Capital One Cup

January 11, 2011

Full-time

West Ham United

2 - 1

Birmingham City

Capital One Cup

19:45 +00:00, January 11, 2011

Upton Park, England

Referee: P Dowd

  •  

    FT So the Hammers take a 2-1 lead to St Andrews for the second-leg of the semi-final on January 26. The tie is finely poised and you can follow it here on ESPNsoccernet.

  •  

    FT But the Hammers defence held firm and a bit of luck gave them the winner.

  •  

    FT West Ham dominated in the first half but when Blues equalised and then Obinna was sent off in the second-half it looked like it was all going to go wrong.

  •  

    FT Well Avram Grant's amazing run in cup competitions continues... with a helping hand from Ben Foster.

  • 90'

    Green kicks it down the pitch and the ref blows for full-time.

  • 90'

    Carr lumps one last effort into the box. Jerome turns in the box and Green grasps his shot at the near post.

  • 90'

    It's all got a bit scrappy, which will suit the Hammers as time ticks away.

  • 90'

    Fahey takes a freekick on the right of the box, but he hits the first man, Cole.

  • 89'

    West Ham make their final change. Off goes Noble and on comes Kovac.

  • 89'

    Fahey whips in a cross for Zigic. The big striker wins the header but his effort whistles inches wide of the post.

  • 88'

    Stat: Ridgewell's goal puts him on four this season in all competitions, one less than Birmingham's top scorer Gardner.

  • 87'

    Beausejour takes on Faubert. Or at least he tries to and fails. Faubert has had a good game.

  • 86'

    Larsson goes off for Blues and on comes 6'8" striker Zigic.

  • 85'

    Carr plays a one-two down the flank. Green palms away the defender's cross-shot at the near post.

  • 84'

    When Larsson's freekick eventually comes it sails over everybody. It wasn't worth the wait.

  • 83'

    Before the freekick Blues make a change. Beausejour comes on and Hleb, rather surprisingly, goes off.

  • 82'

    Upson chops down Carr and Birmingham get a freekick and a chance to work a set piece...

  • 81'

    Ferguson overcooks it on the edge of the box and West Ham can get the ball away.

  • 80'

    Blues camp out in West Ham's half again. But Fahey and then Hleb can find no way through.

  • 79'

    Foster kept Blues in the match in the first half and now he may have cost his side the game.

  • 78'

    GOAL Cole scuffs his shot but it trickles through the legs of Foster. What a mistake by the keeper.

  • 77'

    Parker with a great pass sets up an attack. Spector cuts it back for Cole...

  • 76'

    Hines uses his pace to get to the byline and wins a corner for West Ham. Parker's corner is as bad as Reid's eventual shot.

  • 75'

    Larsson crosses from the right. Murphy gets in front of his marker but his glanced header goes just wide.

  • 74'

    Murphy whips in a cross and Tomkins heads over his own bar under pressure from Jerome.

  • 73'

    Sears' night is over too. He is replaced by Hines.

  • 72'

    Piquionne goes off and is replaced by Carlton Cole, a big target man.

  • 71'

    Ferguson drives forward, plays a one-two and then takes a tumble in the box. No penalty says the ref.

  • 70'

    Blues are camped on the edge of the West Ham box. It's only a matter of time before they score if it goes on like this.

  • 69'

    Faubert shoves Murphy in the back and Birmingham have a freekick on the left of the box. Green collects for West Ham.

  • 68'

    Stat: Victor Obinna's red card is West Ham's first dismissal of the season. What a time to do it.

  • 67'

    You can sense the tension in the Upton Park crowd.

  • 66'

    Faubert takes the fight to Blues. Twice he races down the flank. his cross is inches away from finding Piquionne's head.

  • 65'

    Blues have so much time in midfield now.

  • 64'

    Blues freekick. Ferguson chips it into the box for Ridgwell to head. Green makes a point-blank save but the flag was up for offside anyway.

  • 63'

    West Ham take it quickly. Parker drives into the box but can't get the ball under control.

  • 62'

    Piquionne works hard to keep possession for West Ham and does well to win a freekick.

  • 61'

    Gardner thinks he has space for a shot but he is closed down as he pulls the trigger.

  • 60'

    It's all starting to go wrong for West Ham... how they must rue not getting more goals when they dominated the first-half.

  • 59'

    The TV replay shows that it was Obinna who back-heeled Larsson in the nuts. A definite red card.

  • 58'

    Obinna has been sent off for something.

  • 57'

    Larsson is down injured and the ref brings the game to a stop. He is clutching his family jewels.

  • 57'

    It is about time Birmingham did something with a corner. Game on now.

  • 56'

    GOAL It doesn't matter because Ridgewell heads in from the corner.

  • 56'

    Jerome heads at goal from a corner. Sears clears off the line but Blues claim handball. It wasn't.

  • 55'

    Faubert's cross is partially blocked but makes it through to Sears, who struggles to control the spinning ball and is smothered by defenders.

  • 54'

    ...Too close to Green.

  • 54'

    Piquionne gives away a freekick. Larsson will whip it into the box...

  • 53'

    Hleb is in the game much more. He is pulling the strings in midfield.

  • 52'

    Blues seem to be going for it much more so far in this second-half.

  • 51'

    Centre-back Roger Johnson shows some tricks in the West Ham box and wins a corner. Unfortunately it comes to nothing.

  • 50'

    ...Gardner takes it himself. He shoots low, hard, and more importantly wide.

  • 49'

    Gardner runs into Reid but Blues get a freekick right on the edge of the box...

  • 48'

    Nice turn from Gardner, who then crosses. It is too close to Green, who claims the ball.

  • 47'

    Parker is caught in possession by Hleb, who then stumbles over the ball and tackles himself.

  • 46'

    West Ham get the second-half underway and they will be hoping for more of the same.

  • 46'

    Dann has been ruled out with a hamstring injury so David Murphy will start the second-half in his place.

  •  

    HT Stat: Birmingham City managed just one shot on target in the first half.

  •  

    HT Injured Blues defender Dann continued to get treatment on the pitch as everybody else headed to the dressingroom so he must be a doubt for the second-half.

  •  


    West Ham celebrate Mark Noble's strike

  •  

    HT West Ham are running the midfield and McLeish will have some reorganising to do.

  •  

    HT Well Birmingham will be happy it is only 1-0 at the break. They have been dominated.

  • 45'

    ...It is a poor delivery and West Ham see off the danger. Dann is down injured on the pitch as the half-time whistle blows.

  • 45'

    Birmingham have a corner, which Larsson will take...

  • 44'

    Birmingham have found a bit of impetus with half-time looming.

  • 43'

    ...the Blues winger picks out Johnson, who can only head high over the bar.

  • 42'

    Larsson has another chance to deliver a freekick into the box...

  • 41'

    Jerome chases down another lost cause for Blues and is unlucky not to win a corner.

  • 40'

    Larsson delivers the freekick. It's flicked on but there is nobody at the back post to finish off the move.

  • 39'

    Hleb holds the ball up for Blues and brings Carr into the attack. The defender wins a freekick.

  • 38'

    I take back what I said about Obinna before. He has turned into Mr Greedy. He has just taken on a ridiculous shot.

  • 37'

    Plenty of pointing going from Blues boss McLeish on the touchline.

  • 36'

    Obinna spots a run from Sears and set him up for a long-range strike. The youngster's culred shot is well wide.

  • 35'

    Jerome takes on Reid down the left flank but the defender wins the battle.

  • 34'

    Only one team in this at the moment.

  • 33'

    Stat: Birmingham haven't kept a clean sheet in a League Cup away game against a team from the same division since August 1991.

  • 32'

    Faubert chips the ball into the box. Sears takes it down on his chest and then pokes a shot wide. Good effort though.

  • 31'

    Obinna is determined to get a strike on goal, even though his way is blocked, and his effort hits the first defender.

  • 30'

    Tomkins wins another header from the corenr but this time his effort gently loops into the hands Foster.

  • 29'

    Obinna sells a dummy to Ridgwell and then fires off a shot that Foster palms past the post. Corner.

  • 28'

    Hleb twists and turns for Blues trying to spark an attack. Larsson takes possession and then loses it as Hleb throws his hands in the air in frustration.

  • 27'

    Now it's McLeish's turn to stalk the touchline looking agitated. His Blues are being outplayed.

  • 26'

    Sears chips a lovely pass into the path of Piquionne but the striker takes a heavy touch and the chance goes begging.

  • 25'

    Ridgewell chips a cross into the West Ham box for lone-striker Jerome, but Green races off his line to grab the ball.

  • 24'

    Blues are happy to keep possession for a bit. Gardner eventually plays it forward and nearly picks out Jerome.

  • 23'

    An offside against Noble will give Birmigham some respite.

  • 22'

    Birmingham can't get out of their own half.

  • 21'

    Tomkins meets the corner and his header forces Foster to make another good save.

  • 20'

    spector shoots from about 30-yards out but Foster makes the save. It's a corner to West Ham.

  • 19'

    Some good football from West Ham who are clearly on top now.

  • 18'

    Obinna makes some space and passes to Upson, who crosses to the far post. Faubert arrives late but can't get his header on target.

  • 17'

    Carr whips in a cross for Blues and Green rushes off his line to claim the ball.

  • 16'

    West Ham';s attack breaks down but Parker chases down Larsson and makes a good tackle.

  • 15'

    Parker seems intent on running into blind alleys at the moment. He passes back to the goalkeeper once again.

  • 14'

    Avram Grant is stalking the touchline breathing heavily. There is a lot riding on this for the West Ham manager.

  • 13'

    West Ham have just about edged proceedings so far and probably deserved that goal.

  • 12'

    Noble started the move with a great run and after his cross eventually came back to him the midfielder smashed the ball into the back of the net from a very tight angle.

  • 12'

    GOAL Noble scores after a goal-mouth scramble.

  • 11'

    Stat: West Ham's last appearance in a League Cup semi-final saw them lose the 1st leg 6-0 (at Oldham).

  • 10'

    Parker attempts to chip a pass over the back four for Sears to chase, but he gets it wrong. It's all West Ham now.

  • 9'

    Ridgewell hassles Sears on the left flank and wins a throw for Birmingham.

  • 8'

    Obinna had a great game against Man United in the last round and he looks up for it again tonight.

  • 7'

    Upson crosses to the near post. Obinna twists his body to get something on the ball but he can't direct it at goal.

  • 6'

    Parker plays the ball back to his keeper. West Ham build an attack.

  • 5'

    Foster punches the corner clear, but only as far as Sears, who volleys it straight back but wide of the post.

  • 4'

    Faubert crosses to the back post put it is a poor delivery. Obina wins a corner for the Hammers.

  • 3'

    Jerome offside as Birmingham make the early running.

  • 2'

    Jerome chases a lost cause and makes something of it. Gardner whips in a cross but there is no Blues' player in the box.

  • 1'

    Plenty of long-ball stuff in the early moments. Heading practice for the defenders.

  • 1'

    Birmingham get the game underway, kicking from left to right, wearing all blue.

  •  

    The teams are on the pitch and we are only moments away from kick off.

  •  

    West Ham boss Avram Grant needs a good result here to make sure he is still in a job tomorrow morning.

  •  

    Stat: Birmingham have lost their last three League Cup semi-final first leg games.

  •  

    West Ham team: Green, Faubert, Reid, Tomkins, Upson, Sears, Parker, Noble, Obinna, Spector, Piquionne

  •  

    There is no Carlton Cole for West Ham but Jonathan Spector will slot into the midfield role that saw him score twice against Man Utd in the previous round.

  •  

    Birmingham team: Foster, Carr, Dann, Johnson, Ridgewell, Larsson, Ferguson, Gardner, Fahey, Hleb, Jerome

  •  

    The big team news for Birmingham is that Hleb gets a rare start and may point to a more attacking approach from Blues.

  •  

    Join us at 19.45 for live coverage of the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final.