BBC Sport football

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 21:53 GMT, Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Birmingham   2 - 1   Blackburn

Birmingham goalscorer Cameron Jerome
Jerome had only scored one goal this season prior to Tuesday's double

By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at St Andrews

Birmingham City's impressive Premier League campaign hit new heights as they moved into sixth place with a deserved win over Blackburn Rovers at St Andrews.

Cameron Jerome was the spearhead with a scrambled early strike and a resounding low finish just after the interval to give Birmingham their fifth successive league victory.

Ryan Nelsen's 69th-minute goal gave Blackburn hope - and that was extended by Chucho Benitez's incredible miss from six yards in the closing minutes that increased the tension around St Andrews after Birmingham looked to be cruising to victory.

Birmingham's winning run is a club record in the Premier League and well-merited reward for manager Alex McLeish's shrewd work in the summer transfer market that has set the perfect platform for the rest of the season.

Jerome has been short of goals since Birmingham's return to the top flight, but McLeish has kept faith with the England Under-21 striker and used his programme notes to insist it was only a matter of time before he was on the mark.

606: DEBATE
jollydavros

And so it proved as Birmingham dealt comfortably with a Blackburn side that offered the occasional heavy physical presence until Nelsen's goal provoked a more positive approach.

For much of the game they offered little to warm the 689 visiting fans who travelled to St Andrews and suffered in the biting cold until they threatened to cash in on some Birmingham nerves late on.

Birmingham, in contrast to Sam Allardyce's lacklustre players, were sharp about their work from the start with Jerome and Benitez providing the pace to go alongside the promptings of Barry Ferguson and Lee Bowyer.

Birmingham boss McLeish had no hesitation in naming an unchanged team after four straight wins, and three successive clean sheets, had propelled his side up the league table.

And they opened with a confidence gathered from that recent impressive sequence and took the lead after 12 minutes. James McFadden worked a short corner with Sebastian Larsson, and when his cross came to Jerome via Benitez and Liam Ridgewell, he turned home his second league goal of the season from close range.

McLeish proud of his players

Blackburn's unease was compounded by an early change as Brett Emerton limped off, to be replaced by Keith Andrews.

And Birmingham almost took further advantage as Benitez had a strike ruled out for offside and Jerome headed just wide with Blackburn keeper Paul Robinson rooted to the spot.

Blackburn's approach was basic at best, but it almost brought them an equaliser when Joe Hart failed to deal with a ball into the area, but Stephen Carr was well placed to scramble Steven Nzonzi's effort off the line.

Birmingham needed the security of a second goal to underpin their supremacy, and Jerome provided it by finishing off a sparkling passage of play three minutes after the interval.

Larsson's flick released Carr, and his cross was met crisply by Jerome, who gave Robinson no chance with a low finish. Jerome was then booked for over-celebrating by referee Michael Jones, a joyless intervention by the official which actually did little to dampen Birmingham's elation.

Allardyce 'bewildered' after defeat

Blackburn had barely offered any sort of threat, but they gave themselves an opportunity to salvage something from an undistinguished display when they pulled a goal back with just over 20 minutes remaining.

Hart did well to save Pascal Chimbonda's header, but the loose ball fell kindly for Nelsen to score and set up the prospect of a tense finale.

As Blackburn predictably pressed for an equaliser, Benitez suffered a nightmare moment as Birmingham swept forward on the counter attack.

He did everything right to set up Jerome for the chance of his hat-trick - but when the striker crossed for Benitez after his effort had been saved by Robinson, he somehow slammed a shot against the bar from only six yards with the goal unattended.

His nearly paid a heavy price for his profligacy when the otherwise quiet Nikola Kalinic glanced a header goalwards, only to see it strike the unsuspecting Larsson on the side of his head and fly away from danger.

Benitez was the Blues' provider again deep into stoppage time with Blackburn exposed again, but this time Robinson blocked from Larsson.

The squandered opportunities did not prove costly for Birmingham and they claimed the three points that moves them into Premier League's dreamland, given the pre-season predictions that they would face a lengthy fight for survival.


Birmingham manager Alex McLeish:
"I'm so proud of the players - to win five games in a row in this league is absolutely sensational. These guys have been magnificent.

"I did a double take when I saw the league but we're proud of it and we've earned it. We haven't been lucky.

"We must keep our feet on the ground, there can be hiccups round the corner."

Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce:
"We need to stick to basics because for their first goal three Birmingham players were unmarked.

"We had been comfortable, but that lifted them. Then we go 2-0 down after half-time and that was just suicidal.

"Our fightback was great and we nearly got something, but we are missing the chances we create and we shouldn't be 2-0 down before we start playing."

Live text and stats

 

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Birmingham 2-1 Blackburn FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Jerome 12
  • Jerome 48
  • Nelsen 69

Birmingham

Substitutes

Blackburn

Substitutes

Ref: JonesAtt: 23,187
BIRMINGHAM
BLACKBURN

Possession

  • Birmingham 49%
  • Blackburn 51%

Attempts on target

  • Birmingham 6
  • Blackburn 4

Attempts off target

  • Birmingham 7
  • Blackburn 4

Corners

  • Birmingham 6
  • Blackburn 7

Fouls

  • Birmingham 8
  • Blackburn 16
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+4:00 The match has reached full-time.
  • 90:00+3:12 Direct free kick taken by Paul Robinson. Christopher Samba challenges Roger Johnson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.
  • 90:00+3:12 Booking The referee books Barry Ferguson for dissent.
  • 90:00+3:03 Barry Ferguson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Morten Gamst Pedersen.
  • 90:00+2:16 Sebastian Larsson takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson. Sebastian Larsson decides to take a short corner.
  • 90:00+1:11 Morten Gamst Pedersen takes the inswinging corner, Cameron Jerome manages to make a clearance. Corner taken left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Joe Hart makes a save.
  • Correction - 89:34 Effort from deep inside the area by Christopher Samba clears the bar.
  • 89:34 Shot from deep inside the area by Christopher Samba clears the crossbar.
  • 88:36 Benedict McCarthy is caught offside. Joe Hart takes the free kick.
  • 88:00 The referee blows for offside against Cameron Jerome. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
  • 86:54 Cameron Jerome takes a shot. Paul Robinson makes a save. Christian Benitez takes a shot.
  • 86:15 Inswinging corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen, save by Joe Hart.
  • 84:47 Sebastian Larsson is adjudged to have handled the ball. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Benedict McCarthy, clearance by Liam Ridgewell.
  • 82:37 Unfair challenge on Christian Benitez by Christopher Samba results in a free kick. Stephen Carr takes the direct free kick.
  • 81:40 Substitution James McFadden leaves the field to be replaced by Keith Fahey.
  • 81:28 The ball is delivered by Gael Givet, save made by Joe Hart.
  • 81:16 Pascal Chimbonda delivers the ball, Roger Johnson makes a clearance.
  • 80:21 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Roger Johnson by Christopher Samba. Direct free kick taken by Joe Hart.
  • 79:32 David Hoilett sends in a cross, clearance by Stephen Carr.
  • 78:13 The offside flag is raised against Nikola Kalinic. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.
  • 77:35 The ball is sent over by James McFadden, Cameron Jerome produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the goal.
  • 76:26 Nikola Kalinic concedes a free kick for a foul on Roger Johnson. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.
  • 76:09 Free kick awarded for a foul by Christian Benitez on Pascal Chimbonda. Direct free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
  • 74:56 Shot by Benedict McCarthy. Blocked by Stephen Carr. Inswinging corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
  • 71:36 Nikola Kalinic gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Roger Johnson. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.
  • 71:16 The ball is crossed by Sebastian Larsson, save made by Paul Robinson.
  • 70:07 Substitution Benedict McCarthy comes on in place of Jason Roberts.
  • 68:30 Assist on the goal came from Pascal Chimbonda.
  • 68:30 GOAL - Ryan NelsenBirmingham 2 - 1 Blackburn Ryan Nelsen grabs a goal from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. Birmingham 2-1 Blackburn.
  • 67:46 Barry Ferguson challenges David Hoilett unfairly and gives away a free kick. Morten Gamst Pedersen produces a cross, Pascal Chimbonda has an effort at goal. Save by Joe Hart.
  • 67:04 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Keith Andrews from the left by-line, save by Joe Hart.
  • 66:39 James McFadden challenges David Hoilett unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Keith Andrews.
  • 63:15 Unfair challenge on Barry Ferguson by Steven Nzonzi results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.
  • 60:59 Free kick awarded for a foul by Pascal Chimbonda on Cameron Jerome. Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Pascal Chimbonda.
  • 58:59 Nikola Kalinic gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Liam Ridgewell. Direct free kick taken by Joe Hart.
  • 58:48 The referee blows for offside against Christian Benitez. Ryan Nelsen takes the free kick.
  • 57:22 Stephen Carr sends in a cross, James McFadden produces a drilled left-footed shot from 25 yards. Roger Johnson gets a block in.
  • 57:22 Booking The referee shows Ryan Nelsen a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
  • 57:01 Effort from 20 yards by Jason Roberts. Barry Ferguson gets a block in. Ryan Nelsen gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Cameron Jerome.
  • 54:54 Keith Andrews produces a cross, Lee Bowyer manages to make a clearance. Unfair challenge on Scott Dann by David Hoilett results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.
  • 53:39 Effort on goal by Cameron Jerome from long distance goes over the crossbar.
  • 51:49 Substitution El-Hadji Diouf leaves the field to be replaced by David Hoilett.
  • 51:49 Morten Gamst Pedersen sends in a cross, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Scott Dann by Nikola Kalinic. Joe Hart takes the free kick.
  • 50:08 The ball is delivered by Sebastian Larsson, clearance made by Christopher Samba.
  • 48:32 Booking Cameron Jerome goes into the referee's book.
  • Correction - 47:23 Assist on the goal came from Stephen Carr.
  • 47:23 Stephen Carr provided the assist for the goal.
  • 47:23 GOAL - Cameron JeromeBirmingham 2 - 0 Blackburn A goal is scored by Cameron Jerome from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Birmingham 2-0 Blackburn.
  • Correction - 47:21 The ball is swung over by Stephen Carr,
  • 47:21 A cross is delivered by Stephen Carr,
  • 46:50 Liam Ridgewell delivers the ball, Christopher Samba manages to make a clearance.
  • 45:01 The second half kicks off.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+2:11 The ref blows to signal half-time.
  • 45:00+0:36 Booking The referee shows Steven Nzonzi a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
  • 45:00+0:18 Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Nzonzi on Liam Ridgewell. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.
  • 43:49 Corner from the right by-line taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen, clearance made by Liam Ridgewell.
  • 43:13 The ball is crossed by Keith Andrews, clearance made by Roger Johnson.
  • 42:26 Lee Bowyer gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nikola Kalinic. Morten Gamst Pedersen crosses the ball in from the free kick, Roger Johnson makes a clearance.
  • 42:08 A cross is delivered by Sebastian Larsson, Christopher Samba manages to make a clearance.
  • 41:19 The assistant referee signals for offside against Christian Benitez. Paul Robinson takes the indirect free kick.
  • 38:57 Christian Benitez takes a shot. Pascal Chimbonda manages to make a clearance. Corner from the left by-line taken by Sebastian Larsson, Christopher Samba makes a clearance.
  • 38:01 Christian Benitez is ruled offside. Paul Robinson takes the indirect free kick.
  • 36:25 Unfair challenge on Morten Gamst Pedersen by Stephen Carr results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
  • 35:28 The ball is sent over by Pascal Chimbonda, clearance by Scott Dann.
  • 34:03 El-Hadji Diouf delivers the ball, clearance by Liam Ridgewell.
  • 33:40 El-Hadji Diouf produces a cross, clearance by Scott Dann.
  • 31:52 Inswinging corner taken by El-Hadji Diouf, Joe Hart makes a save.
  • 31:34 Morten Gamst Pedersen sends in a cross, clearance by Barry Ferguson.
  • 31:23 The ball is swung over by El-Hadji Diouf, clearance made by Stephen Carr.
  • 29:08 Sebastian Larsson produces a cross, clearance made by Gael Givet.
  • 28:36 The ball is delivered by Liam Ridgewell, Gael Givet manages to make a clearance.
  • 28:22 Morten Gamst Pedersen crosses the ball, clearance by Liam Ridgewell.
  • 27:01 Christopher Samba concedes a free kick for a foul on Lee Bowyer. Direct free kick taken by Barry Ferguson.
  • 24:31 The ball is sent over by Liam Ridgewell, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Cameron Jerome misses to the left of the goal.
  • 24:16 Shot from 25 yards from Lee Bowyer. Blocked by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
  • 23:35 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by James McFadden, Gael Givet makes a clearance.
  • Correction - 22:36 Centre by El-Hadji Diouf, Shot by Steven Nzonzi. Stephen Carr gets a block in.
  • 22:36 A cross is delivered by El-Hadji Diouf, Shot from 18 yards from Keith Andrews. Stephen Carr gets a block in.
  • 21:26 Substitution Brett Emerton leaves the field to be replaced by Keith Andrews.
  • 21:26 The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
  • 21:12 The ball is swung over by James McFadden, Ryan Nelsen manages to make a clearance.
  • 18:32 Foul by Steven Nzonzi on James McFadden, free kick awarded. Joe Hart takes the free kick.
  • 17:56 Roger Johnson concedes a free kick for a foul on Jason Roberts. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
  • 17:07 Liam Ridgewell produces a cross, clearance by Gael Givet.
  • Correction - 14:39 Jason Roberts produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the goal.
  • 14:39 Jason Roberts has shot on goal from just outside the area which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
  • 13:45 Corner taken left-footed by James McFadden, Ryan Nelsen makes a clearance.
  • 12:41 James McFadden delivers the ball, Christian Benitez takes a shot. Christopher Samba gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from the left by-line. Sebastian Larsson produces a drilled right-footed shot from 25 yards. Blocked by Christopher Samba.
  • Correction - 11:21 Assist on the goal came from Liam Ridgewell.
  • 11:21 Assist by Christian Benitez.
  • 11:21 GOAL - Cameron JeromeBirmingham 1 - 0 Blackburn Cameron Jerome gets on the score sheet with a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Birmingham 1-0 Blackburn.
  • Correction - 10:33 A cross is delivered by Sebastian Larsson,
  • 10:33 The ball is delivered by Sebastian Larsson,
  • 10:15 The ball is crossed by Sebastian Larsson, Christopher Samba makes a clearance.
  • 9:24 Morten Gamst Pedersen crosses the ball, clearance made by Roger Johnson.
  • 7:06 Nikola Kalinic concedes a free kick for a foul on Liam Ridgewell. Liam Ridgewell restarts play with the free kick.
  • 5:45 Free kick awarded for a foul by Christopher Samba on Roger Johnson. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.
  • 4:33 Effort from the edge of the penalty box by Nikola Kalinic goes wide of the right-hand upright.
  • 2:47 Unfair challenge on Gael Givet by Lee Bowyer results in a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
  • 0:00 The ref blows the whistle to start the match.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



Print Sponsor


Premier League results

15 Dec 2009 23:59 UK


Premier League table

Tuesday, 15 December 2009 22:02 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full Premier League table
1 Chelsea 16 27 37
2 Man Utd 17 23 37
3 Aston Villa 17 14 32
4 Arsenal 15 21 31
5 Tottenham 16 13 27
6 Birmingham 17 1 27
7 Man City 15 8 26
8 Liverpool 16 10 24
9 Fulham 16 3 23
10 Sunderland 17 -2 21
11 Stoke 16 -4 21
12 Blackburn 17 -13 19
13 Burnley 16 -14 18
14 Wigan 16 -17 18
15 Everton 16 -8 17
16 Hull 17 -17 17
17 Bolton 16 -10 16
18 Wolves 17 -16 16
19 West Ham 17 -9 14
20 Portsmouth 16 -10 11

see also
Tuesday football as it happened
15 Dec 09 |  Football
Tuesday's football photos
15 Dec 09 |  Football



BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.