Birmingham 2-1 Huddersfield: Hosts put aside off-field uncertainty with narrow win over visitors

Birmingham 2-1 Huddersfield: Hosts put aside off-field uncertainty with narrow win over visitors

Birmingham put their off-field uncertainty aside with a narrow 2-1 win over Huddersfield in the Sky Bet Championship at St Andrew’s.

First-half goals from Scott Hogan and home debutant Przemyslaw Placheta, on loan from Norwich, gave new manager John Eustace’s side a seemingly comfortable platform for victory.

But it was a different story after the break and Danny Ward pulled one back for Huddersfield as the hosts had to defend for long periods.

Maxi Lopez and Paul Richardson’s proposed £36.5m takeover of the Blues has stalled amid doubts over whether the businessmen have the funds to buy Vong Pech’s nearly 22% stake in a plan to two years to take overall control.

St Andrew’s still has the lower levels in two stands closed due to structural concerns despite hopes they would be open at the start of the season, significantly reducing capacity.

However, the hosts started brightly and threatened when left-back Placheta clipped Ollie Turton to see his shot unconvincingly held on the line by keeper Lee Nicholls.

Birmingham took the lead with their next attack in the fifth minute. Juninho Bacuna whipped in a dangerous cross from the right and Hogan got ahead of Turton at the near post to give Nicholls no chance with a angled header from six yards. It was the 30-year-old’s first goal since January.

The lively Bacuna curled in an angled half-volley from the corner of the box as the Blues continued to dominate.

But keeper John Ruddy, making his home debut following his free transfer move from Wolves, had to make a superb save to keep out Josh Ruffels’ superb production of a loose ball and preserve his side’s lead local

More pressure from the blues led to a 2-0 lead in the 45th minute. Hogan’s cross was met by Jordan James, whose shot was blocked, and Placheta’s first-time angled follow-up was palmed into the net by the partially invisible Nicholls.

Sorba Thomas summed up Huddersfield’s first-half display when he finished badly when presented with an unmarked chance from 12 yards, after Ward had fumbled a Jack Rudoni cross.

However, the striker almost redeemed himself almost immediately with a cross that Ruddy was forced to tip over.

Huddersfield took the game to the home team from then on, not the other way around.

The visitors got themselves back into the game in the 61st minute when Ward slotted home perfectly after Thomas put him through after a one-touch pass.

However, Bacuna almost grabbed a third goal for the home side late on when a ragged 50-yard run that saw him beat three players ended with a blocked shot.

What managers said…

Birmingham head coach John Eustace: “Last season we didn’t finish well and we should have been relegated if Derby
Not all the points had been deducted, so the group has a point to prove and so do the players we’re bringing in.

“We have shown that we are very competitive and difficult to play against.

“Collectively, this group want to play for each other and, most importantly, they want to make the fans here at Birmingham City very proud.

“We’re off to a good start, but no one is getting carried away – there’s also a lot of work and dark days ahead.

“But you can see the fans got us through this second half today and our job is to reconnect the fans, the players and the staff.

“Hopefully with performances like that, a good footballing performance and a good, strong collective defensive unit in that second half, that will all help.”

Local debutant Przemyslaw Placheta scored Birmingham’s second goal

Head coach of Huddersfield Danny Schofield: “There are certainly encouraging signs. It’s a fantastic group of humans
beings in that locker room and they showed that last season,” he said.

“All I ask is that when they walk into the dressing room and look in the mirror, they see the person they want to see and that doesn’t disappoint.”

Schofield felt that Huddersfield were a little rough, but they must iron out their mistakes if they are to bounce back from back-to-back defeats.

“I thought we were quite dominant in the second half. The attacking play, the momentum and the pace of the game, I think practically from the start,” he added.

“That’s why I felt really done because fundamentally we were out in terms of first and second balls, the technical detail of passing and ball retention was quite low at times.

“But it was a much improved performance in the second half and maybe we deserved more.

“We have to reflect on that and see how we can improve and start more on that front foot with more intensity and quality.

“There were times when we passed the ball and suffered on the counter-attack, and I think that’s what cost us in the end.”

What’s next?

Birmingham travel to Norwich City in the first round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday; start 19.45 h. Next for Huddersfield it’s home time against Preston North End in the same competition, also on Tuesday; start 19.45 h.

#Birmingham #Huddersfield #Hosts #put #offfield #uncertainty #narrow #win #visitors

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.