Birmingham news Blues player ratings vs Brentford: Etheridge secures vital point PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - Birmingham City battled their way to another precious Championship point with a 0-0 draw at Brentford - this man was outstanding
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Birmingham City moved seven points clear of the Championship relegation zone with a gutsy and well-organised goalless draw at the Brentford Communty Stadium. That concludes a challenging four game spell that has seen Lee Bowyer start his tenure with matches against Reading, Watford, Swansea and the Bees - all of whom are in the top six. And Bowyer has guided his side to two wins and a draw to breathe life into what had been a beleaguered team. Rotherham in 22nd still have four-games in hand but in avoiding defeat here Blues have piled pressure on to the Millers. Bowyer opted to stick with the same 3-4-1-2 system which did for Swansea but swapped Riley McGree for Steve Seddon at left wing back and Scott Hogan for Jonathan Leko up front. That produced an entertaining first half in which both sides will feel they should have scored. Blues’ best opening came just before the quarter hour when Alen Halilovic hooked a ball for Hogan to chase down the left. The striker advanced to the area, sent in a low cross-shot which ran to Gary Gardner at the back post but he side-footed onto the base of the upright and not into the net. Brentford’s best chance came on the half hour when Kristian Pedersen strayed from his position and Sergi Canos was sent clean through the gap. With only Neil Etheridge to beat the Spaniard scuffed his attempted chip wide. The Blues ‘keeper also made relatively straightforward saves from long range to deny Ivan Toney and Mathias Jensen. Sign up to our Birmingham City newsletter for the latest news and comment Why should you sign up? In our daily Birmingham City bulletin, we'll be bringing you the latest breaking news, transfer features and comment pieces, as well as the key talking points for fans. How do you sign up? It's easy and only takes seconds. Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article and hit sign up. And that's it, you're all set. You can also sign up here. If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters - but we don't think you'll want to. And what's more, it's absolutely free! You can also get all the latest updates by following us on social media here Facebook and Twitter. We also have a free app which you can download. It is always up-to-date with the latest news from across the region. Google Play Store and App Store Brentford started the second period brightly, testing Etheridge ten minutes in. Canos lifted the ball over the top and Toney was on to it in a flash, only for his rising shot to be beaten away. As the Bees continued to ask the most pressing questions Blues' former Cardiff stopper continued to provide the answer. With a dozen minutes remaining he produced another flying save to turn Bryan Mbeumo's header away. Jonathan Leko had a late break to win it for Blues but his shot was blocked. STARTING FORMATION 3-4-1-2 PLAYERS ETHERIDGE 8.5* Did enough to distract Canos when clean through in the 30th minute and saved long range efforts from Jensen and Toney. Quick off his line to deny Mbeumo at the start of the second half and a really good save to beat Toney's effort away soon after. A superb display.
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. Covered well, won his headers and had a good day with his distribution. DEAN 7.5 Solid in the middle of the back three. You could hear him guiding his team-mates and see him attacking the ball when it was there to be won. PEDERSEN 7 Early teething problems with McGree at wing back and got caught out of position a couple of times in the first half, thankfully Brentford didn't punish him. But also quick into the tackle and strong in the air.
Ivan Toney of Brentford battles for possession with Kristian Pedersen of Birmingham City
(Image: Clive Rose/Getty Images)
COLIN 7 Up against it trying to keep track of Mbeumo but when Blues did have the ball he was a good outlet on the right. Probably won his battle with Mbeumo by the end as the winger was subbed. A good effort. GARDNER 8 Had Blues' best chance of the first half but hit the post and not the back of the net. Which was a shame because this was a realy committed and determined display. SUNJIC 8 Worked as hard as ever, won plenty of tackles and wasn't too bad with the ball - apart from one error which ended with him conceding a free kick just outside the D. Seemed to win every second ball after the break though. Really energetic display. McGREE 7 The defensive side of playing wing back was a constant headache for the Australian but he concentrated on it as best he could and by the end was doing really well. Maybe didn't have the attacking contribution Bowyer hoped.
Brentford's Mathias Jensen (left) and Birmingham City's Alen Halilovic
(Image: John Walton/PA Wire)
HALILOVIC 6 Showed some lovely touches on the half turn, spreading play and looking to knit attacks together without ever really opening Brentford up. Worked hard out of possession too. JUTKIEWICZ 6 Back to not being given free kicks. Battled Jansson and Pinnock and gave Blues a focal point. Nothing dropped for him in the box but he worked hard. HOGAN 6 A willing performance from the striker who almost set up a goal for Gardner. Didn't have much else to work with though and departed on the hour. Sign up to our Birmingham City newsletter here SUBSTITUTES Toral (for Halilovic, 59) N/A Leko (for Hogan, 59) 5 Harper (for Toral, 72) 5.5 Cosgrove (for Jutkiewicz, 88) N/A Not used: Prieto, Friend, Bela, San Jose, Seddon OPPOSITION BRENTFORD (4-3-3): Raya; Roerslvev; Jansson, Pinnock, Sorensen; Norgaard, Janelt (Ghoddos 71), Jensen (Marcondes 70); Mbeumo (Fosu 77), Toney, Canos (Forss 86). Not used: Daniels, Goode,, Reid, Stevens, Bidstrup GOALS BRENTORD: BLUES: REFEREE: Dean Whitestone The commenting system on BirminghamLive has undergone an overhaul and we want to get even closer to what you're thinking by getting your comments and feedback on all of our stories, particularly where Blues debates are concerned. Let us know how you rated the players by having your say in the comments section below.
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