Sunday 19 November 2017

Zigic on mark to extend Birmingham hot streak

Birmingham 1 Leeds 0

Nikola Zigic's first goal since February's Carling Cup final gave Birmingham a narrow victory over Leeds and extended their winning sequence to six games in all competitions.

In an encounter between the Championship's two most in-form teams a single goal was always likely to settle matters, and so it proved as the 6ft 8in Serbian -- troubled by groin and hip injuries since the club's Wembley triumph over Arsenal -- fired home after 35 minutes.

Blues goalkeeper Boaz Myhill had earlier kept his team on level terms with an impressive save to keep out Adam Clayton's vicious volley before again coming to the hosts' rescue late on to tip over Ross McCormack's long-range effort. Defeat ended fifth-placed Leeds' seven-match unbeaten league record and moved Chris Hughton's side to within a point of them. Wins in their two games would take the Blues up to into second.

They were indebted to a genuine save of the season contender from Myhill after 24 minutes, the on-loan West Brom goalkeeper palming Clayton's stinging volley over the bar.

Birmingham took the lead 10 minutes before the break. Stephen Carr broke down the right and delivered a cross which found its way to the towering Zigic, whose shot took a deflection off Paul Connolly before beating Rachubka.

As the second half wore on it was Leeds who were again forcing the issue and Myhill turned over McCormack's strike from distance in the 86th minute to secure three points for the hosts.

Irish Independent

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