The FA Cup - Third Round
Birmingham2Blackburn1

Birmingham City 2-1 Blackburn Rovers, FA Cup third round

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FA Cup: Birmingham City 2-1 Blackburn Rovers highlights

Ten-man Birmingham City struck late to knock fellow Championship side Blackburn Rovers out of the FA Cup.

The third-round tie had looked destined for a replay after Adam Armstrong fired Rovers level from the penalty spot as the hosts' Ivan Sunjic was sent off.

But the Blues - who had taken an early lead through midfielder Dan Crowley's well-struck opener - went through with Jeremie Bela's 90th-minute low finish.

The defeat saw Rovers exit in the third round for a third season in succession.

Bela's dramatic winner spared the blushes of his team-mate Sunjic, whose calamitous cameo had looked set to see the hosts throw the game away.

Just 98 seconds after coming on as a second-half substitute, the Croatia midfielder gave the ball away and then brought down former Blues striker Sam Gallagher in the area.

Armstrong fired in the penalty to level for Rovers, who had missed good chances through Gallagher earlier in the half, as the visitors cancelled out Crowley's first goal for City.

For Birmingham, who made seven changes to their side, the victory ended their dismal run of five defeats in six matches, while Rovers - who changed three - saw their winless streak extend to five games in all competitions.

Birmingham boss Pep Clotet told BBC WM 95.6: "It feels like a double or triple win.

"The victory is deserved. It is not easy to win when you have 10 men. When we could, we attacked, with a player less.

"It shows that, slowly, our football is getting there. It was a massive effort from the team and showed a lot of unity, strength and belief in themselves.

"[Bela] is getting much fitter now and getting up to tempo. The work he did - and the whole team, defensively - is a massive credit to everyone, getting a win that was elusive to us in the past few games."

Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray told BBC Radio Lancashire: "We had a lot of domination of the game and the ball. We were misfiring up front today.

"We got sucker-punched at the end. You couldn't really see them [Birmingham] scoring. They couldn't get in our half, let alone score.

"That's football. It's why people love it. For us, as they say, we [now] have to concentrate on the league.

"It's unbelievable to think that we only scored from a penalty kick today, with the amount of play we had in the final third, but we have to accept it. We have to be better, collectively and individually."

Line-ups

Birmingham

  • 1Camp
  • 5Colin
  • 14Clarke-SalterSubstituted forHardingat 69'minutes
  • 12Dean
  • 3Pedersen
  • 7Crowley
  • 26Davis
  • 20GardnerSubstituted forSunjicat 58'minutesBooked at 60mins
  • 15MonteroSubstituted forBelaat 45'minutes
  • 24GiménezBooked at 54mins
  • 19Maghoma

Substitutes

  • 2Harding
  • 11Bela
  • 16McEachran
  • 21Medina Delgado
  • 27Trueman
  • 34Sunjic
  • 37Bailey

Blackburn

  • 13Leutwiler
  • 31BennettSubstituted forWilliamsat 39'minutes
  • 24Adarabioyo
  • 26Lenihan
  • 17Bell
  • 7Armstrong
  • 4Johnson
  • 19DowningSubstituted forBuckleyat 78'minutes
  • 8Rothwell
  • 20BreretonSubstituted forChapmanat 57'minutes
  • 9Gallagher

Substitutes

  • 3Williams
  • 11Chapman
  • 12Samuel
  • 18Davenport
  • 27Travis
  • 33Fisher
  • 39Buckley
Referee:
Oliver Langford
Attendance:
7,330

Match Stats

Home TeamBirminghamAway TeamBlackburn
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home7
Away11
Shots on Target
Home5
Away5
Corners
Home4
Away3
Fouls
Home10
Away5

Live Text

Match ends, Birmingham City 2, Blackburn Rovers 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Birmingham City 2, Blackburn Rovers 1.

Foul by Álvaro Giménez (Birmingham City).

Bradley Johnson (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Kristian Pedersen (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adam Armstrong (Blackburn Rovers).

Goal!

Goal! Birmingham City 2, Blackburn Rovers 1. Jérémie Bela (Birmingham City) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jacques Maghoma.

Attempt saved. Adam Armstrong (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Foul by John Buckley (Blackburn Rovers).

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

Attempt saved. Derrick Williams (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt saved. Joe Rothwell (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. John Buckley replaces Stewart Downing.

Foul by Daniel Crowley (Birmingham City).

Joe Rothwell (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Adam Armstrong (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Derrick Williams.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Wes Harding replaces Jake Clarke-Salter.

Attempt missed. Harry Chapman (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right misses to the right.

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Jayson Leutwiler.

Attempt saved. Jérémie Bela (Birmingham City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Amari'i Bell (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Harlee Dean (Birmingham City).

Attempt saved. Kristian Pedersen (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Tosin Adarabioyo.

Goal!

Goal! Birmingham City 1, Blackburn Rovers 1. Adam Armstrong (Blackburn Rovers) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the high centre of the goal.

Dismissal

Ivan Sunjic (Birmingham City) is shown the red card.

Penalty Blackburn Rovers. Sam Gallagher draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Ivan Sunjic (Birmingham City) after a foul in the penalty area.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Ivan Sunjic replaces Gary Gardner.

Attempt missed. Sam Gallagher (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is just a bit too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Harry Chapman replaces Ben Brereton.

Attempt missed. Sam Gallagher (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left following a set piece situation.

Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Álvaro Giménez (Birmingham City).

Booking

Álvaro Giménez (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Attempt missed. Adam Armstrong (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Attempt missed. Jérémie Bela (Birmingham City) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

Second Half

Second Half begins Birmingham City 1, Blackburn Rovers 0.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Jérémie Bela replaces Jefferson Montero.

goal

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