to the heady heights of eighth in the Premier League, level on points with Liverpool prior to their home match against Arsenal.

The Londoners went into the game fresh from a 4-0 mauling by Manchester United, in contrast to Birmingham's six-match unbeaten run, and the home side's good form was borne out by their confident start.

606: DEBATE
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Birmingham had three corners in the opening minutes, with West Ham keeper Robert Green having to be at his best to keep out Roger Johnson's glancing effort and Liam Ridgewell's follow-up shot.

The ball was rarely out of the West Ham half in the opening third of the match, and the visitors had Bowyer to thank for keeping them on level terms when he got a touch on Jerome's low pass into the box and diverted it from the path of Ridgewell who was in a far more threatening position.

For all their territorial advantage, Birmingham rarely tested Green and on 35 minutes they were nearly made to pay as Diamanti produced a fine goalscoring chance for his side.

The Italian barged his way through three challenges on the left wing and advanced to the corner of the box where he lashed in a fierce left-foot shot inches wide of Joe Hart's left-hand post.

Within a minute Diamanti was at the centre of the action again when Guillermo Franco's knock-down allowed him to curl a shot wide of the post.

Zola scrutinises referees performance

Despite the early balance of play, Birmingham never took charge of the game in the way they looked likely to do, and even allowed West Ham a couple of decent charges.

But right on half-time Jerome had the best chance of the match so far for the home side, getting his head on the end of Ridgewell's cross from the left but seeing his header go just over.

The Hammers began the second half in energetic mood, and it was the ever-dangerous Diamanti who once again came close to putting them ahead when he curled a shot towards the top corner, only to see it go just the wrong side of the post.

But within seconds they were made to pay for that missed opportunity as Bowyer scored against his former side.

Miscommunication between Junior Stanislas and Noble turned a West Ham attack into a Birmingham one, which ended with Christian Benitez putting Bowyer through to score against his former side, a goal which Bowyer opted not to celebrate.

The goal made an already uneven game even more open, and there was almost more drama when Dyer, within a minute of coming on for Radoslav Kovac, ran from the half-way line and shot against the inside of the far post.

McLeish delighted with Brum win

Noble's 100th League appearance for West Ham came to a premature end when he received a second yellow card in quick succession for a foul on Benitez, but West Ham did their best to go down fighting.

Diamanti refused to give up and summed up West Ham's afternoon when he ripped his shirt open half-way down his chest in frustration at seeing another curling free-kick go inches over the bar.

With time running out in an increasingly frantic game, Jerome missed a golden chance to seal victory when Julien Faubert's slip gifted him a one-on-one chance with Green, but somehow he put the his effort wide.

But luckily for Jerome, that did not prove to be a costly error, as despite five minutes of stoppage time having to be played, Birmingham held on for their win.


Birmingham manager Alex McLeish on their season so far:

"I have to look at the table twice to make sure I'm not dreaming - we've scaled the heights and we'd love to able to stay there.

"We know we face tough challenges ahead if we can play to high levels.

"We've got over losing sucker goals. There's much more toughness and if the guys can put one away at the other end, the defenders are pretty trustworthy."

West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola on the game and Mark Noble's dismissal:

"At least one point would have been fair for us, so I'm disappointed because it's bad for us - we should be picking up points and we don't get them - I'm very disappointed.

"The ref took a day off (for the sending off) - I don't understand sometimes, before there were some free-kicks not given, now everything is given. Refs feel under pressure and they make mistakes, but today he wasn't good enough.

"We're certainly not getting anything, but we must create our own luck. I can't really blame anybody because the players gave everything, but we need to carry on working and things will change."

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Birmingham 1-0 West Ham FT
(HT 0-0)
  • Bowyer 52

    Birmingham

    Substitutes

    West Ham

    Substitutes

    Ref: Lee MasonAtt: 28,203
    BIRMINGHAM
    WEST HAM

    Possession

    • Birmingham 47%
    • West Ham 53%

    Attempts on target

    • Birmingham 8
    • West Ham 7

    Attempts off target

    • Birmingham 8
    • West Ham 7

    Corners

    • Birmingham 11
    • West Ham 7

    Fouls

    • Birmingham 12
    • West Ham 13
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+5:47 The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
    • 90:00+3:10 Guillermo Franco has shot on goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
    • 90:00+0:34 Short corner worked by Sebastian Larsson.
    • 90:00+0:34 Substitution (Birmingham) makes a substitution, with Keith Fahey coming on for Christian Benitez.
    • 90:00+0:34 Substitution James McFadden goes off and Kevin Phillips comes on.
    • 90:00+0:34 Lee Bowyer takes a shot. Save made by Robert Green.
    • 90:00+0:03 The ball is crossed by Alessandro Diamanti, Joe Hart makes a save.
    • 89:45 Alessandro Diamanti takes the inswinging corner, Roger Johnson manages to make a clearance.
    • 89:30 Alessandro Diamanti takes a inswinging corner.
    • 89:26+2:13 Scott Parker takes a shot. Blocked by Scott Dann.
    • Correction - 89:26 Scott Parker takes a shot. Scott Dann gets a block in.
    • 88:36 Alessandro Diamanti crosses the ball, Roger Johnson makes a clearance. Corner taken right-footed by Jack Collison, Liam Ridgewell manages to make a clearance. Alessandro Diamanti decides to take a short corner.
    • 87:36 Stephen Carr gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kieron Dyer. Frank Nouble crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Barry Ferguson.
    • 86:36 Cameron Jerome has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.
    • 85:09 Guillermo Franco takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart. Alessandro Diamanti takes a shot. Blocked by Liam Ridgewell. Inswinging corner taken by Alessandro Diamanti, clearance by Roger Johnson.
    • 83:33 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Julien Faubert by Cameron Jerome. James Tomkins restarts play with the free kick.
    • 83:16 Cameron Jerome challenges James Tomkins unfairly and gives away a free kick. Robert Green takes the direct free kick.
    • 82:17 Indirect free kick taken by Joe Hart.
    • 82:17 Substitution Frank Nouble replaces Herita Ilunga.
    • 82:17 The offside flag is raised against Kieron Dyer.
    • 81:09 James McFadden produces a cross.
    • 79:27 Julien Faubert sends in a cross, Roger Johnson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Guillermo Franco. Alessandro Diamanti shoots direct from the free kick.
    • 77:52 Stephen Carr takes the direct free kick.
    • 77:52 Sent off Red card for Mark Noble.
    • 77:42 Mark Noble gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Christian Benitez.
    • 77:06 The free kick is delivered right-footed by Mark Noble from left channel, clearance made by Roger Johnson.
    • 77:06 Booking Roger Johnson goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
    • 76:59 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kieron Dyer by Roger Johnson.
    • 76:12 Scott Parker is penalised for a handball. Direct free kick taken by Stephen Carr.
    • 72:02 The free kick is delivered left-footed by James McFadden from left wing, Daniel Gabbidon manages to make a clearance.
    • 72:02 Booking Mark Noble is given a yellow card.
    • 72:00 Booking Jack Collison receives a yellow card.
    • 71:45 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Lee Bowyer by Jack Collison.
    • 69:53 Kieron Dyer produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box and strikes the post.
    • 69:01 James McFadden crosses the ball, clearance made by Scott Parker.
    • Correction - 67:49 Substitution Jack Collison joins the action as a substitute, replacing Junior Stanislas.
    • Correction - 67:49 Substitution (West Ham) makes a substitution, with Kieron Dyer coming on for Radoslav Kovac.
    • 67:49 Indirect free kick taken by Joe Hart.
    • 67:49 Substitution Jack Collison is brought on as a substitute for Junior Stanislas.
    • 67:49 Substitution Kieron Dyer comes on in place of Radoslav Kovac.
    • 67:30 Effort on goal by Alessandro Diamanti from 20 yards. Blocked by Lee Bowyer.
    • 66:01 Shot by Alessandro Diamanti. Blocked by Liam Ridgewell. Corner taken by Mark Noble from the right by-line.
    • 63:04 Free kick awarded for a foul by James Tomkins on Cameron Jerome. The ball is crossed by Sebastian Larsson, Liam Ridgewell takes a shot from inside the six-yard box clearing the crossbar.
    • Correction - 60:34 Cameron Jerome takes a shot. Robert Green makes a save. Corner taken by James McFadden, Roger Johnson takes a shot. Blocked by Herita Ilunga. Corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from the right by-line, Daniel Gabbidon makes a clearance.
    • 60:34 Cameron Jerome takes a shot. Save made by Robert Green. Corner taken left-footed by James McFadden from the left by-line, Scott Dann takes a shot. Blocked by Herita Ilunga. Sebastian Larsson takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Daniel Gabbidon.
    • 59:07 Mark Noble crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance by Cameron Jerome.
    • 59:07 Booking The referee cautions Liam Ridgewell for unsporting behaviour.
    • 58:46 Liam Ridgewell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alessandro Diamanti.
    • 56:02 Junior Stanislas challenges Stephen Carr unfairly and gives away a free kick. James McFadden delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, clearance by Guillermo Franco.
    • 53:21 Christian Benitez fouled by Daniel Gabbidon, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered left-footed by James McFadden from left channel, Daniel Gabbidon manages to make a clearance.
    • 51:29 Assist by Christian Benitez.
    • 51:29 GOAL - Lee BowyerBirmingham 1 - 0 West Ham Lee Bowyer scores a goal from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. Birmingham 1-0 West Ham.
    • 50:36 Centre by Alessandro Diamanti.
    • 49:08 Free kick awarded for a foul by Lee Bowyer on Alessandro Diamanti. Alessandro Diamanti restarts play with the free kick.
    • 47:40 Foul by Daniel Gabbidon on Christian Benitez, free kick awarded. Barry Ferguson delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, clearance by Daniel Gabbidon.
    • Correction - 46:47 Guillermo Franco takes a shot. Liam Ridgewell gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Alessandro Diamanti.
    • 46:47 Guillermo Franco takes a shot. Liam Ridgewell gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken by Alessandro Diamanti from the right by-line.
    • 46:00 Christian Benitez is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Robert Green.
    • 45:01 The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+2:18 The referee blows for half time.
    • 45:00+1:07 The free kick is delivered right-footed by Stephen Carr from right channel, Daniel Gabbidon makes a clearance.
    • 45:00+1:07 Booking Alessandro Diamanti booked.
    • 45:00+0:55 Alessandro Diamanti challenges Christian Benitez unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 45:00+0:40 The ball is crossed by Guillermo Franco.
    • 44:18 Mark Noble gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lee Bowyer. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Barry Ferguson. The ball is crossed by Liam Ridgewell, Cameron Jerome produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.
    • 41:11 Unfair challenge on Herita Ilunga by Stephen Carr results in a free kick. Daniel Gabbidon takes the free kick.
    • 39:29 Outswinging corner taken by Sebastian Larsson from the right by-line, clearance by Daniel Gabbidon. Lee Bowyer has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide right of the target.
    • 39:21 Stephen Carr sends in a cross, Daniel Gabbidon makes a clearance.
    • 38:30 The ball is swung over by James McFadden, clearance by James Tomkins. Lee Bowyer takes a shot. Save by Robert Green.
    • 38:04 Junior Stanislas produces a drilled right-footed shot from 30 yards. Save made by Joe Hart.
    • 33:25 Short corner worked by Christian Benitez.
    • 32:22 Alessandro Diamanti produces a left-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that goes wide left of the target.
    • 32:00 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on James Tomkins by Cameron Jerome. James Tomkins takes the free kick.
    • 31:34 Alessandro Diamanti has an effort at goal from outside the area which goes wide right of the goal.
    • 29:48 The assistant referee signals for offside against Guillermo Franco. Indirect free kick taken by Joe Hart.
    • 27:45 Sebastian Larsson sends in a cross, clearance made by James Tomkins.
    • 26:38 Alessandro Diamanti concedes a free kick for a foul on James McFadden. Free kick crossed right-footed by Sebastian Larsson, Radoslav Kovac manages to make a clearance.
    • 24:48 The assistant referee signals for offside against Guillermo Franco. Joe Hart takes the free kick.
    • 23:54 A cross is delivered by Stephen Carr, clearance made by James Tomkins. The assistant referee flags for offside against Cameron Jerome. Free kick taken by Robert Green.
    • 23:36 The ball is swung over by Liam Ridgewell, Herita Ilunga manages to make a clearance.
    • 23:01 Christian Benitez takes a shot. Save by Robert Green.
    • Correction - 20:12 Sebastian Larsson produces a cross, Christian Benitez takes a shot. Robert Green makes a save.
    • 20:12 The ball is crossed by Sebastian Larsson, Christian Benitez takes a shot. Save by Robert Green.
    • 19:56 Sebastian Larsson sends in a cross.
    • 18:12 Cameron Jerome delivers the ball, Lee Bowyer produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 16:22 Daniel Gabbidon concedes a free kick for a foul on Christian Benitez. Free kick crossed left-footed by James McFadden from right wing, save made by Robert Green. Inswinging corner taken by James McFadden from the right by-line, Julien Faubert manages to make a clearance. Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson, James Tomkins makes a clearance.
    • 15:28 Junior Stanislas has an effort at goal. Save by Joe Hart.
    • 14:53 Free kick taken by Mark Noble.
    • 14:53 Booking Barry Ferguson shown a yellow card.
    • 14:44 Unfair challenge on Guillermo Franco by Stephen Carr results in a free kick.
    • 12:46 Guillermo Franco challenges Lee Bowyer unfairly and gives away a free kick. Sebastian Larsson fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
    • 12:07 Corner from the right by-line taken by James McFadden, save by Robert Green.
    • 11:32 The assistant referee signals for offside against Christian Benitez. Robert Green takes the indirect free kick.
    • 10:48 Barry Ferguson crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, Daniel Gabbidon makes a clearance.
    • 10:48 Booking Radoslav Kovac shown a yellow card.
    • 10:32 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on James McFadden by Radoslav Kovac.
    • 9:48 Long range shot from Alessandro Diamanti misses to the left of the goal.
    • 7:28 Stephen Carr concedes a free kick for a foul on Herita Ilunga. Free kick taken by Robert Green.
    • 7:21 Sebastian Larsson sends in a cross, Scott Parker manages to make a clearance.
    • 6:43 Daniel Gabbidon gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Christian Benitez. Stephen Carr restarts play with the free kick.
    • 6:07 A cross is delivered by Roger Johnson, Sebastian Larsson takes a shot. Save by Robert Green.
    • 4:46 James McFadden gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alessandro Diamanti. James Tomkins takes the direct free kick.
    • Correction - 3:04 The ball is swung over by Lee Bowyer, blocked by Daniel Gabbidon. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson played to the near post, Roger Johnson takes a shot. Save by Robert Green. Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson, clearance made by James Tomkins. Sebastian Larsson takes the inswinging corner, Scott Parker makes a clearance. Liam Ridgewell takes a shot. Save made by Robert Green.
    • 3:04 The ball is swung over by Lee Bowyer, Daniel Gabbidon gets a block in. Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson from the left by-line to the near post, Roger Johnson takes a shot. Save made by Robert Green. Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson from the left by-line, clearance made by James Tomkins. Sebastian Larsson takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Scott Parker.
    • 0:00 The referee gets the game started.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Premier League table

    Saturday, 12 December 2009 19:30 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    Full Premier League table
    1 Chelsea 16 27 37
    2 Man Utd 16 20 34
    3 Aston Villa 16 12 29
    4 Arsenal 14 20 28
    5 Tottenham 16 13 27
    6 Man City 15 8 26
    7 Liverpool 15 11 24
    8 Birmingham 16 0 24
    9 Fulham 16 3 23
    10 Sunderland 16 0 21
    11 Stoke 16 -4 21
    12 Blackburn 16 -12 19
    13 Burnley 16 -14 18
    14 Wigan 16 -17 18
    15 Everton 16 -8 17
    16 Hull 17 -17 17
    17 Wolves 16 -13 16
    18 West Ham 16 -7 14
    19 Bolton 15 -12 13
    20 Portsmouth 16 -10 11

    see also
    Live - Saturday football
    12 Dec 09 |  Football
    Premier League photos
    12 Dec 09 |  Football



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