MX23RW : Monday, January 21 06:16:38

Result: Blues and Bees battle towards bore draw in Birmingham

Result: Blues and Bees battle towards bore draw in Birmingham
© Reuters
Despite some enthusiastic individual displays, neither side could score.

Improving Birmingham suffered a sudden dip in form and had to be content with a point from a goalless home draw against a battling Brentford.

The result, on past performances in the Sky Bet Championship, was hardly a surprise considering Birmingham had failed to beat Brentford in their previous four encounters.

It was a game in which each side cancelled each other out although Brentford finished with four yellow cards in a highly competitive game.

Brentford, now unbeaten in their last three games, certainly belied their lowly position with an attacking policy which kept Birmingham under considerable early pressure and they were well worth their point.

A driving force for the Bees was their skipper Romaine Sawyers, who led by example with his enthusiastic driving play.

Rico Henry and Neal Maupay both performed well in a young side which displayed plenty of potential.

As a result Birmingham, who had three former Brentford players in their side, found themselves on the back foot and struggling to mount any serious attacks, which was out of character with recent performances.

Their only first-half attempt on Brentford's goal came from Jota. The former Bees winger
scurried into the middle before unleashing a hopeful long-range effort which was easily dealt with by Danny Bentley.

This incident appeared to inspire Birmingham. Having survived the initial 25-minute blitz, the Blues began to emerge as a more serious attacking unit and Brentford's rearguard began to look a little shaky.

Following a flat first half the second was more lively, with Bentley being forced to make a smart save diving to his right to keep out an effort from Maikel Kieftenbeld as Birmingham stepped up the pace in an attempt to take control.

In the general frustration the game became a little untidy. Maupay was involved in three incidents and on the third occasion the Frenchman was booked.

As a precaution he was then substituted by manager Thomas Frank and replaced by Said Benrahma.

Referee Peter Bankes had a difficult game attempting to keep control in a hectic match when there were frequent stoppages.

Birmingham appeared to thrive in the atmosphere but Brentford, to their credit, battled bravely to stay in contention, with Julian Jeanvier and Ezri Konsa their defensive stalwarts in the closing stages.

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Birmingham City manager Garry Monk pictured on July 28, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leeds UnitedLeeds28166647301754
2Norwich CityNorwich28158552361653
3Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28155846291750
4West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom27138655352047
5Middlesbrough281211531201147
6Derby CountyDerby2813784035546
7Bristol City2812883529644
8Hull City28117104135640
9Swansea CitySwansea28117103732540
10Blackburn RoversBlackburn28101083741-440
11Birmingham CityBirmingham2891274033739
12Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest2891273932739
13Aston Villa2891275145639
14Queens Park RangersQPR28116113439-539
15Stoke CityStoke2891183335-238
16Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds2898113345-1235
17Brentford28810104339434
18Preston North EndPreston2889114345-233
19Millwall2878133444-1029
20Wigan AthleticWigan2885152841-1329
21Rotherham UnitedRotherham28510132746-1925
22Reading2858153143-1223
23Bolton WanderersBolton2757151840-2222
24Ipswich TownIpswich2839162248-2618

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