Birmingham City – Manchester City Games: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

With us playing Manchester City on Sunday, Nicole has written an article looking at previous games.

With five matches to go, Blues are heading to the City of Manchester stadium this weekend in pursuit of the points which are going to keep them in a top ten position. It will be no easy feat, with Manchester City currently placed in fourth position, with only one point separating them and Spurs.

Recent times haven’t always been the best when we’ve faced the Sky Blues. Here’s a trip down memory lane to look at some of our recent Premier League clashes.

The Good
Birmingham City 3 Manchester City 1 – 31st March 2008

A new era at the Blues dawned with Alex McLeish in charge. He was faced with an uphill struggle to fight the black hole which is relegation, which we all now know he lost.

Although times we’re hard down the club and their was a general loss in morale, a bright star was shining at the club, in the shape of young Argentine striker Mauro Zarate.

Although he failed to have the much needed Tevez effect, he provided a temporary lift for the club and fans by scoring two in the match up against the Manchester side. Current fan favourite Hart was eluded by the hit man who scored in either half, and he gave the Birmingham fans hope that the great escape could be achieved.

Birmingham City 2 Manchester City 1 Friday 26th December 2003

The biggest present for any Blues fan is a win at Christmas, and it always tastes that little bit sweeter when you come back at the end for a result.

With a Fowler goal in the 14th minute and nothing on the Blues score sheet, at 80 minutes you would think the game was over. Then, up pop Kenna and Mikael Forssell in the 81st and 87th minute respectively  to send the Blues fans delirious and Manchester City went home feeling as if they’d been more stuffed than the Christmas turkey.

A fantastic season, which saw Forssell finish with 32 goals from 17 appearances, the last striker who we’ve had at the Blues who was so prolific in front of a net. The fact he was so good that season makes you wonder how good he could have been a few seasons later, if it wasn’t for serious injuries contributing to a lack of form.

The Bad
Manchester City 0 Birmingham City 0 – Sunday 8th February 2004

Not necessarily all bad. Possibly a terrible display of defenders not looking after their keeper, but on an individual level, a man of the match performance for Birmingham’s keeper.

This is the match which cemented Maik Taylor’s reputation as a fantastic shot stopper at the Blues, and the same season where the Premier League club’s voted him goalkeeper of the season.

In a game that was broadcast live on SKY, Blues put on an impressive defensive performance for the TV cameras, with Taylor managing a fantastic double save in the first half.

The stats show the prowess of Maik Taylor of the day. With 54% of the possession, 12 shots on target and 9 shots off target, we could have ended the match with a cricket score if it wasn’t for his acrobatics between the posts.

It seems an age ago, with the squad sheet boasting the likes of Dugarry, Cunningham and Lazaridis, but the team hung on through an onslaught of Manchester City pressure to come back from the inaugural visit to the City of Manchester stadium unscathed.

The Ugly
Manchester City 4 Birmingham 1 – Saturday 17th December 2005

What a difference 11 months makes. After a summer of spending, and the heralding of the “best Blues team ever”, on paper at least, Blues faced an unhappier time at the City of Manchester this time around.

In the season where Blues were relegated, stats also show the hammering Blues took, with nine shots on target and eight off target, with a possession of 54%. Looking back at the squad at the time, its shocking we got such a beating, with the likes of Forssell, Pennant and David Dunn in the sixteen man squad for the day.

A woeful season which started with such promise. A team which included players who were there for a final payday and didn’t give a stuff about a club, and a manager under massive pressure from the fans. The Premier League dream well and truly burst.

When Bradley Wright-Phillips scores against you, you know something is up. Christmas spirit completely eluded the Blues that day, and Bruce’s men were feeling the first chill of relegation.

It’s almost two years on since the 3-1 win though, and we’re looking at an entirely different situation. Although we are the Premier League new boys once again, we’ve earned our spot in the top ten this season and have proven we will not be rolled over by bigger teams.

At St. Andrews earlier in the season, we took a 0-0 draw and a well earned point. What we need to avoid is an ugly display, and look towards scoring the most we have all season, with a display from Maik Taylor which will rival that of six years ago.

We haven’t got the best of records against Manchester City in the Premier League, with three wins in eleven league matches. Even more ominous for Sunday, all our wins against them have been at St. Andrews. Let’s take that fortress mentality up north with us, take the first win at the City of Manchester stadium, and steal away those points they sorely need.

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1 Comment on Birmingham City – Manchester City Games: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

  1. I remember watching the 4-1 game in a social club in south east London. I walked out at half time.

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