Birmingham 0-0 Sheffield Wed
Jack Butland's brilliant early save from defender Miguel Llera helped earn Birmingham a point against fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday.
The England keeper, sold to Stoke last month but back at St Andrew's on loan until the summer, clawed out Llera's header from a Danny Pugh corner.
Striker Nikola Zigic missed a great second-half chance for Blues.
But neither side could break through, the draw ensuring both avoided slipping closer to the bottom three.
Wednesday, who have lost only one of their last 11 league games, are two points clear of the drop zone.
Butland's stop from Llera was crucial as Birmingham, who started and finished the night four points clear of the relegation zone, kept a first clean sheet in 18 league matches.
But they might have been celebrating a victory had Zigic been more ruthless in front of goal.
St Andrew's shut-out
The 0-0 draw gave Birmingham their first clean sheet since a 2-0 home victory over Bristol City on 6 November.
The Serbian striker had been restored to the starting line-up by manager Lee Clark, who had dropped him for Saturday's 4-0 defeat at home to Watford after publicly criticising his efforts in training.
He could have marked his comeback with a goal, but failed to anticipate Chris Burke's cross and diverted the ball wide from four yards.
Birmingham striker Marlon King, back in the starting line-up after a knee injury, had a great chance to open the scoring with just seven minutes gone but his attempted lob was collected by Chris Kirkland, who saved Wade Elliott's long-range effort shortly after.
After Butland denied Llera, Zigic failed to connect with a great headed chance from Elliott's free-kick just before the half-hour mark.
Zigic's big chance came and went midway through the second half, and he then headed Jonathan Spector's right-wing cross wide, moments after Kirkland saved a King shot.
Birmingham manager Lee Clark on Nikola Zigic's return:
"Nikola's response was fantastic, absolutely brilliant.
"I spoke with him on Monday morning and the two things I said were that I think he's an extremely talented footballer and I've got a lot of respect for him as a guy.
"But he has to understand I've got my principles, my standards, my rules. He's showed tonight he's not just big in size, he's a big man as well."
Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones on the relegation battle:
"I think you will need more than 50 points [to stay up this season] - I think it's going to be maybe 52, 53 points.
"It's a crazy division. I hate it with a passion. The only predictable thing is the unpredictability about it."
- 01 Butland
- 04 Caldwell
- 06 Davies
- 23 Spector
- 27 Hancox
- 28 Caddis
- 07 Burke
- 15 Elliott
- 33 Reilly
- 09 King (Lovenkrands - 83' )
- 19 Zigic
- 13 Doyle
- 05 Pablo
- 08 Mullins
- 22 Redmond
- 11 Lovenkrands
- 20 Thomas
- 29 Hall
- 01 Kirkland
- 02 Buxton
- 05 Taylor
- 32 Llera Booked
- 07 Antonio Booked
- 15 Helan
- 19 Pugh Booked
- 25 Prutton
- 28 Coke (McCabe - 80' Booked )
- 22 Wickham (J Johnson - 67' )
- 24 Lita (Madine - 78' )
- 43 Bywater
- 14 Mattock
- 06 Semedo
- 11 J Johnson
- 16 McCabe
- 20 Lee
- 09 Madine
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The match has reached full-time.90:00 +3:52
The ball is swung over by Christopher Burke.90:00 +3:09
The assistant referee flags for offside against Peter Lovenkrands. Free kick taken by Chris Kirkland.90:00 +2:18
Shot by Jermaine Johnson from outside the box goes over the net.87:23
Wade Elliott crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance by Lewis Buxton.87:23 Booking
Booking Rhys McCabe is cautioned by the ref for dissent.86:51
The ball is delivered by Christopher Burke, free kick awarded for a foul by Jeremy Helan on Christopher Burke.86:18
Direct free kick taken by Wade Elliott.86:18 Booking
Booking Miguel Llera booked for unsporting behaviour.86:15
Christopher Burke fouled by Miguel Llera, the ref awards a free kick.85:33
Michail Antonio takes the inswinging corner, Nikola Zigic manages to make a clearance.84:27
Gary Madine is ruled offside. Jack Butland restarts play with the free kick.81:01 Substitution
Substitution (Birmingham) makes a substitution, with Peter Lovenkrands coming on for Marlon King.81:01
Jermaine Johnson fouled by Christopher Burke, the ref awards a free kick. Michail Antonio produces a cross, Gary Madine has an effort at goal from close in which goes wide of the left-hand upright.79:05
Free kick crossed left-footed by Danny Pugh, clearance made by Wade Elliott.79:05 Substitution
Substitution Rhys McCabe comes on in place of Giles Coke.79:05
Mitch Hancox gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Michail Antonio.78:20
Inswinging corner taken by Danny Pugh from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Nikola Zigic.77:39 Substitution
Substitution Gary Madine comes on in place of Leroy Lita.77:25
Centre by Jeremy Helan, Mitch Hancox makes a clearance.
Jermaine Johnson takes a shot. Save by Jack Butland.75:12
Nikola Zigic produces a header from close range which goes wide of the left-hand upright.74:32
Miguel Llera concedes a free kick for a foul on Nikola Zigic. Steven Caldwell takes the free kick.72:41
The ball is sent over by Jeremy Helan, save by Jack Butland.72:13
Michail Antonio produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the target.71:58
Jermaine Johnson takes a shot. Christopher Burke gets a block in.70:07
Corner taken by Michail Antonio, Wade Elliott makes a clearance.69:48
Inswinging corner taken by Danny Pugh, save by Jack Butland.69:34
The ball is delivered by Jermaine Johnson.68:15
Marlon King takes a shot. Save by Chris Kirkland. Shot from 35 yards by Leroy Lita went wide right of the target.67:26
Effort from inside the six-yard box by Nikola Zigic goes wide right of the goal.65:41
Chris Kirkland takes the free kick.65:41 Substitution
Substitution Jermaine Johnson on for Connor Wickham.65:41
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Giles Coke by Jonathan Spector.65:21
Christopher Burke delivers the ball, Lewis Buxton makes a clearance.63:52
Danny Pugh takes a shot from long range which goes wide right of the goal.62:14
Mitch Hancox sends in a cross, Martin Taylor manages to make a clearance.61:14
Michail Antonio is caught offside. Jack Butland takes the indirect free kick.60:06
Connor Wickham produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target.59:36
The assistant referee flags for offside against Marlon King. Chris Kirkland takes the indirect free kick.58:54
Free kick taken by Steven Caldwell.58:54 Booking
Booking Michail Antonio receives a caution.58:47
Unfair challenge on Mitch Hancox by Michail Antonio results in a free kick.55:45
Centre by Christopher Burke, Miguel Llera makes a clearance.54:56
The offside flag is raised against Marlon King. Free kick taken by Martin Taylor.52:30
Paul Caddis gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jeremy Helan. Free kick taken by Chris Kirkland.52:23
Centre by Christopher Burke, clearance made by Lewis Buxton.50:11
Corner taken left-footed by Danny Pugh from the right by-line to the near post, Steven Caldwell makes a clearance.49:44
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Giles Coke by Nikola Zigic. Miguel Llera takes the free kick.47:19
Michail Antonio crosses the ball.46:35
Corner taken by Danny Pugh.45:43
Inswinging corner taken by Danny Pugh from the right by-line played to the near post.45:01
The referee gets the second half underway.45:00 +1:02 Half time
Half Time The match has reached half-time.42:08
The ball is sent over by Lewis Buxton, Close range header by Leroy Lita goes wide of the left-hand upright.38:29
Christopher Burke sends in a cross, Miguel Llera manages to make a clearance.36:32
The ball is sent over by Jonathan Spector, Wade Elliott takes a shot. Lewis Buxton gets a block in.34:37
Lewis Buxton fouled by Nikola Zigic, the ref awards a free kick. Lewis Buxton takes the free kick.33:27
Long distance shot from Michail Antonio misses to the left of the goal.32:18
Connor Wickham has an effort at goal from long range that misses to the right of the goal.28:19
Free kick awarded for a foul by Connor Wickham on Paul Caddis. Wade Elliott produces a cross, Headed effort from inside the area by Nikola Zigic misses to the left of the goal.27:17
Callum Reilly concedes a free kick for a foul on David Prutton. Chris Kirkland takes the direct free kick.24:52
Connor Wickham fouled by Steven Caldwell, the ref awards a free kick. Michail Antonio produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.22:54
Wade Elliott has a shot on goal from long range that goes wide left.20:48
Free kick awarded for a foul by Mitch Hancox on Lewis Buxton. Chris Kirkland takes the free kick.18:01
A cross is delivered by Christopher Burke, Nikola Zigic has a headed effort at goal from close in which goes wide left of the goal.17:19
Free kick awarded for a foul by Nikola Zigic on Danny Pugh. Chris Kirkland restarts play with the free kick.15:25
A cross is delivered by Michail Antonio, Jack Butland makes a save.12:54
Nikola Zigic gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Prutton. Miguel Llera takes the direct free kick.12:28
The assistant referee signals for offside against Leroy Lita. Steven Caldwell restarts play with the free kick.12:09
Jack Butland restarts play with the free kick.12:09 Booking
Booking The referee cautions Danny Pugh for unsporting behaviour.11:34
Foul by Danny Pugh on Nikola Zigic, free kick awarded.10:25
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Danny Pugh played to the near post, Miguel Llera takes a shot. Save by Jack Butland.10:04
Nikola Zigic is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Miguel Llera takes the indirect free kick.9:22
Lewis Buxton produces a cross, Effort from inside the area by Jeremy Helan misses to the left of the target.8:34
Wade Elliott takes a shot. Save by Chris Kirkland.7:12
Mitch Hancox produces a cross.6:15
Marlon King takes a shot. Chris Kirkland makes a save.5:28
Marlon King takes a shot from just outside the penalty area clears the crossbar.1:46
Jeremy Helan sends in a cross, Leroy Lita has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the goal. Effort on goal by Christopher Burke from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.0:00
The match has kicked off.
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