Saturday January 6th 2007
BIRMINGHAM CITY 2 NEWCASTLE UTD 2
BIRMINGHAM: Maik Taylor, Kelly (Martin Taylor 34), Jaidi,Upson, Sadler, Larsson, Johnson, Muamba, McSheffrey,Bendtner (Kilkenny 71), Campbell (Danns 46).
Subs Not Used: Doyle, Clemence.
NEWCASTLE: Given, Solano, Huntington, Taylor, Edgar, Milner,Dyer, Butt, Pattison, Sibierski (O'Brien 46), Martins.
Subs Not Used: Srnicek, Luque, Carroll, LuaLua.
... it was Sebastian Larsson who nipped ahead of the Swedish star to earned top billing in the media as 10-man Birmingham forced an FA Cup third-round replay at St Andrews.
Officially an Arsenal player, but obviously not rated that highly in North London as they allowed him to be cup-tied. But the on-loan player hooked the ball home from close range with just four minutes remaining to rob the Mags of a victory they deserved.
It will be noted the Blues had to play the second half with 10 men when defender Radhi Jaidi was sent off shortly before half-time for a professional foul. But I'm sure the Midlands press won't say much about the fact Glenn Roeder has 14 players on the injury list. It was half Newcastle's Youth side, as they finished with five academy players on the pitch!
Dudley Campbell played for non-League Yeading against Newcastle in the FA Cup two years ago, and he struck early in the game as United AGAIN were caught wanting when facing a dead-ball kick. So many times in recent weeks they have failed to clear their lines when facing corner kicks, and
Larsson's inswinging corner was met at the far post by Matthew Upson who climbed above David Edgar to head back across goal to Campbell who poked the ball home with his left foot.
City nearly doubled their lead when Bendtner got to the by-line before picking out Fabrice Muamba whose shot was cleared off the line by Steven Taylor. But it was the young Toon defender who put Roeder's boys back in the match. In the 40th minute Newcastle themselves had a corner and no-one picked up the run of Taylor on the near post and he prodded home Milner's free-kick for his third goal of the season.
City were reduced to 10 men after 42 minutes when Jaidi brought down Martins and it was touch-and-go whether it was in the box. But the referee went for the easy option.
Alan O'Brien replaced Antoine Sibierski at half-time.
James Milner came close to putting Newcastle ahead when his free-kick rattled against the underside of the bar and then somehow bounced off Maik Taylor and around the post for a corner, when the goalkeeper didn't seem to know much about it.
Newcastle started to turn the screw and they went ahead after 54 minutes through Dyer's third goal in the last five games. Martins' pass should have been cut out by Newcastle target Matthew Upson, but he made a right balls of it to allow Dyer a clear run at goal. Dyer was not prepared to pass up the opportunity.
Martins could, and should, have doubled Newcastle's lead after turning past Upson but he wanted to walk the ball into the back of the net and Maik Taylor took the ball off his toe.
But Birmingham scored with four minutes left to force a replay.
Arsenal Reject Stuns Newcastle
Saturday January 6th 2007