A complete and utter come down from the jubilation we felt last weekend; today we were outclassed and outplayed by a determined Baggies team who, quite simply, wanted it more than us.
The only changes made were ones forced upon McLeish - Ferguson, Gardner, Jiranek and Zigic (although named as a substitute) through injury. Blues were welcomed onto the pitch by rapturous applause from the fans inside St. Andrews, with each player getting the reception they deserved as their name was read out.
It was West Brom who started the brighter though but for all the possession they had in the first half, the more clear cut chances came to Blues; with Cameron Jerome first shooting just wide and then looking on to see his header go just past the post.
Playing in Barry Ferguson's position, Keith Fahey made a good start; controlling the midfield like the Scot he replaced. Alongside him, Lee Bowyer was in all the right places, and Jean Beausejour, fresh after a great substitute appearance at Wembley, also played well. However the defence was Blues' downfall in the game as we failed to control that of West Brom's.
As the second half started it was the away side who made the first move, bringing Odemwingie on which subsequently led to the first goal of the derby, Mulumbu - who is from Africa, and apparently "better than Kaka" - took advantage of some clueless Blues defending and slotted the ball home. That didn't get Blues down though, and just a minute later they equalised. Bowyer did some excellent work on the by-line and slid a sharp cross into the box which met the foot of Beausejour, who couldn't miss, and it was all level at St. Andrews.
Bowyer then recieved a questionable yellow card and went missing somewhat in the game from then on. The Blues midfield then failed to gain control of the game, and James Morrison put the Baggies back into the lead with a fierce shot after some more defending that made it seem as if the Birmingham defence had only just met each other.
Try as they might, Blues couldn't get back into the game and a third goal from Paul Scharner killed the game and there was no way back for the Carling Cup Champions.
If there was one player that stood out today it was Stephen Carr, who at times bombed down the right with no support at all and still managed to cross the ball or find a pass. As for the rest, there was a lot to be desired - especially from David Bentley who had an off game today.
But, onwards and upwards. It was a kick up the backside after the highs of last Sunday, and as the relegation trap door is looming; the game midweek against Everton seems even more crucial now.