Birmingham City 1:1 Leicester City
City left it late to scrape a point from this trip to St Andrews, after a performance that should have been worthy of a win…
Nigel Pearson brought De Laet, Whitbread and Waghorn in for Moore, St Ledger and Vardy and City looked the better side right from the start.
Early panic in the Blues defence led to a foul on Nugent and Konchesky’s free-kick was well-struck but straight at keeper Butland.
Dyer was then fouled by Hurst for an obvious penalty, but as was the case on our last visit to St Andrews, the referee somehow didn’t see it that way.
Soon after Whitbread teed up Waghorn for a volley which Butland did well to save and Knockaert cleverly created a chance for Nugent who sent his effort wide.
King then sent a drive whistling past the post before setting up Waghorn for the best chance of the game which he fired over.
As the half progressed the number of chances for City grew to ridiculous proportions as a penalty shout for a Davies handball was turned down; Murphy blocked a De Laet effort, and Butland saved from Knockaert.
City’s 4,000 followers then looked on in disbelief as Birmingham delivered a classic sucker punch in first half injury time, King charging forward on the break and delivering a low cross for Lovenkrands to slot past Schmeichel in their first serious attack of the game.
If the Leicester players left the field feeling as though they had been mugged it almost got worse early in the second half when Schmeichel pulled off a good save to deny King.
City were no longer dominant and had to wait until the hour mark for their next decent change when Butland tipped a fierce Waghorn shot over.
Marshall and Vardy replaced Dyer and Waghorn in the 73rd minute and it was Marshall who rescued a point for City with four minutes of the game remaining, the youngster’s low shot from 25 yards going in off the right hand post.
City almost got the points they had deserved deep into injury time. Spector’s trip on De Laet earned him his second yellow and Marshall delivered a perfect free-kick towards the top right hand corner, but Butland had the last word tipping it over at full-stretch.
City’s winning streak was over, but Cardiff’s defeat at Forest meant that a point was good enough to see them top the Championship again.
Nigel Pearson commented: “We showed some determination and quite a bit of composure to get something out of the game. They broke up the tempo very effectively but all in all my players dealt with the demands of the game very professionally.”
Birmingham: Butland, Hurst (Fahey 76), Davies, Caldwell, Murphy, Burke (Elliott 56), Morrison, Spector, Lovenkrands (Lita 63), King. Unused Subs: Doyle, Mullins, Packwood, Robinson.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, Whitbread, Konchesky, Knockaert (Futacs 82), King, Drinkwater, Dyer (Marshall 73), Nugent, Waghorn (Vardy 73). Unused Subs: Logan, James, Schlupp, Moore.
Referee: Tony Bates. Attendance: 18,271.
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