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Birmingham City 2-1 Middlesbrough: Odin Bailey's first goal for Blues seals dramatic win

Odin Bailey
Odin Bailey scored the winner for Blues in just his third appearance for the club

Teenager Odin Bailey saved Birmingham City's blushes as his late goal earned them a deserved victory over Middlesbrough at St Andrew's.

The 19-year-old headed in from close range a minute from full-time, moments after Daniel Ayala had bundled home an equaliser for Boro.

Blues had dominated for long periods and created numerous chances with only Fran Villalba's first-half strike to show for it.

Defender Ayala looked to have rescued a point for the visitors before Bailey scored his first goal for Blues in just his third league appearance.

A draw would have been cruel on a Birmingham side who had 26 attempts at goal, compared to Boro's five.

The hosts had several chances to put the game to bed before Boro's leveller, but were denied by a string of sublime saves from visiting goalkeeper Darren Randolph. Kristian Pedersen also headed against the bar and Gary Gardner struck the post.

A disjointed Middlesbrough side created little going forward until Ayala's goal and remain with just two league victories this season.

As impressive as Birmingham were on the ball, led by 16-year-old Jude Bellingham in central midfield, Boro looked devoid of confidence.

Jonathan Woodgate's side, who stay 20th in the table, could go into the international break just a point and a place above the relegation zone depending on Saturday's results.

The winning margin could and should have been even wider, were it not for former Blues man Randolph's early heroics.

The Republic of Ireland international tipped over a fierce point-blank effort from Villalba with just a few minutes on the clock, before palming a skewed clearance from one of his own defenders for a corner.

Villalba, 21, eventually made Birmingham's pressure pay with the coolest of first-time finishes from just inside the box for his first Blues goal.

Boro looked slightly more of a threat in the second half, but almost found themselves two behind when substitute Gardner crashed a shot from the edge of the area off the inside of the post.

Just as they looked like settling for a 1-0 victory, Blues captain Harlee Dean dithered on the ball and Britt Assombalonga stole it off the defender to hang up a cross which Ayala could not miss.

However, more drama was to come as, just a few minutes after coming on to the pitch, Bailey calmly finished Dan Crowley's cross at the far post to give Blues their first win in four games.

Fran Villalba
Fran Villalba scored his first goal for Birmingham since joining from Valencia in the summer

Birmingham City head coach Pep Clotet told BBC WM:

"I think it was an exceptional performance linked with a very good result.

"We need to be very happy with that as I think the performance we gave the fans a couple of weeks ago here against Preston was a long way away from what we wanted.

"We went away and worked very hard on how we wanted to play and we carried that out from the start tonight.

"That's the kind of football we want to play and the fact we're doing it with a very young team means we're able to show the fans the future of the club is bright."

Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate told BBC Tees:

"That's so frustrating to concede so soon after we equalised.

"You get games like that in the Championship where you're getting bombarded from pillar to post.

"Darren Randolph has produced save after save. That isn't my type of team going out there not winning second balls or competing for crosses.

"Is it a lack of confidence? I believe the players are good enough and I'll keep on going with them as I believe in them and I'll remain positive with them.

"But if they don't pull their fingers out, we'll end up down the bottom of the table and we'll stay there. We need to grind it out and find personalities who can do that."

Line-ups

Birmingham

  • 1Camp
  • 5Colin
  • 4Roberts
  • 12Dean
  • 3Pedersen
  • 7Crowley
  • 34SunjicBooked at 86mins
  • 22BellinghamSubstituted forGardnerat 74'minutes
  • 17Villalba RodrigoSubstituted forMaghomaat 77'minutes
  • 24Giménez
  • 10JutkiewiczSubstituted forBaileyat 83'minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 2Harding
  • 13Stockdale
  • 14Clarke-Salter
  • 19Maghoma
  • 20Gardner
  • 26Davis
  • 37Bailey

Middlesbrough

  • 23Randolph
  • 2DijksteelBooked at 64minsSubstituted forGestedeat 82'minutes
  • 4Ayala
  • 6Fry
  • 5ShottonBooked at 72mins
  • 17McNairBooked at 54mins
  • 8ClaytonSubstituted forWingat 57'minutes
  • 16Howson
  • 7Tavernier
  • 9Assombalonga
  • 10BrowneSubstituted forFletcherat 57'minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Fletcher
  • 14Gestede
  • 21Johnson
  • 22Saville
  • 26Wing
  • 27Bola
  • 42Pears
Referee:
Jeremy Simpson
Attendance:
19,703

Match Stats

Home TeamBirminghamAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home26
Away5
Shots on Target
Home8
Away3
Corners
Home11
Away3
Fouls
Home18
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Birmingham City 2, Middlesbrough 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Birmingham City 2, Middlesbrough 1.

Lewis Wing (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Álvaro Giménez (Birmingham City).

Patrick McNair (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Gary Gardner (Birmingham City).

Booking

Odin Bailey (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card.

Goal!

Goal! Birmingham City 2, Middlesbrough 1. Odin Bailey (Birmingham City) header from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Daniel Crowley with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Darren Randolph.

Attempt saved. Álvaro Giménez (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Daniel Crowley.

Goal!

Goal! Birmingham City 1, Middlesbrough 1. Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) with an attempt from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Britt Assombalonga following a set piece situation.

Booking

Ivan Sunjic (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ivan Sunjic (Birmingham City).

Attempt blocked. Daniel Crowley (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jacques Maghoma.

Attempt missed. Ivan Sunjic (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Odin Bailey replaces Lukas Jutkiewicz.

Attempt saved. Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Rudy Gestede with a headed pass.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Rudy Gestede replaces Anfernee Dijksteel.

Attempt missed. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Daniel Crowley with a cross.

Gary Gardner (Birmingham City) hits the left post with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Jacques Maghoma.

Attempt blocked. Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Foul by Anfernee Dijksteel (Middlesbrough).

Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Jacques Maghoma replaces Fran Villalba.

Attempt saved. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. Álvaro Giménez (Birmingham City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lee Camp.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Gary Gardner replaces Jude Bellingham.

Foul by Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough).

Marc Roberts (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Ryan Shotton (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card.

Ryan Shotton (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Maxime Colin (Birmingham City).

Attempt saved. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) with an attempt from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Daniel Crowley with a cross.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Jude Bellingham.

Attempt missed. Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jonny Howson following a set piece situation.

Marcus Tavernier (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ivan Sunjic (Birmingham City).

Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ivan Sunjic (Birmingham City).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Swansea10631157821
2Leeds10622145920
3West Brom105411711619
4Nottm Forest10541159619
5Fulham105321881018
6Preston105321811718
7Bristol City104511713417
8Charlton105231310317
9Sheff Wed10514159616
10Cardiff104421412216
11QPR105141417-316
12Birmingham115151114-316
13Blackburn104241111014
14Hull103431413113
15Brentford1033498112
16Derby102621315-212
17Luton103251518-311
18Millwall10253813-511
19Wigan10325915-611
20Middlesbrough112451116-510
21Reading102261116-58
22Barnsley10136717-106
23Huddersfield10127918-95
24Stoke10028921-122
View full Championship table

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