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Page last updated at 15:59 GMT, Saturday, 2 April 2011 16:59 UK

Birmingham   2 - 1   Bolton

Birmingham climb out of the bottom three after goals in each half from Kevin Phillips and Craig Gardner secure a vital win against Bolton
Kevin Phillips scored four minutes into his first league start of the season

By Sean Chaney

Birmingham climbed out of the bottom three after goals in each half from Kevin Phillips and Craig Gardner secured a vital win against Bolton.

Phillips latched onto Sebastian Larsson's corner after just four minutes, and fired in from 16 yards.

Gardner then played a neat one-two with Cameron Jerome before rattling in a low shot from just outside the area.

Johan Elmander pulled one back for Bolton with a volley but Birmingham withstood late pressure to get the win.

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish will have breathed a huge sigh of relief after seeing his team get their first league win since beating Arsenal in the Carling Cup final back in February.

The Blues had endured a miserable March picking up just one league point and losing to relegation rivals West Bromwich and Wigan.

McLeish had urged his men to show some "bottle" ahead of the game and the Birmingham players started the match with his words ringing in their ears.

McLeish hails 'genius' Phillips

Birmingham pressed their opponents from the off and their high-octane start quickly paid dividends.

Lee Bowyer harried Bolton's defenders in the opening minutes and his knockdown broke to Gardner whose shot was deflected wide by Gary Cahill for a Birmingham corner.

Sebastian Larsson's out swinging corner fell to Kevin Phillips and the veteran striker marked his first Premier League start for 12 months by half-volleying in tidily from 16 yards out.

Gardner went close soon afterwards with a long range effort which fizzed just wide of Jussi Jaaskelainen's post.

Birmingham had come out with all guns blazing, but by the 10th minute they seemed to have run out of ammunition.

The game then drifted into scrappy and untidy spells as both teams fought hard for possession but created little.

When Bolton did threaten it was through the bright runs and sharp shooting of Daniel Sturridge.

By the end of the half the match had begun to resemble a private duel between the Bolton striker and the Birmingham goalkeeper Ben Foster.

Foster got down brilliantly to tip Sturridge's firm half-volley from the angle around the post and preserve the hosts' 1-0 lead after 42 minutes.

Coyle 'aggrieved' to lose at Birmingham

Birmingham began the second half with a bang, roared on by a vocal crowd at St Andrew's and it was not long before the hosts had the ball in the Bolton net.

Larsson crossed from the right for Phillips who controlled well with his knee before his volley was well saved by Jaaskelainen, the ball dropped for Bowyer who picked out Larsson at the far post.

The Swede finished well, but he had drifted into an offside position and the effort was correctly overruled.

Birmingham could have extended their lead when Roger Johnson connected with a loose ball from a corner but his sharp volley was well saved by Jaaskelainen.

The second goal arrived in the 59th minute and it was a beauty.

Gardner exchanged a neat one-two with Cameron Jerome on the right hand side of the Bolton box, before collecting the return and hammering in a fine low shot from the edge of the area which cannoned off the post and into the Bolton net.

But Bolton bounced back, and they set up a nerve-wracking finale for the home fans when Johan Elmander reacted first to Kevin Davies' clever chest flick to volley in a superb goal from just outside the 18-yard box.

It was the Swede's 12th goal of the season and his first league strike since Boxing Day.

The visitors then laid siege to the Birmingham goal but once again found Foster in indomitable form.

The England squad man saved well from Kevin Davies' back header and he needed to make an even better save from the resulting corner.

Gretar Steinsson powered in a header from the edge of the six yard box and Foster instinctively parried the ball clear to ensure Birmingham picked up all three points.


Birmingham boss Alex McLeish:

Bolton got the scent of blood towards the end and we knew it would have to be a backs-to-the-wall performance. They are so dangerous at second balls, Davies is the best in the country at what he does, but our defenders handled him well today.

Ben Foster has been fantastic for us this season, he can't be brilliant in every game, but he was definitely back to top form today.

Kevin Phillips is a genius in the box. He just drifts into space, it's difficult to coach that, it's just a gift. He is just a natural goalscorer.

Bolton boss Owen Coyle:

Ben Foster was inspired, we all know he is an outstanding goalkeeper and he showed his qualities today. I would be surprised if he has ever had a better game. He made some really outstanding saves.

We feel a little bit aggrieved to be leaving with nothing. Birmingham are fighting for their lives and we knew they would be up for it. We needed to start well and we didn't, we gifted them a sloppy goal which should have been avoided.

It's a big three points for Birmingham, but we are disappointed as we felt that we deserved at least a draw.

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Birmingham 2-1 Bolton FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Phillips 4
  • Gardner 59
  • Elmander 70

Birmingham

Substitutes

Bolton

Substitutes

Ref: OliverAtt: 26,142
BIRMINGHAM
BOLTON

Possession

  • Birmingham 51%
  • Bolton 49%

Attempts on target

  • Birmingham 7
  • Bolton 12

Attempts off target

  • Birmingham 3
  • Bolton 7

Corners

  • Birmingham 8
  • Bolton 9

Fouls

  • Birmingham 11
  • Bolton 16
  • Final Result
  • 94:18 The referee brings the game to a close.
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+3:42 Free kick awarded for a foul by Matthew Taylor on Roger Johnson. Ben Foster takes the direct free kick.
  • 90:00+2:25 Corner taken right-footed by Chung-Yong Lee, Gary Cahill produces a headed effort from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
  • 90:00+1:06 Corner taken right-footed by Chung-Yong Lee, clearance made by Roger Johnson.
  • Correction - 90:00+0:18 Kevin Davies takes a shot. Corner taken right-footed by Matthew Taylor, save made by Ben Foster. Gretar Rafn Steinsson takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
  • 90:00+0:18 Kevin Davies takes a shot. Corner taken right-footed by Matthew Taylor, save by Ben Foster. Gretar Rafn Steinsson takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
  • 88:52 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Barry Ferguson by Johan Elmander. Liam Ridgewell takes the free kick.
  • 87:34 Kevin Davies challenges Stuart Parnaby unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Ben Foster.
  • 86:02 Liam Ridgewell challenges Kevin Davies unfairly and gives away a free kick. Marcos Alonso crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance by Liam Ridgewell.
  • 82:02 Outswinging corner taken by Matthew Taylor.
  • 81:39 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Matthew Taylor from the right by-line, Roger Johnson makes a clearance.
  • 79:54 Sebastian Larsson fouled by Ivan Klasnic, the ref awards a free kick. Sebastian Larsson takes the free kick.
  • 79:06 A cross is delivered by David Bentley.
  • 78:07 Substitution Fabrice Muamba leaves the field to be replaced by Matthew Taylor.
  • 77:29 Gretar Rafn Steinsson fouled by Nikola Zigic, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Marcos Alonso from left channel.
  • 76:34 Corner taken by Keith Fahey from the left by-line, save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
  • 75:50 Substitution Cameron Jerome goes off and Nikola Zigic comes on.
  • 75:38 Marcos Alonso produces a cross.
  • 72:11 Substitution Ivan Klasnic comes on in place of Martin Petrov.
  • 69:57 The assist for the goal came from Kevin Davies.
  • 69:57 GOAL - Johan ElmanderBirmingham 2 - 1 Bolton Johan Elmander grabs a goal from just outside the box high into the middle of the goal. Birmingham 2-1 Bolton.
  • 69:00 Daniel Sturridge fouled by Barry Ferguson, the ref awards a free kick. Jussi Jaaskelainen takes the free kick.
  • 69:00 Substitution Stephen Carr goes off and David Bentley comes on.
  • 66:46 Corner from the right by-line taken by Sebastian Larsson, Kevin Davies makes a clearance.
  • 66:12 The ball is swung over by Marcos Alonso, Craig Gardner makes a clearance.
  • 63:29 Substitution Keith Fahey replaces Lee Bowyer.
  • 63:29 Substitution (Bolton) makes a substitution, with Chung-Yong Lee coming on for Tamir Cohen.
  • 62:50 The ball is crossed by Johan Elmander, Tamir Cohen takes a shot. Ben Foster makes a save.
  • 62:09 Martin Petrov takes a shot. Roger Johnson makes a clearance.
  • 60:56 Free kick awarded for a foul by Fabrice Muamba on Craig Gardner. Direct free kick taken by Ben Foster.
  • 58:06 The assist for the goal came from Cameron Jerome.
  • 58:06 GOAL - Craig GardnerBirmingham 2 - 0 Bolton Craig Gardner fires in a goal from just outside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Birmingham 2-0 Bolton.
  • 56:39 Unfair challenge on Marcos Alonso by Sebastian Larsson results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
  • 56:25 The ball is swung over by Martin Petrov, save by Ben Foster.
  • 55:43 Sebastian Larsson takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, Gary Cahill makes a clearance.
  • 54:19 Sebastian Larsson takes the inswinging corner, Roger Johnson takes a shot. Save by Jussi Jaaskelainen. Corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from the left by-line, clearance made by Gary Cahill. Craig Gardner delivers the ball, David Wheater makes a clearance.
  • 53:12 Corner taken left-footed by Martin Petrov, Kevin Davies takes a shot. Comfortable save by Ben Foster.
  • 53:12 Booking The referee shows Marcos Alonso a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
  • 51:50 Martin Petrov crosses the ball, Kevin Davies takes a shot. Corner taken left-footed by Martin Petrov from the right by-line, Kevin Davies takes a shot. Clearance by Sebastian Larsson. Foul by Marcos Alonso on Kevin Phillips, free kick awarded. Ben Foster takes the free kick.
  • 50:08 Daniel Sturridge takes a shot. Comfortable save by Ben Foster.
  • 48:56 Unfair challenge on Tamir Cohen by Kevin Phillips results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by David Wheater.
  • 47:54 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marcos Alonso by Cameron Jerome. Free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
  • 46:50 Kevin Phillips takes a shot. Save made by Jussi Jaaskelainen. The assistant referee signals for offside against Sebastian Larsson. Jussi Jaaskelainen takes the direct free kick. Johan Elmander sends in a cross. The ball is swung over by Martin Petrov. Gretar Rafn Steinsson crosses the ball, Stephen Carr manages to make a clearance.
  • 45:10 Foul by Kevin Davies on Roger Johnson, free kick awarded. Ben Foster restarts play with the free kick.
  • 45:01 The referee starts the second half.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+1:22 The first half comes to an end.
  • 45:00+0:49 Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson from the right by-line, Roger Johnson takes a shot. Comfortable save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
  • 44:55 Corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from the right by-line, Marcos Alonso makes a clearance.
  • 43:12 Martin Petrov delivers the ball, Stuart Parnaby manages to make a clearance.
  • 41:35 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Martin Petrov from the right by-line, Johan Elmander has an effort at goal from close in which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
  • 41:16 Daniel Sturridge takes a shot. Save made by Ben Foster.
  • 40:37 Daniel Sturridge takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
  • 38:22 Cameron Jerome produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the goal.
  • 37:09 Shot by Kevin Davies from deep inside the six-yard box clear the bar.
  • 36:00 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Johan Elmander by Cameron Jerome. Jussi Jaaskelainen restarts play with the free kick.
  • 35:01 Foul by Fabrice Muamba on Lee Bowyer, free kick awarded. Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, Tamir Cohen makes a clearance.
  • 32:15 Johan Elmander takes a shot. Roger Johnson gets a block in.
  • 31:14 Daniel Sturridge takes a shot. Corner taken left-footed by Martin Petrov, clearance by Craig Gardner. The ball is swung over by Daniel Sturridge, Roger Johnson manages to make a clearance. Ben Foster makes a save.
  • 30:07 The assistant referee flags for offside against Sebastian Larsson. Direct free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
  • 28:55 Kevin Davies is penalised for a handball. Liam Ridgewell takes the direct free kick. Johan Elmander gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lee Bowyer. Direct free kick taken by Ben Foster.
  • 28:25 Marcos Alonso fouled by Sebastian Larsson, the ref awards a free kick. Jussi Jaaskelainen takes the direct free kick.
  • 27:56 A cross is delivered by Gretar Rafn Steinsson, Daniel Sturridge takes a shot. Save made by Ben Foster.
  • 27:15 Shot from 35 yards by Craig Gardner missed to the right of the net.
  • 25:54 Free kick awarded for a foul by Sebastian Larsson on Martin Petrov. Jussi Jaaskelainen restarts play with the free kick.
  • 25:11 The ball is swung over by Martin Petrov, clearance by Stephen Carr.
  • 24:26 Lee Bowyer is ruled offside. Jussi Jaaskelainen restarts play with the free kick.
  • 23:47 Kevin Davies gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Roger Johnson. Ben Foster takes the direct free kick.
  • Correction - 22:29 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Liam Ridgewell by Kevin Davies. Free kick taken by Ben Foster.
  • 22:29 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kevin Davies on Liam Ridgewell. Ben Foster takes the free kick.
  • 19:20 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kevin Davies on Craig Gardner. Free kick taken by Roger Johnson.
  • 17:49 Foul by David Wheater on Cameron Jerome, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed by Barry Ferguson, clearance made by Gretar Rafn Steinsson.
  • 17:49 Booking David Wheater is given a yellow card.
  • 17:11 Lee Bowyer gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gary Cahill. Jussi Jaaskelainen takes the free kick.
  • 15:46 The referee penalises Kevin Phillips for handball. Free kick crossed left-footed by Marcos Alonso, save by Ben Foster.
  • 15:10 Unfair challenge on Marcos Alonso by Sebastian Larsson results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
  • 13:46 Kevin Phillips is caught offside. Jussi Jaaskelainen takes the indirect free kick.
  • 13:08 Daniel Sturridge has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the target.
  • 9:13 Daniel Sturridge challenges Liam Ridgewell unfairly and gives away a free kick. Liam Ridgewell takes the free kick.
  • 7:35 Free kick awarded for a foul by Gary Cahill on Kevin Phillips. Free kick taken by Barry Ferguson.
  • Correction - 6:50 Johan Elmander takes a shot. Save made by Ben Foster.
  • 6:50 Kevin Phillips takes a shot. Save by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
  • 6:09 Craig Gardner has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
  • 5:28 Gretar Rafn Steinsson challenges Kevin Phillips unfairly and gives away a free kick. Sebastian Larsson delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, clearance made by Tamir Cohen.
  • Correction - 3:23 Craig Gardner takes a shot. Outswinging corner taken by Sebastian Larsson, Roger Johnson provided the assist for the goal.
  • 3:23 Craig Gardner takes a shot. Corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from the right by-line, assist on the goal came from Roger Johnson.
  • 3:23 GOAL - Kevin PhillipsBirmingham 1 - 0 Bolton Kevin Phillips finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. Birmingham 1-0 Bolton.
  • 0:00 The referee starts the match.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Barclays Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 2 Apr 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 31 36 66
2 Arsenal 30 30 59
3 Chelsea 30 29 55
4 Man City 30 18 53
5 Tottenham 30 7 50
6 Liverpool 31 4 45
7 Everton 31 1 41
8 Bolton 31 0 40
9 Newcastle 31 2 39
10 Stoke 31 -2 38
11 Sunderland 30 -4 38
12 West Brom 31 -14 36
13 Fulham 30 0 35
14 Blackburn 31 -12 34
15 Birmingham 30 -12 34
16 Aston Villa 31 -14 34
17 Blackpool 30 -15 33
18 West Ham 31 -15 32
19 Wolves 31 -17 32
20 Wigan 31 -22 31

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