Birmingham City fell to a frustrating 3-2 defeat to promotion-chasing AFC Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon at the Vitality Stadium.
The Blues got off to the perfect start on the South coast as Scott Hogan gave them the lead. But that lead didn’t last long, as Jack Wilshire set up Arnaut Danjuma to fire home the equaliser.
Wilshire then got himself on the scoresheet just after the hour mark, as he netted his first goal for the Cherries this term. Hogan then netted his second of the game just seven minutes later to make it a nervy finish to the game for the hosts, as they went in search of the winner.
Their resilience and pressure soon told as well, as midfielder Philip Billing hit the winner with just 13 minutes remaining in the match, which proved to enough to see Jonathan Woodgate pick up three points in his first game in temporary charge of Bournemouth.
The defeat for Birmingham City means that they’re now occupying one of the places in the Championship relegation zone, after Rotherham United picked up a win over Preston North End.
We take a look at THREE things we learnt about Aitor Karanka’s side following the defeat to the Cherries.
Hogan’s brace will give him much-needed confidence
Scott Hogan is a player that has struggled to rediscover the type of form that saw him impress for the Blues in last year’s campaign whilst on loan from Aston Villa.
Heading into the game against Bournemouth, Hogan only had three goals to his name, but netted a brace at the Vitality Stadium to give his side a real chance of picking up points on Saturday.
Even though they were eventually defeated, Hogan’s upturn in form will be a welcome sight for both Aitor Karanka and the Birmingham City supporters heading into the second-half of this year’s campaign.
If he can continue to score goals on a regular basis following this match, then he’ll be a key player for the Blues, as they battle to stay in the Championship.
The pressure will firmly be on Aitor Karanka
Birmingham City’s form doesn’t make for good reading at all, and you only have to look on social media to see that plenty of the club’s supporters are holding Karanka responsible for that.
The Blues have only won once in their last 12 matches in all competitions, which has seen them slide down the Championship table at an alarming rate.
Karanka simply has to pick up points in the near future with Birmingham City, otherwise you would imagine that the club could be tempted to replace him before their situation on the pitch gets any worse.
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They had the better of the chances on the day
Not many would have predicted that Birmingham could have picked up any points from the game against Bournemouth, who are well in contention to win promotion back into the Premier League at the first time of asking this term.
With six out of their nine shots on goal being on target, it shows that they’re getting in the right positions to have efforts on goal.
They’ve got a crucial few games against teams that are battling for survival coming up, and it’s vital that they turn these shots into goals against them, otherwise they could be facing relegation into the third-tier of English football this term.