Many observers felt Birmingham City needed some new faces in the summer, not least up front. Their existing forwards weren’t thriving and they lacked goals at key times.
They did have an array of attackers at their disposal, Isaac Vassell having been injured, Che Adams not fulfilling his potential and Lukas Jutkiewicz on the edge of the first team.
The burly forward could be described as a journeyman, boasting ten different clubs in a nomadic existence that has rarely resulted in goals. Prior to the weekend his career total in the Football League was 72, from over 12 years in the game.
Three of those had come this season, but few would have been backing him to add significantly to his tally against Rotherham. Sure, he might chip in with one, but here’s a player who rarely bags a brace and had never scored a hat trick.
FLW shines a spotlight on what happened next.
Inside 90 minutes, the former Everton man had bagged his first career hat-trick against the struggling Millers, smashing two inside three first-half minutes and adding a third with 22 left on the clock.
His goals came from his only three shots of the game, a clinical outcome which boosts Birmingham ahead of the international break. the 3-1 win lifted them up the table and away from the drop zone.
Jutkiewicz showed he wasn’t just a scorer though, winning a whopping 17 aerial duels throughout the game. Unashamedly, Garry Monk went for a direct approach and with a target man like Jutkiewicz, why not?
He did get on the ball a lot as well, making a key pass as well as an additional 39 passes, which is a lot for a forward. He might not have worried too much given his hat-trick, but his accuracy was awful, just 33% of his passes made it to the intended recipient.
He gave the ball away but he won it in the air and crucially, he bagged three goals. Not a bad afternoon at all for the 29-year-old overall.
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