Birmingham back down to earth in West Brom loss

Newly crowned League Cup winners Birmingham were brought down to earth with a bump on Saturday, losing 3-1 to West Bromwich Albion at St Andrews.

Updated: March 06, 2011 11:38 IST
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Newly crowned League Cup winners Birmingham were brought down to earth with a bump on Saturday, losing 3-1 to West Bromwich Albion at St Andrews.

Only six days after Alex McLeish's side stunned Arsenal at Wembley, the Blues were left contemplating a potentially costly home defeat that drags them back towards the relegation quagmire.

Second-half goals from Youssouf Mulumbu, James Morrison and Paul Scharner secured the win for Albion, giving new manager Roy Hodgson the first victory of his three-match reign following last month's dismissal of Roberto Di Matteo.

Birmingham's solitary goal came from Jean Beausejour.

A furious McLeish pointed the finger at his team's woeful defending following the defeat.

"Schoolboy defending, the goals were lamentable," McLeish told Sky Sports. "We were devoid of inspiration. We huffed and puffed without creating too much up front."

The win saw West Brom leapfrog Birmingham into 16th place, and left the Blues in 17th spot, just two points clear of the drop zone.

After a lacklustre first half, the game exploded into life after the break with West Brom drawing first blood through Mulumbu on 46 minutes.

Good work by substitute Peter Odemwingie created the opening for Mulumbu, who darted into the Birmingham area and coolly lifted his shot over the advancing Ben Foster to make it 1-0.

The Baggies lead was short-lived however, as Birmingham swept upfield almost immediately to level through Chilean attacker Beausejour, turning in a cross from the right flank by Lee Bowyer.

West Brom though were back in front within 10 minutes, courtesy of a spectacular individual effort from Morrison, the midfielder lifting the ball beyond marker Curtis Davies before slamming home from 10 yards.

Scharner made the game safe for West Brom on 72 minutes when the Austrian international headed in from the tightest of angles after a perfectly flighted cross from Morrison.

It could get worse for Birmingham later on Saturday, where a win for West Ham over Stoke will see them fall into the bottom three.

In Saturday's other main fixtures, Arsenal can cut the gap on leaders Manchester United to just one point if they defeat Sunderland at the Emirates.

Manchester City meanwhile will be expected to deepen the woe at bottom club Wigan, whom they entertain at Eastlands in the late kick-off.

Manchester United face Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday while champions Chelsea are playing Blackpool on Monday.

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