Championship outfit Birmingham City survived a late Ryan Woods red card to hold on for a point away at Coventry City yesterday evening, as they claimed a 0-0 draw in this West Midlands derby.
The controversial sending off came in the 82nd minute when the midfielder chopped down Sky Blues wing-back Ian Maatsen, but the away side managed to stay resolute defensively against Mark Robins’ high-flyers and stabilised themselves after losing consecutive games against Reading and Hull City, two matches they should have arguably won on paper.
They will be hoping this gritty performance will give them the platform to prevent another long winless run from occurring, previously going without a win in seven between a dark September and October period before managing to get themselves back on track.
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Lee Bowyer’s men may have been unable to score last night, but this result was impressive considering the Sky Blues had won seven of their opening nine league games at the Coventry Building Society Arena prior to this tie and had scored in every one of their ten competitive matches at home before the Blues came to town.
This clean sheet may have been a real surprise to some Birmingham fans considering they are still dealing with George Friend’s absence, but Harlee Dean, Marc Roberts and Dion Sanderson all stepped up to the plate well, with the latter in particular receiving major praise from fans on social media after the match.
But another man who placed himself in contention for the man of the match award is shot-stopper Matija Sarkic, who has come in for Neil Etheridge and performed admirably during his temporary spell away from Wolverhampton Wanderers so far.
Just how important was the 24-year-old last night though? We take a look at how many of the second-tier side’s supporters reacted to his performance.
#bcfc looked a different side with Deeney as captain. A proper leader. We need to revert to 4 at the back ASAP! Sarkic bailing us out once again, player of the season so far.
— Rob Knight (@robbiek44) November 24, 2021
We need to do everything we can to sign Sarkic and Sanderson, our best players by far atm #bcfc
— Joe Hill (@joe_hill25) November 23, 2021
In the middle of our goal, Sarkic 👏🏻👏🏻 #bcfc
— Connor (@cdbcfc_) November 23, 2021
Matija Sarkic is genuinely the best keeper in the league and it isn’t even close #bcfc
— Alex Hands (@alexhands07) November 23, 2021
Sarkic had another good game 👍 #bcfc
— Lee Heath (@leeheath29) November 23, 2021
Big point in the end. Matija Sarkic is fast becoming a cult hero #BCFC
— Freddie Ford (@FREDDIE_FORD92) November 23, 2021
— 𝑅𝑜𝒷𝓎𝓃 (@robynwillsy) November 23, 2021
— Miles 🧞 (@GarringtonMiles) November 24, 2021