Full-time - 90'
1 - 1
17:30 +00:00, January 9, 2010
St. Andrew's Stadium
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
BIRMINGHAM 1-1 UNITED. Great result for Birmingham and they certainly deserved their point on their second half performance. Club record 12 games unbeaten in the top flight for McLeish's side. They held Chelsea a few weeks ago and this time United were the victims. Ferguson will be disappointed his side could not take the chance to go top. See you all next time.
It's all over...
Delivered by McFadden but it's cleared.
Late challenge from Brown and Birmingham have a late free-kick.
Long again from Hart and Ridgwell wins it in the air but he can't direct it towards Kuszczak.
A throw-in for Birmingham high up the pitch.
Evans stays strong on the left side of defence but it's Birmingham who look most likely to get something out of this game.
Carrick giving the ref an earful after he felt he was brought down by Bowyer.
A cross-cum-shot from Diouf down the right. Easy for Hart.
Birmingham looking long pretty much every time here.
Evans gives it away but Carrick battles back.
Six minutes of stoppage time. Fergie time anyone?
Jerome down the other end looks to play it through to Benitez and Brown has almost hand-balled it.
Nice from Diouf to play it right to Rafael but it's not a meaningful cross from the Brazilian.
Hart to launch it up again for Birmingham. Jerome and Benitez have looked dangerous in the area, and they have caused Brown and Evans plenty of problems.
Poor cross from Valencia, he has really faded in the second-half.
United coming back down the left with Rooney. Evra looking to push up now. Giggs tries to dummy it but it's poor from the Welshman and Diuof isn't on the same wavelength.
Another good save from Kuszczak.
A second yellow card for Fletcher. He up-ended Jerome and it was fully deserved.
SENDING OFF: Fletcher off.
Poor first touch by Diouf.
Birmingham sub: Fahey on for Larsson.
Rooney looks in some pain after getting a knock on his ankle.
Just before the sub, Scholes powered one over the bar from 20 yards out.
Can the debutant be a super sub for United like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - whose previous club Molde the striker arrived from.
United Sub: Diouf on for Scholes.
Great build-up playf rom united, the best move of the match so far. Rooney, Fletcher and Carrick all involved before Valencia slips it to Evra in a similar position to the United goal. This time it's too close to Hart who holds onto it well udner pressure.
The Red Devils have won six and lost four of their 10 league games away from Old Trafford before today. No club has taken more points on their travels this season.
Yellow card for Larsson. Dissent.
Great pressure up the pitch from Benitez and he forces Evans into a mistake.
Birmingham with a chance to regroup now after a solid period from United. The champions are pushing hard for a winner now.
And now a second bite at the cherry. Poor again.
Giggs this time to deliver.
Rooney takes it and it's deflected away for a corner.
United free-kick now. Carr has been booked for the challenge on Evra. About 30 yards out down the left.
Giggs has it now down the right and amazingly he has hit a right-foot cross! It's cleared away though.
The Frenchman still has the captian's armband despite Giggs being on the field.
Scholes switches it from right to left with a great ball that picks out Evra.
Long-range effort from Bowyer. Blasts it over the goal.
Roger Johnson gallops forward, he doesn't look at all out of place in the Premier League. Great performance today.
Corner by Giggs, poor delivery.
United break straight down the other end with Valencia and United have a corner.
Kuszczak saves again from Benitez. Great turn inside the box to flick it past Evans. The Polish keeper pushes it away.
Larsson crosses but Evans again clears.
Evans gets is head to it and it's a Brum throw-in down the right, high up the pitch.
Free-kick for Jerome, foul by Brown. Birmingham send everyone forward and Hart will boot it long.
Throw-in for United down the left-wing. At the moment Valencia is down the left and Giggs down the right.
Dann clears it out with Rooney looming behind him.
Birmingham come forward with Bowyer but a long ball finds its way through to Kuszczak.
Rafael down the right but Scholes' header from the Brazilian's cross won't trouble Hart.
Birminghma free-kick 30 yards out. McFadden takes but it's a poor delivery, dinked in, and Kuszczak collects.
That's the fifth time this season, United have scored thanks to an own-goal, more than any other side in the league.
So, plenty of confusion and plenty of protest from Birmingham. Replay shows that Rooney was not offside anyway. This game has really sparked into life now.
UNITED SUB: Giggs on for Park.
But no, it's an own goal so no offside!
No, confusion as the linesman flags for offside.
Better cross this time from Jerome but Evans deals with it.
Three men free in the box after Birmingham winning the ball high up the field. Jerome had so much time to pick out a man but it's a real wasted opportunity.
Either way, it finished high over the crossbar.
The Brazilian comes forward now and unleashes an extremely speculative effort from 25 yards. Actually, I think it was suppsed to be a cross.
Switched to the left now but Birmingham have so many men behind the ball. A loose pass and poor control from Rafael combine to embarass the Brazilian full-back.
Rafael now with the chance to break and he links up well with Valencia.
Evra marauding down the left but the Frenchman looking increasingly frustrated as the ref awards a corner despite the ball coming off Carr.
Scholes looks to be confusing himself and he has looked a little lazy on the ball at times in the second half.
Carr takes it long but Brown is up to head clear.
This time he's fouled and Birmingham have a free-kick just inside their own half. Two footed tackle from Evans, no booking.
But again it's resolutely defended by Birmingham and again Benitez tries to break but his touch is too heavy.
United corner after Evra's shot is deflected out.
Swung in by Larsson but dealt with easily by United and they break away.
The snow begins to fall at St Andrews but it's hot and feisty on the pitch, Scholes, McFadden, Rafael and bowyer all going in hard in the space of seconds. Birmingham free-kick down the left wing.
United have looked poor at the start of the second-half. Birmingham have six 1-0 wins under their belt so far this season and look like they can hold on here.
Park down the left and he claims the corner but it's come off him and goal-kick is awarded.
Free-kick for United just inside their own half and Evra looks to build an attack.
Given away and Benitez slips it past Brown and looks to be away. But Jonny Evans comes across to ame an important interception.
Schoels tries to bring United forward and Valencia has it down the right.
Skews it high and again United fail to clear it. it comes to Benitez and it's a fantastic point blank save from Kuszczak. Evans clears it away with Jerome bearing down.
Larsson to take.
Good pressure from Birmingham early on, as McFadden now tries to fend off Fletcher. Brum corner.
Poor clearance from Evra and Larsson has it.
BEnitez turns BRown in the area but the United defender regains his footing and stays strong before Evans knocks it away.
Early throw-in for Birmingham but Scholes clears it away.
No changes as yet, I wonder if Ferguson will be tempted to introduce youngster Diuof at some point. He's trusting his starting line-up at the moment.
And the second-half has kicked off...
Grab a cup of tea and join us again in 15 minutes...
HALF-TIME. Birmingham 1-0 United. Just one attempt on goal by Brum then after being dominated by United. But it's the one that counts with Jerome giving McLeish's side a surprise lead. United need to engineer some more clear-cut chances in the second-half if they are to get back into this one.
Towards Scott Dann but collected by Kuszczak.
McFadden to whip it in from the right, left-footed.
Free-kick Bimringham after a poor challenge from Park on Larsson.
Rooney late on Johnson afte he had cleared the ball.
Good tackle from Evans on Benitez right on the edge of the area. Since the goal, Birmingham have definitely been buoyed.
Fletcher booked for a late challenge on Bowyer. The Scotland midfielder has hurt himself in the challenge though. Certainly looked more painful for Bowyer.
It was two against one on a BIrmingham break there! Shocking touch from Benitez wiht Jerome begging for it on his left. Evra was the last man but a loose touch from Benitez enabled him to get a boot in.
Out for another.
Fletcher to take.
United corner after good pressure from Valencia.
Completely against the run of play, and of course they have won every game in which they've taken the lead this season.
He's scored five in the last ten Premier League games and the first goal for a team managed by Alex McLeish against United.
BIRMINGHAM 1-0 UNITED. Terrible defending from United, Park didn't clear it away. Evans miscued straight to Jerome who just side-footed it home. One chance for Birmingham, one goal.
Half chance for Cameron Jerome. The ball fell to him in the box and he uses good strength to get past Evans.
Great play by Rafael down the right. He came inside and the ball AGAIN broke to Carrick but he scooped it up off the top of his boot. It nearly lobbed over Hart's head but the keeper collected.
Rooney finds some space inside the left side of the box this time and he lays it back to Park. The ball comes to Carrick but his effort is blocked away by Dann, who flung himself selflessly in front of the ball.
Rooney pressurises Johnson but the Birmingham defender is cool under pressure, as he has been all season.
Corner knocked away and it comes to park who can't control it. Carrick's follow-up shot is cleared away and a cross in towards Park is headed wide by the South Korean.
Lookign back it should have been a free-kick, Scholes brought him down unfairly.
Unite booed for not kicking the ball out of play. Benitez is down, but United have played on and won a corner.
Park goes to ground after a great through ball from Fletcher but it was far to easy. Great strength from Carr to hold him off.
Rooney's effort hits the wall, second effort is skewed and then Carrick's attempted cross is comfortably dealt with it.
About 25 yards out and it's going to be Rooney to have a go, quite central.
Scholes wins a free-kick after a good period of possession on the Birmingham box.
Scholes picks it up for United and thumps it long. Hospital pass by Johnson and Valencia looks for the one-two with Rooney. Under-hit by the United striker.
Jerome now on the break for Birmingham but he hasn't used the ball well with Ridgwell and McFadden overlapping.
United free-kick down the right wing, and it's switched left to Evra.
Birmingham trying to manufacture some possession now. -6 degrees at pitchside at the moment!
Birmingham have kept nine clean sheets so far this season - Chelsea are the only top-flight side to register more shut-outs (10).
United streaming at Brimingham now but it's stubborn defending from McLeish's side.
Cracking save from Hart! Valencia played Rooney clean through and he's thwarted the England striker with a smart stop. Seconds later Rooney has a headed chance after a cross from the right but he can't direct it goalwards.
Carr let's it bounce and Rooney's punished him, gets beyond him and looks for Valencia at the back post. It's cleared out by the back-tracking McFadden.
Rafael late on McFadden and it's free-kicks galore here! Stern talking too from Clattenberg but that's all.
Free-kick immediately awarded the other end. Benitez foul on Brown.
Birmingham free-kick, foul conceded by Fletcher and hArt will step up to launch it long.
United have looked for Valencia a few times. Ridgwell is a natural centre-half so it makes sense to try to get the Ecuadorian to attack him down the left.
Brown sends it long to Valencia. He nearly caught Ridgwell out but the winger just took it out of play.
United just knocking it around at the back, looking very comfortable in possession.
Rooney clean through after being played in by Carrick but the England striker went too early and he's offside.
Alex McLeish's men have won all eight league games in which they have scored first this season.
Stephen Carr goes in hard on Evra, good challenge.
United engineer some space and the ball coems from Scholes who takes one touch inside, looks left to Carrick. The midfielder sends it back towards Evans who gives it away.
Scholes takes it and knocks it in low. Brown tries to get onto it but he only manages to turn it out for a goal-kick.
Rafael tries to put the cross in from the right and he's won a free-kick. Handball from McFadden.
Delivery too long from Valencia.
The ball is worked to Scholes from Fletcher but his shot is blocked out for a corner.
United break and Carrick feeds Rooney down the left. Throw-in for United.
United give it away and Benitez fed by Bowyer but he can't find anything to do with it.
Sure enough Benitez beats him to the ball but the defender recovers.
Long ball forward and Brown not looking too convincing, you have to think Brum were watching the FA Cup match against Leeds last week. Beckford made Brown look amateur for the goal.
Evra down the left now for United, searches backwards for Scholes, who switches it to Valencia.
Larsson looks long but can't find Benitez. Challenge on Jerome by Evans just before was pretty robust. He got the ball though.
Scholes sitting the deepest of United's midfield players at the moment, with Carrick more advanced. The ball's been pinballing around for the last couple of minutes, with neither side able to keep it under control.
Manchester United are unbeaten against Birmingham in 22 games (21 league), winning 16 and drawing six since a 5-1 defeat at St Andrew's on 11 November 1978.
The ball drifts out for a goal-kick and Kuszczak takes. it's the United goalkeeper's 5oth appearance for the Red Devils today.
United throw now in their own half and Bowyer has started to look a little brighter, emerging with the ball there.
Birmingham have been training on the St Andrew's pitch this week and it shows, it's looking a tad bobbly.
Scholes gives the ball away after indecision between himself and Rafael. But Bowyer returns the favour and misses with his pass.
Amazingly this is Birmingham's ninth successive game with an unchanged starting line-up, a new Premier League record.
It's been a dominant opening five minutes for United and Birmingham have certainly been riding their luck.
Corner cleared and Benitez looks to break but is brought down crudely by Rafael.
Valencia again works some space and sets up Fletcher whose powerful strike is deflected wide again.
Valencia takes and it's an unchallenged headrer for Jonny Evans but it's cleared away.
Valencia down the right and he does well to engineer a cross. HEaded out and it's a corner for United.
Free-kick to United, foul on Evra by Larsson.
Scholes fires a cross in from the left but it's just too long for Valencia.
United attacking early down the left and Park it is looking to open up some space.
The 100th meeting between these two teams.
And we're off...
Right then folks, players look ready, Birmingham in blue and white, United in red and black. It looks pretty cold out there.
The reverse fixture at Old Trafford on the opening day of the season was a 1-0 win for United, Wayne Rooney was the matchwinner that day.
No Berbatov in the United squad which is a bit of a surprise but there is a place on the bench for Mame Biram Diouf, the exciting Senegalese striker.
Players are in the tunnel now and we're just a couple of minutes away from kick-off here. If we were to look at a form table from the last eight games, Brum would be top. But this is a big test of the Blues resolve.
Subs: Amos, Neville, Owen, Anderson, Giggs, Fabio Da Silva, Diouf.
Man Utd: Kuszczak, Rafael Da Silva, Brown, Jonny Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Fletcher, Park, Rooney.
Subs: Maik Taylor, Martin Taylor, Phillips, Fahey, McSheffrey, Queudrue, Parnaby.
Birmingham: Hart, Carr, Roger Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Larsson, Ferguson, Bowyer, McFadden, Jerome, Benitez.
Team news is in...
While United are looking to go top of the Premier League for the first time since October. Chelsea's visit to Hull has been called off which means Sir Alex Ferguson's side could finish the weekend top of the pile.
Alex McLeish's Birmingham have been in exceptional form and look to extend their best ever run in the top flight of English football.
Hello all and welcome to live text commentary of Manchester United's visit to Birmingham City.
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