After yet another disappointing result in midweek, Birmingham needed to pick themselves up in the city of steel against the Blades of Sheffield United at Brammall Lane.
The game started off slow with both teams in the game, the home team slightly in the ascendancy, but that was expected looking at league positions.
Jota was a key figure in the blues formation, floating from wing to centre, with Jermaine Boga also operating on the flank. Lukas Jutkiewitz was leading the line for the Blues with the absence of Isaac Vassell and Che Adams being rested on the bench.
Sheffield United are an open team and under Chris Wilder they like to play a flexible style of football, they did this on Saturday and by opening up Blues, they could close the gap with the top 2. However, the back three (which was something Steve Cotterill experimented with) worked because Harlee Dean was playing some awesome stuff blocking shots left, right and centre along with Michael Morrison coming back into the fold.
Jack O’Connell was the top boy for the blades in this game – he strolled away from his defending position to run at Blues with the ball and interlinking with midfielder Mark Duffy and Jon Fleck, they had a good rhythm about them, but the Blues midfield held firm.
Mikael Kieftenbeld and Jota kinked up really well when the visitors turned defence into attack. Sheffield United have not dropped points that badly at home yet, but you got the feeling that could potentially be the night that they did, because the Blues looked comfortable in the 3-4-3 formation.
Just before the half ended, a glimmer of why Chelsea loaned Jermaine Boga should be starting. He put blues into the lead in the 38th minute with a stunning strike from the edge of the box.
The second half began and the mood was high from the away players coming out of the dressing room. Cotterill surely asked for more of the same.
Sheffield United attempted to break the defence down and did in some cases with their missed chances, but Blues stood firm and it didn’t look as if one of the two teams were at the top of the league, nor the other near the bottom.
It was an average mid table affair where both teams were just content with the draw. Top goal scorer Leon Clarke was the man with most of United’s opportunities in the game, but failed each time to bring them level, except from his one chance in the 71st minute which was neatly finished with the assist from youngster Brooks.
The game ended as a draw, quite a solid performance from Blues, who aren’t having a great season. However, it’s one to build on, with a possible new formation going forward for Steve Cotterill and Birmingham City.
RCB Carter-Vickers , CB Wright , LCB O,Connell
RWB Basham , RCM Lundstram , CM Fleck , LCM Duffy , LWB Stevens
RS Clarke , LS Sharp (C)
RCB Morrison , CB Roberts , LCB Dean
RM Nsue , RCM Kieftenbeld , LCM N’doye , LM Grounds
RW Jota , CF Jutkiewitz , LW Boga
Possession – SU; 69% , Blues; 31%
Shots – SU; 12 , Blues; 3
Shots on target – SU; 2 , Blues; 2
Corners – SU; 9 , Blues; 1
Fouls – SU; 9 , Blues; 12
Yellow cards – SU; 1 , Blues; 4