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Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Saturday, 23 October 2010 16:58 UK

Birmingham   2 - 0   Blackpool

Liam Ridgewell celebrates
Blackpool were never able to respond after Liam Ridgewell's first-half opener

By John Oakley

Birmingham earned their first Premier League victory since August after outclassing Blackpool at St Andrew's.

Liam Ridgewell gave the hosts the lead just before the break, nodding home from two yards after Nikola Zigic's header came back off the crossbar.

Star midfielder Charlie Adam then gave the ball away in his own six-yard box and allowed Zigic to double the lead.

Blackpool were enterprising but lacked a cutting edge as the home side closed out a comfortable win.

The Seasiders went into the match with the best away record in the Premier League and must have had hopes of further success on the road with Birmingham struggling to repeat the form which saw them go unbeaten for so long last season.

Holloway outwitted by wily old McLeish

But the resilience and belief that inspired Ian Holloway's side to wins at Wigan, Newcastle and Liverpool never really materialised at a soggy St Andrew's.

Holloway had made headlines in the build-up to the match with a tirade about player power, the Bosman ruling and a lack of video technology in the game.

But even if the latter had been in place, it would have had no bearing on a game in which Birmingham finally began to find some much-needed home form.

Holloway's decision to go for an attacking formation should be commended, although the colourful boss might have had second thoughts as the Blues controlled the opening stages.

Zigic almost diverted a Seb Larsson shot past Matt Gilks and Blackpool defender Neil Eardley was fortunate not to see red after tripping Keith Fahey when the Irishman was through on goal.

606: DEBATE
Zulumedi

Fahey fizzed a shot just past the post moments later, but Blackpool responded and Marlon Harewood should have done better with a tame effort straight at Ben Foster.

Garry O'Connor - back in the Birmingham side after a loan spell at Barnsley - then dawdled on the ball when clean through and allowed Craig Cathcart to slide in and clear the danger.

A sliding Gary Taylor-Fletcher then evoked memories of Paul Gascoigne against Germany in Euro '96 by just failing to connect with a Stephen Crainey cross at the other end.

But it was the hosts who continued to look the most likely, and their pressure paid off just before the break.

A teasing corner from Larsson led to a Zigic header which cannoned off the bar, but straight to Ridgewell and the left-back was in an ideal position two yards out to nod home.

Diamond formation paid off for us - McLeish

Blackpool needed to hit back straight after the break but Adam's blunder left them with a mountain to climb.

Again a Larsson corner caused all sorts of confusion but with a Ridgewell pull-back begging to be cleared, the Scot took an ill-advised touch in his own six-yard box and allowed Zigic to stab home a second.

After such an impressive start to the season, it was a highly uncharacteristic mistake from the otherwise excellent Blackpool captain and to make matters worse, the Scot was forced off shortly after with a bad gash sustained in the same incident.

Birmingham never really looked in trouble after moving two ahead, with Larsson a constant danger from dead ball opportunities and right-back Stephen Carr a bundle of energy down the right flank, despite his advancing years.

To their enormous credit, Blackpool remained positive and industrious to the last kick, with David Vaughan producing their best effort in the final minute when he forced Foster into a full-stretch save.

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Birmingham 2-0 Blackpool FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Ridgewell 36
  • Zigic 56

    Birmingham

    Substitutes

    Blackpool

    Substitutes

    Ref: TaylorAtt: 26,850
    BIRMINGHAM
    BLACKPOOL

    Possession

    • Birmingham 55%
    • Blackpool 45%

    Attempts on target

    • Birmingham 8
    • Blackpool 6

    Attempts off target

    • Birmingham 9
    • Blackpool 9

    Corners

    • Birmingham 9
    • Blackpool 10

    Fouls

    • Birmingham 8
    • Blackpool 16
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+3:27 The referee signals the end of the game.
    • Correction - 90:00+2:53 David Vaughan takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster. David Vaughan takes a outswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by David Murphy.
    • 90:00+2:53 David Vaughan takes a shot. Ben Foster makes a save. Corner taken by David Vaughan from the left by-line to the near post, David Murphy manages to make a clearance.
    • 90:00+2:07 The ball is crossed by Stephen Crainey, Liam Ridgewell makes a clearance.
    • 90:00+1:31 David Murphy produces a cross.
    • 90:00+0:13 Outswinging corner taken by David Vaughan. Effort on goal by Keith Southern from just inside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the target.
    • 87:38 Corner taken by David Vaughan from the left by-line.
    • 87:19 Corner from the left by-line taken by David Vaughan, Stephen Crainey produces a cross, Stephen Carr manages to make a clearance.
    • 87:10 David Vaughan produces a cross, Stephen Carr gets a block in.
    • 86:27 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Neal Eardley, The ball is swung over by Craig Cathcart, Scott Dann makes a clearance.
    • 86:21 Centre by Brett Ormerod, clearance by Scott Dann.
    • 86:07 Matt Phillips produces a cross.
    • 85:58 A cross is delivered by Neal Eardley, clearance by Stephen Carr.
    • 85:33 Corner taken by Neal Eardley from the right by-line, clearance made by Stephen Carr.
    • 82:49 Corner taken left-footed by David Vaughan, Keith Southern takes a shot. Save made by Ben Foster.
    • 82:21 Liam Ridgewell concedes a free kick for a foul on Matt Phillips. Direct free kick taken by Neal Eardley.
    • 82:21 Substitution Matt Derbyshire replaces Garry O'Connor.
    • 81:19 Neal Eardley takes a shot. Blocked by Roger Johnson.
    • 81:03 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Stephen Crainey from the left by-line.
    • 80:56 Matt Phillips produces a cross, clearance made by Stephen Carr.
    • 78:42 Barry Ferguson concedes a free kick for a foul on Matt Phillips. Ian Evatt restarts play with the free kick.
    • 77:49 Free kick awarded for a foul by Brett Ormerod on Nikola Zigic. Direct free kick taken by Barry Ferguson.
    • 76:31 The ball is sent over by David Murphy, Lee Bowyer produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 76:07 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Sebastian Larsson.
    • 75:17 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson, clearance made by Craig Cathcart.
    • 74:11 Roger Johnson concedes a free kick for a foul on Brett Ormerod. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Neal Eardley from right wing.
    • 72:56 Keith Southern has an effort at goal from outside the box which misses left.
    • 72:56 Substitution David Murphy replaces Alexander Hleb.
    • 72:56 Substitution (Blackpool) makes a substitution, with Brett Ormerod coming on for Luke Varney.
    • 72:02 Neal Eardley delivers the ball, clearance made by Scott Dann.
    • 70:45 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Liam Ridgewell by Matt Phillips. Ben Foster takes the free kick.
    • 67:54 Foul by Luke Varney on Ben Foster, free kick awarded. Ben Foster restarts play with the free kick.
    • 65:23 Substitution Keith Southern joins the action as a substitute, replacing Charlie Adam.
    • 65:23 Substitution Matt Phillips joins the action as a substitute, replacing Marlon Harewood.
    • 65:23 Substitution Lee Bowyer joins the action as a substitute, replacing Keith Fahey.
    • 65:10 A cross is delivered by Stephen Carr.
    • 64:30 The ball is crossed by Stephen Crainey. Charlie Adam takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
    • 64:17 Neal Eardley crosses the ball, clearance made by Stephen Carr.
    • 63:00 Free kick awarded for a foul by Garry O'Connor on Charlie Adam. Ian Evatt restarts play with the free kick.
    • 62:24 Liam Ridgewell fouled by Gary Taylor-Fletcher, the ref awards a free kick. Barry Ferguson takes the free kick.
    • 59:48 Alexander Hleb takes a shot. Ian Evatt gets a block in. Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson.
    • 58:49 Alexander Hleb concedes a free kick for a foul on Charlie Adam. Charlie Adam has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.
    • 58:49 Booking Nikola Zigic receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 57:54 Stephen Carr gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Luke Varney. David Vaughan takes the direct free kick.
    • 55:59 Keith Fahey takes a shot. Blocked by Ian Evatt. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from the right by-line,
    • 55:59 GOAL - Nikola ZigicBirmingham 2 - 0 Blackpool A goal is scored by Nikola Zigic from inside the six-yard box high into the middle of the goal. Birmingham 2-0 Blackpool.
    • 55:06 Alexander Hleb takes a shot. Blocked by Craig Cathcart.
    • 53:55 Garry O'Connor is caught offside. Neal Eardley restarts play with the free kick.
    • 52:14 Unfair challenge on Garry O'Connor by Ian Evatt results in a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from right wing.
    • 51:14 David Vaughan takes a long range shot clearing the crossbar.
    • 50:47 Stephen Carr delivers the ball, save by Matthew Gilks.
    • 49:22 Header from deep inside the penalty area by Luke Varney goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
    • 48:51 Centre by Stephen Crainey, clearance made by Scott Dann. Luke Varney takes a shot. Scott Dann gets a block in.
    • 47:28 Gary Taylor-Fletcher takes a shot. Barry Ferguson gets a block in.
    • 46:26 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Roger Johnson goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
    • 45:01 The match restarts for the second half.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+1:09 It is the end of the first-half.
    • 45:00+0:12 The ball is crossed by Charlie Adam.
    • 44:08 Centre by Stephen Carr, Nikola Zigic produces a left-footed shot from close range which goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 43:49 Garry O'Connor fouled by Ian Evatt, the ref awards a free kick. Barry Ferguson takes the direct free kick.
    • 42:53 Luke Varney gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Barry Ferguson. Ben Foster takes the direct free kick.
    • 41:06 The ball is sent over by Neal Eardley.
    • 40:53 Stephen Crainey sends in a cross, Scott Dann manages to make a clearance.
    • 39:16 Liam Ridgewell crosses the ball.
    • 37:48 The ball is delivered by Sebastian Larsson, clearance by Craig Cathcart.
    • 35:58 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Sebastian Larsson. Nikola Zigic takes a shot. The assist for the goal came from Nikola Zigic.
    • 35:58 GOAL - Liam RidgewellBirmingham 1 - 0 Blackpool Liam Ridgewell finds the back of the net with a headed goal from close in. Birmingham 1-0 Blackpool.
    • 35:21 Liam Ridgewell delivers the ball, clearance by Ian Evatt.
    • 31:51 Stephen Carr crosses the ball.
    • 31:24 Luke Varney takes a shot. Scott Dann gets a block in.
    • 31:01 The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Matthew Gilks.
    • 30:34 The ball is sent over by Liam Ridgewell, Matthew Gilks makes a save.
    • 29:26 The ball is sent over by Liam Ridgewell.
    • 28:55 Dudley Campbell challenges Roger Johnson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Roger Johnson.
    • 28:13 David Vaughan takes the outswinging corner, Ben Foster makes a save.
    • 28:06 The ball is swung over by Neal Eardley, clearance made by Roger Johnson.
    • 27:01 The ball is sent over by Stephen Crainey.
    • 26:33 The ball is sent over by Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Scott Dann makes a clearance.
    • 25:02 Stephen Carr delivers the ball, Header from deep inside the area by Garry O'Connor goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
    • 24:52 A cross is delivered by Stephen Carr, Craig Cathcart makes a clearance.
    • 24:22 Free kick awarded for a foul by Marlon Harewood on Scott Dann. Direct free kick taken by Roger Johnson.
    • 23:34 Unfair challenge on Roger Johnson by Luke Varney results in a free kick. Ben Foster takes the free kick.
    • 22:00 Luke Varney fouled by Garry O'Connor, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Charlie Adam.
    • 21:42 Garry O'Connor takes a shot. Save by Matthew Gilks.
    • 20:21 Keith Fahey takes a shot from a long way out clearing the bar.
    • 20:16 Sebastian Larsson delivers the ball, Ian Evatt makes a clearance.
    • Correction - 19:45 Garry O'Connor produces a volleyed right-footed shot from 30 yards. Ian Evatt gets a block in.
    • 19:45 Volleyed left-footed shot by Garry O'Connor. Blocked by Ian Evatt.
    • 19:18 Dudley Campbell takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
    • 18:56 Luke Varney delivers the ball, clearance made by Liam Ridgewell.
    • 18:34 A cross is delivered by Luke Varney, Roger Johnson makes a clearance.
    • 18:04 Centre by Luke Varney.
    • 15:26 Sebastian Larsson fouled by Charlie Adam, the ref awards a free kick. Ben Foster restarts play with the free kick.
    • 13:52 Marlon Harewood concedes a free kick for a foul on Liam Ridgewell. Direct free kick taken by Ben Foster.
    • 13:23 Effort from outside the penalty area by Keith Fahey goes wide left of the target.
    • 13:00 Marlon Harewood challenges Stephen Carr unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ben Foster takes the direct free kick.
    • 11:45 Keith Fahey sends in a cross.
    • 11:21 Corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from the left by-line to the near post, Marlon Harewood makes a clearance.
    • 10:29 Nikola Zigic is caught offside. Matthew Gilks takes the direct free kick.
    • 10:21 The ball is delivered by Stephen Carr, clearance made by David Vaughan.
    • 9:25 Centre by Liam Ridgewell.
    • 8:31 Inswinging corner taken by Sebastian Larsson from the left by-line, Ian Evatt manages to make a clearance.
    • 7:55 Luke Varney gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Liam Ridgewell. Free kick taken by Ben Foster.
    • 7:39 Corner taken left-footed by David Vaughan.
    • 6:40 Sebastian Larsson takes a shot. Nikola Zigic takes a shot. Save by Matthew Gilks.
    • 5:58 Marlon Harewood has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the target.
    • 5:24 Free kick awarded for a foul by Sebastian Larsson on David Vaughan. Free kick taken by Ian Evatt.
    • 4:39 Corner from right by-line taken by Sebastian Larsson.
    • 3:02 Keith Fahey fouled by Neal Eardley, the ref awards a free kick. Sebastian Larsson shoots direct from the free kick, save made by Matthew Gilks.
    • 3:02 Booking Neal Eardley receives a yellow card.
    • 2:21 The offside flag is raised against Nikola Zigic. Matthew Gilks restarts play with the free kick.
    • 1:50 Unfair challenge on Stephen Carr by Luke Varney results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ben Foster.
    • 1:03 A cross is delivered by Neal Eardley, Gary Taylor-Fletcher takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
    • 0:00 The match has kicked off.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Premier League table snapshot

    As it stood on 23 Oct 2010 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Chelsea 9 23 22
    2 Man City 8 7 17
    3 Tottenham 9 3 15
    4 West Brom 9 -2 15
    5 Arsenal 8 8 14
    6 Man Utd 8 7 14
    7 Sunderland 9 1 12
    8 Bolton 9 0 12
    9 Newcastle 9 1 11
    10 Aston Villa 9 -4 11
    11 Everton 9 1 10
    12 Birmingham 9 -2 10
    13 Stoke 8 -2 10
    14 Blackpool 9 -7 10
    15 Wigan 9 -9 10
    16 Fulham 9 -1 9
    17 Blackburn 8 -1 9
    18 Liverpool 8 -6 6
    19 Wolves 9 -7 6
    20 West Ham 9 -10 6

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