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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 January, 2005, 17:01 GMT
Charlton 3-1 Birmingham
Charlton's Talal El Karkouri
Goals from Talal El Karkouri, Shaun Bartlett and Danny Murphy inspired Charlton to an emphatic win against Birmingham at The Valley.

El Karkouri scored the opener, floating a free-kick from 35 yards, which gently bounced into the net after being missed by Matthew Upson in the ninth minute.

Mario Melchiot pulled one back for the Blues after the break with a header.

But a Bartlett tap-in in the 67th minute and a right-footed drive from Murphy sealed the win for the Addicks.

Charlton started confidently at The Valley, with Danny Murphy and Shaun Bartlett teasing the Birmingham goal before El Karkouri gave the Addicks the lead.

The goal was certainly an unusual one as the centre-back, who is now Charlton's top-scorer with five, sent in an innocuous-looking free-kick from just inside the Birmingham half.

Upson, clearly confused by Bartlett's jump, let the ball go past into the net, while out-of-position goalkeeper Maik Taylor could only watch on.

The Addicks had a chance to double their lead eight minutes later when Bryan Hughes' looping cross just missed targetman Bartlett.

Jerome Thomas also looked a threat early on when Jerome Thomas found space for a lovely chip across the box.

Though shaken, Birmingham were prepared to put some pressure on of their own, with Bartlett heading Darren Anderson's rebounded free-kick off the line and Damien Johnson coming close.

Birmingham ended the first half with a concentrated period of pressure and, after the break, got the goal they wanted.

An inswinging corner by Darren Anderton was headed in by Melchiot to give the defender his first goal for the Blues.

But substitute Jeffers was brought for Dennis Rommedahl in the 62nd minute and had an almost immediate effect for Charlton.

Four minutes later, it was Jeffers' hard work down the right that set up an easy tap-in for Bartlett.

Stunned by the goal, Birmingham were nearly left red-faced again when Olivier Tebily's clearance just glanced wide of the Blues goal.

But the Addicks put the result beyond doubt in the 75th minute when Murphy was sent through by Jeffers, this time from the left, and comfortably drove the shot past a troubled Taylor in goal.


Charlton: Kiely, Young, Fortune, El Karkouri, Hreidarsson,Rommedahl (Jeffers 62), Murphy, Hughes (Konchesky 72), Holland,Thomas (Kishishev 80), Bartlett.
Subs Not Used: Andersen, Johansson.

Goals: El Karkouri 9, Bartlett 67, Murphy 75.

Birmingham: Maik Taylor, Melchiot, Cunningham, Upson, Tebily,Johnson, Carter, Clemence (Gray 70), Anderton (Yorke 82),Heskey (Blake 77), Morrison.
Subs Not Used: Clapham, Vaesen.

Booked: Upson, Johnson.

Goals: Melchiot 55.

Att: 26,111.

Ref: C Foy (Merseyside).




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Charlton boss Alan Curbishley


Interview: Birmingham manager Steve Bruce


Interview: Charlton goalscorer Danny Murphy




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