Championship
BrentfordBrentford0BirminghamBirmingham City0

Brentford 0-0 Birmingham City - Bees' stuttering promotion form continues

Gary Gardner hits a post in the early stages of Brentford v Birmingham City
Gary Gardner went closest to scoring for Birmingham when his early chance came back off the post

Brentford saw their Championship automatic promotion hopes take another dent as relegation-threatened Birmingham City held them to a goalless draw.

The Bees have now drawn four matches in a row and are nine points behind second-placed Watford after Blues goalkeeper Neil Etheridge kept them at bay with a string of fine saves.

Birmingham also went close themselves as Gary Gardner had their best chance early on when his shot from close range came back off the base of the post.

Lee Bowyer's side are seven points above the bottom three, but have played four more games than 22nd-placed Rotherham.

Bowyer has helped Birmingham pick up two wins and a draw from his first four matches since taking charge last month but they will face some crucial fixtures in their last six games, including against fellow strugglers Rotherham and Derby County.

For Brentford, their draw also means leaders Norwich are even closer to securing their return to the Premier League with the Canaries 17 points ahead of third place.

The Championship's top scorer Ivan Toney was twice prevented from adding to his 28 league goals as Etheridge was on hand to make smart saves in either half.

Bryan Mbeumo also had a deft header from an Emi Marcondes cross pawed away while Mathias Jensen and Sergi Canos failed to hit the target with two good chances in the first half.

The hosts also had an appeal for a penalty early in the second half turned down when Mads Roerslev went to ground in the area when trying to get on the end of a Mads Sorensen cross.

Just five points now separate the third-placed Bees and Bournemouth in seventh, with those two, plus Swansea, Barnsley and Reading set to battle it out for the four play-off spots.

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank BBC Radio London:

"I'm always down when we're not winning games and I'm very rarely pleased with a draw.

"I think we created enough chances and opportunities to win the game and we've played on a higher level offensively than we did today. We have dominated the ball more in other games.

"We need to be better at that, but if you look at the last three games, I think we've done more than enough to win each one.

"In games like this, you need to have that cutting edge in the final third and I think we lack that at this moment in time."

Birmingham City head coach Lee Bowyer told BBC WM:

"It's a massive point, to come here and leave with anything you've got to have done a lot of things right and we did.

"We took a bit of a risk tonight with a couple of selections, but you've got to trust your players and learning more and more about them all the time.

"They're a tough side, they move the ball so quick, but I think we limited them to efforts from range most of the time.

"Neil (Etheridge) did very well. When called upon, he was superb and that's two clean sheets in a row now which is highly vital.

"We've proven people wrong so far, we've picked up seven massive points. But the most important thing now is that we maintain that level, attitude, fight and togetherness and we'll always have chances to win games." 

Line-ups

Brentford

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Raya
  • 30Rasmussen
  • 18Jansson
  • 5Pinnock
  • 29Bech Sørensen
  • 8JensenSubstituted forMarcondesat 71'minutes
  • 6Nørgaard
  • 27JaneltSubstituted forGhoddosat 71'minutes
  • 7CanósSubstituted forForssat 86'minutes
  • 17Toney
  • 19MbeumoSubstituted forFosu-Henryat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Goode
  • 9Marcondes
  • 15Forss
  • 20Ghoddos
  • 23Reid
  • 24Fosu-Henry
  • 28Daniels
  • 36Stevens
  • 41Bidstrup

Birmingham

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 30Etheridge
  • 12Dean
  • 4Roberts
  • 3Pedersen
  • 2Colin
  • 20Gardner
  • 34Sunjic
  • 18McGree
  • 35HalilovicSubstituted forToralat 60'minutesSubstituted forHarperat 72'minutes
  • 9HoganSubstituted forLekoat 60'minutes
  • 10JutkiewiczSubstituted forCosgroveat 90'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Prieto
  • 5Friend
  • 11Bela
  • 14Leko
  • 16Cosgrove
  • 19San José
  • 23Toral
  • 24Harper
  • 42Seddon
Referee:
Dean Whitestone

Match Stats

Home TeamBrentfordAway TeamBirmingham
Possession
Home62%
Away38%
Shots
Home9
Away7
Shots on Target
Home4
Away0
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home12
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Brentford 0, Birmingham City 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Brentford 0, Birmingham City 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jonathan Leko (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Gary Gardner.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Ivan Toney (Brentford).

  5. Post update

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

  6. Post update

    Marcus Forss (Brentford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Riley McGree (Birmingham City).

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Birmingham City. Sam Cosgrove replaces Lukas Jutkiewicz.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Brentford. Marcus Forss replaces Sergi Canós.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Christian Nørgaard (Brentford).

  11. Post update

    Ivan Sunjic (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Emiliano Marcondes (Brentford).

  13. Post update

    Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Brentford. Tariqe Fosu-Henry replaces Bryan Mbeumo.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Brentford. Conceded by Neil Etheridge.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Bryan Mbeumo (Brentford) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Emiliano Marcondes.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Saman Ghoddos (Brentford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  18. Post update

    Ivan Toney (Brentford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Ivan Sunjic (Birmingham City).

  20. Post update

    Offside, Birmingham City. Maxime Colin tries a through ball, but Jonathan Leko is caught offside.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich40269564283687
2Watford402310757273079
3Brentford391913766402670
4Swansea392091045311469
5Barnsley40208125244868
6Reading401991256431366
7Bournemouth3918111060382265
8Cardiff4016101455431258
9Millwall401416104137458
10Middlesbrough40169154843557
11Stoke401413134544155
12QPR391411144346-353
13Luton39148173245-1350
14Bristol City40154214055-1549
15Nottm Forest401212163439-548
16Preston40146204150-948
17Blackburn401210185045546
18Derby401110193045-1543
19Huddersfield391110184260-1843
20Coventry391012173552-1742
21Birmingham401012182950-2142
22Rotherham36105213851-1335
23Sheff Wed39118203348-1535
24Wycombe4089232961-3233
View full Championship table

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