Tuesday, 28 December 2010

A little bit of luck and a lot of character

Handball? Maybe. Foul? Could have been. Offside? Possibly. Absolutely brilliant? Yes yes and yes again. Once again our never say die attitude and not knowing when to give up paid off, and we got a really, really big point tonight.

With the irony of Manchester United fans labelling us cheats, I've found it hard to construct thoughts into a proper blog post because I'm laughing so much. It really is brilliant isn't it; in fact if it was offside, it it was a foul and if it was handball, I'm glad. Actually, I hope it was all of them because it would make it even funnier. I think they call it karma...

I wouldn't say either team truly 'deserved' anything but really no one 'deserves' anything out of a game unless they play the other team off the park. Man United started well, which was to be expected; even as the home team you have to expect a team like United to come at you. But Blues didn't just gift United the ball and let them do what they pleased with it, those players actually fought for the ball and for each other, and didn't stop until the final whistle - something which was missing from the previous game against Wolves.

In fact, everything that was missing in the blip in the previous game was back again. The desire was clear in all the players and they stepped their game up a notch, like we always do when the big boys come to town. Ben Foster had a little something to prove after not having the best of times at Man United; and with a few good saves and a solid performance, he left the field with a smug smile on his face.

The Blues defence were again rock solid, and the only times they were torn apart were for Berbatov's goal and for a spell after United's goal when they had the stuffing knocked out of them a little. Other than that, it was akin to the shut out against Chelsea a few weeks ago, with Roger Johnson and Scott Dann winning plenty of balls in the air, coping well with an off the pace Wayne Rooney, and Ridgewell and Carr doing a superb job too.

The midfield really gave it their all, and Bluenose Craig Gardner could have even given his team the lead in the second half, when a short corner was played back to Bowyer, whose blocked shot found Gardner but he could only manage a shot straight at Van Der Sar. Barry Ferguson ran the show again and picked up man of the match, which is getting quite boring now actually! He drives the team forward and will pick out a pass no one else could see, as well as picking out the easy passes to keep the game flowing, in short, he's just brilliant. Jean Beausejour also known as Dave - for ease - got a start, and had a great game. He's someone we need: a player that can beat a man, a player with pace, and a player with a good cross on him, and hopefully last night gave him a bit of practise. I was impressed.

Although Berbatov's goal knocked it out of Blues a little, you can't fault their attitude. Heads dropped a little, but the desire was still there and those players kept on pushing until the final whistle, where they got a reward for all their hard graft; and we have Roger Johnson, Nikola Zigic, Lee Bowyer and a little bit of luck to thank for that.

Maybe it was handball, it could have been a foul leading up to the goal, and it probably was offside, but throughout the game I was thinking "are we ever going to get any luck?" and we may have go tit in the 89th minute... and about bloody time too.

With another big game against a top team Saturday, a repeat of this performance wouldn't go amiss, and after all; anything can happen at St. Andrews (maybe sometimes with a little bit of help from the officials).

Full Time: Birmingham Ciy 1-1 Manchester United

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