Sunday, 30 December 2007

Santa Supports Middlesbrough, Apparently and Other Stories

Birmingham City 3-0 Middlesbrough, 26th December 2007
Downing OG

This match was a pretty decent performance from Blues. We started off well in the first half and looked threatening from setpieces and general play, We were prepared to attack them and Boro didn't get much of a look-in in the first half. The first goal came from a free kick at the side of the 18-yard box after a blatant foul by Arca(for which he was booked). FRom the cross, Downing ened up putting through his own net. Forssell had another good chance where he pulled a shot out of a tricky situation and then scored from a chance couple of minutes later; we went in at half-time 2-0 up.
As expected, Boro came out and did better in the second half. The defense played well as we managed to keep them at bay so they did not create too many chances. Taylor made 2 great saves, one from a long range shot, the other from a header and generally put in a good performance. In the last minute, we won--and scored--a penalty.
We deserved the win on this occasion, even if 3-0 was a bit harsh on Boro taking into account their decent second half performance.
Incase you hadn't figured it out, there was a guy dressed as Santa in the Boro end. We obliged with chants of "Santa, Santa whats the score?"

Birmingham City 1-1 Fulham, 29th December 2007

And then it all goes a bit wrong. We come out agianst Fulham uin the first half, playing exactly the same side, and we play badly. We could barely get hold of the ball and when we did we gave it away too cheaply. Unsurprisingly then, Fulham got a goal early on in the match through a corner which Bocanegra stuck in the net. Fulham aren't even any good away, usually, they haven't won away in a long time, I think over a year.
The second half was a little better and we got the equaliser due to a great pass from Muamba setting up Larsson for an admittedly slightly jammy finish. Why can't we pass like that the rest of the time? Nafti, the half time sub for Johnson, came really close with a shot from long range. We started off the second half well but as the game went on we faded and the game swung a bit more towards Fulham who had a few runs etc at goal though our defenders often intercepted or Taylor made the save. In the end the game petered out into a 1-1 draw.
We didn't deserve to win this game and if anything Fulham were the better side. We need to pass the ball better, hold on to it more, and stop lumping it up every time we get it. We really needed the 3 points from this game, because our next 3 games are Man U away, Arsenal away and Chelsea at home, which are pretty much guaranteed to be 3 straight losses.

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