Date: 1st November 2009 at 6:15pm
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Birmingham held Manchester City to a draw following a less than impressive performance from the visitors.

The newly taken over club gave Abu Dhabi backed City problems all over the pitch and Mark Hughes had the outstanding Shay Given to thank for keeping his side in the game after a string of saves and a supurb penalty stop.

Despite the Citizens run of four consecutive draws in the Premier League, City now move up to fourth place with a game in hand.

Birmingham started the game with purpose and in the ninth minute, Christian Benitez`s 20-yard strike clipped Vincent Kompany and smashed against the upright allowing the visitors the first of many lucky escapes.

Soon after, the diminutive Ecuadorian was allowed time and space to run riot amongst City`s back four yet again, this time Shay Given equal to his second effort of the game, blocking the ball from close range with his body.

In the 18th minute, Shaun Wright-Phillips managed to get a shot away for the Citizens in an attempt to stamp his sides authority on the game, Birmingham`s stand-in keeper initially fumbled the awkward ball but Stephen Carr was on hand to clear the ball from danger.

Birmingham stepped it up a gear and approaching the half-hour mark, McFadden`s long range drive had to be tipped over the bar by the busy Given.

The home side were causing problems all over the pitch for City and there was a distinct look of disorganisation about Mark Hughes` team as they struggled to create chances.

When they did manage to create a chance, stand-in keeper Taylor was there to block from Roque Santa Cruz`s close-range shot after Carlos Tevez and Wright-Phillips had managed to finally open up Birmingham`s defence down the right hand side.

Given was called in action once again as Alex McLiesh`s side continued to have the better of the ball, a powerful shot from Bowyer in the 41st minute was denied by the Ireland international – City lucky to head into the break at 0-0.

Half-time: Birmingham City 0 Manchester City 0

The teams emerged from the tunnel and the second half begun, the visitors starting the half as they had the first, poorly.

Nigel De Jong was correctly adjudged to have handled the ball as he jumped with Larsson, conceding a penalty in the process in just the 56th minute.

Lady luck was surely shining down on City as Given was not just having a good day, he was having a world-class day. The former Newcastle stopper dove the correct way to effortlessly deny McFadden’s ill-placed spot-kick and once again prove why he is one of the best in the world.

Stephen Ireland and Martin Petrov were brought on as the game progressed with little improvement, neither player able to influence events on the pitch.

Taylor made a finger-tip save from Carlos Tevez in the 66th minute, but it was a speculative effort and summed up City`s entire performance – not good enough.

Mark Hughes` side finished the game in the ascendency, but that really isn`t saying much considering the level of performance they had put in prior to the hour mark. A few surging runs and desperate attempts barely made an impact as Birmingham saw the game out comfortably to earn a draw in a game that they could have easily won had it not been for the heroics of Given.

Ferguson gained a red card for the hosts after a second yellow to give the game a minor talking point, but truth be told – it was a game to forget.

Full-time: Birmingham City 0 Manchester City 0
5 – 1 City Blog Report
5-1 City Blog match report can be found here.


12 Replies to “Given Saves City’s Blushes”

  • Absolutely appalling for the 3rd league match running, now only 7 points from the last 18 available. We need to improve and fast.

  • The only good thing about games like today is that people can come across here and start taking the ***** out of us for only being 4th in the league – It shows how far we have come as we used to get this when we were 4th from bottom or worse!

  • It does show how far you’ve come, but still, you have to admit today was a massive chance to take advantage of Pool’s poor results. They’re not going to struggle like this all year.

  • GK107 – Have you thought that we might not struggle like this all season either? Granted I’d like more points on the board particularly from the last 3 matches to put more pressure on Liverpool and others but beggers can’t be choosers. 1 win out of 6 is poor but we’ll turn it round soon starting with Burnley at home on Saturday.

  • not bothered what any other clubs fans think of citys season so far.

    we are in fourth,we have a game in hand.we kept a clean sheet today.
    and a point is a point so lets not start crying that our season is going downhill because its not.

  • i said to myself after the match, i will not go on to the city website and gloat, and i certainly wont say again that form is temporary but class is permament so im not going to xxxxx

  • Everyone has games like this. An away point is an away point, even against Birmingham. That being said, only wins will get you into Champions League. Sometimes, its worth risking a loss to get a win. Look at Liverpool. They’ve lost 5 matches and they’re still in the top 6. I’ll predict that if you accumulate 10 draws on the season, you WON’T be playing CL football next season. You’ll be in the Europa League!

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