MX23RW : Wednesday, May 22 19:29:40| >> :600:13659739:13659739:
Dec 15, 2018 at 3pm UK at ​Ewood Park (Blackburn, Lancashire)
Attendance: 13,622
BlackburnBlackburn Rovers
2-2
BirminghamBirmingham City
Graham (19'), Armstrong (46')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Gardner (78' pen.), Adams (80')

Result: Birmingham fight back to frustrate Blackburn

Rovers were cruising at 2-0 up.

Birmingham scored twice in three minutes late on to snatch an unlikely 2-2 draw at Blackburn.

The hosts looked well on their way to a fourth victory in five home games after Danny Graham’s ninth of the season put them ahead in the first half, with Adam Armstrong making it two within seconds of the restart.

That looked to be that, but a penalty out of nowhere allowed Craig Gardner to level.

And incredibly, the Blues were level moments later as Che Adams slotted home from close range, giving them a point that their performance for the majority of the game barely merited.

Rovers are unbeaten in three outings but, in a game they controlled, the draw will feel like a defeat.

Blackburn welcomed back Darragh Lenihan in place of Paul Downing at the heart of defence, while Derrick Williams was replaced by Amari’i Bell.

Blues skipper Michael Morrison missed out through injury, so Marc Roberts deputised.

The opening exchanges were a slog, with wet conditions and injuries disrupting any hope of flow.

But Rovers went ahead in the 19th minute with their first shot when Harrison Reed floated in the perfect free-kick for Graham, who expertly directed his header beyond Lee Camp from 12 yards.

The hosts were in the ascendancy at this point and Bradley Dack had a sight of goal, but lashed wide.

Connor Mahoney was booed at every touch but the former Rover almost delivered the perfect riposte eight minutes from the break when he cut in from the right and let fly with a wonderful curling effort that went just wide.

Birmingham finished the half strongest though, with Adams denied by a timely block, before Lukas Jutkiewicz’s delicate touch set up a shooting opportunity inside the area that David Raya saved.

Rovers made them pay immediately after the restart through Armstrong, who received the ball thanks to a deft Dack touch, before firing a left-foot shot into the right corner for his fifth goal this season.

It would have been a third minutes later when Reed was played through on the right but his low drive was brilliantly tipped over by Camp.

The game seemed to be petering to a natural end but Raya gave the visitors hope by needlessly chopping down Maxime Colin in the area 12 minutes from time.

Craig Gardner hammered home the unstoppable penalty.

And the Blues completed a highly improbable comeback two minutes later when Jutkiewicz squared for the unmarked Adams to convert for his 10th of the season.

It set up a frantic finish but neither side could fashion a winner.

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
2Liverpool38307189226797
3Chelsea38219863392472
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
5Arsenal382171073512270
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
8Everton38159145446854
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
11Watford38148165259-750
12Crystal Palace38147175153-249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
14Bournemouth38136195670-1445
15Burnley38117204568-2340
16Southampton38912174565-2039
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RFulham3875263481-4726
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416

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