Birmingham City suffered a heart-breaking 5-4 defeat to Leeds United in the Sky Bet Championship on Sunday afternoon, in an extraordinary game at St Andrew’s.
The Blues came from behind three times in a thrilling second-half, but in the end they couldn’t hang on for a point, as Wes Harding put through his own net deep into stoppage time.
Remarkably, Birmingham thought they’d snatched a point in injury time, when Lukas Jutkiewicz bundled for his second of the game, only for Harding to turn Luke Ayling’s cross into his own net in the 95th minute to win it for the visitors.
Leeds are now top of the Championship table on goal difference, while Birmingham drop to 17th and are now without a win in their last five league matches. Here are THREE things we clearly learnt about the Blues following the nine-goal thriller at St Andrew’s…
Defensive frailties exposed
Birmingham showed unbelievable character to get themselves back into the game and the players will be extremely disappointed that they couldn’t hang on for a point.
However, the Blues were also all over the place at the back on Sunday and their defensive frailties were ruthlessly exposed by Leeds.
It was far too easy for Leeds at times and Birmingham simply didn’t know how to cope with them – there was a clear lack of organisation and discipline. The sooner Marc Roberts and Jake Clarke-Salter return from injury for the Blues, the better.
Unbelievable fighting spirit
The Birmingham players will be bitterly disappointed that they couldn’t hang on for a point, but the players still deserve a huge amount of credit for the way they were able to get themselves back into the game.
The Blues showed unbelievable character to come from behind three times against one of the favourites to win automatic promotion.
It would have been easy for Birmingham to just sit back and try and grind out a result, but they kept going and tried to outscore their opponents, which is very brave.
In the end, this turned out to be their undoing, but the team showed a fighting spirit and desire that we have rarely seen from them this season. They may have lost the game, but there were certainly plenty of positives for Pep Clotet to take from the performance.
They are in danger of being dragged into a relegation battle
As mentioned above, there were plenty of positives for Clotet to take away from the performance against Leeds, but the reality of the situation is that his side have won just one of their last eleven matches.
This run has seen the Blues fall from within touching distance of the play-off places to within eight points of the bottom three, if results don’t start to improve soon, they are in danger of being dragged into a relegation battle.
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There’s certainly no need to panic just yet and there is enough evidence to suggest that the team can get their season back on track, but the clash with bottom-of-the-table Wigan Athletic on New Year’s Day is now a lot more significant than it was a few weeks ago.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.