Birmingham City 2-3 Leicester City: Championship – as it happened | Championship

Key events

Match report

Time for me to say ta-ra. I’ll leave you with Ben Fisher’s report from St Andrews. Ta-ra then!

Leicester’s goalscorers speak to Sky …

Stephy Mavididi: “We knew it would be a difficult game, happy with the performance and the three points. We know we have the weapons we have, and we set up to use them. We have a lot of quick, direct attackers.”

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall: “We pride ourselves on finishing counterattacks, at least by making a good chance. Stephy’s finish was fantastic. The gaffer is drilling that into us, we’re learning more and more.”

On goading the home fans, Dewsbury-Hall says: “Stephy rattled them after the first goal, so I thought I’d join in! All fun and games at the end of the day.”

Elsewhere tonight Girona, the La Liga side threatening to “do a Leicester” this season, have gone back to the top with a 3-0 home win over Alavés.

The table as it stands.

Full time: Birmingham 2-3 Leicester

The Foxes move three points clear of Ipswich, and 13 [THIRTEEN] points above third-placed Leeds, with a win that was more narrow than it needed to be. Birmingham scored twice through Jordan James and threatened to punish Leicester for missed chances late in the game – but the leaders held on.

95 mins: Faes intercepts Miyoshi’s through-pass, and the seconds are ticking down for Birmingham.

94 mins: Fatawu runs it into the corner, then changes his mind and crosses to nobody in particular. He gets it back, but Choudhury is then flagged offside.

92 mins: Oof, Casadei should have made it safe for Leicester here. He stepped away from his marker, but one-on-one with Ruddy, tried to sweep it into the corner and put his effort wide.

91 mins: Birmingham are taking the aerial route towards Jutkiewicz now, and he gets his head to a Roberts long ball but can only direct it back towards Hermansen.

90 mins: There will be five added minutes for Birmingham to grab an unlikely equaliser.

89 mins: Harry Souttar is on for Leicester, replacing Justin and adding height to the backline at set pieces. Wilfred Ndidi also goes off, replaced by Cesare Casadei.

88 mins: Roberts takes the long throw, and Hermansen has to rush off his line to punch clear. Sanderson and Donovan try to bustle into the area from the left, but Faes is on hand to clear, to high-fives all round.

87 mins: Birmingham free-kick wide on the left, which Myoshi heaves in, Roberts heads down, and Leicester scramble clear.

86 mins: Miyoshi tries to play in Jutkiewicz, but he can’t bring the ball under control. Donovan, in acres of space down the left, might have been a better option.

85 mins: Leicester get forward again, but Ndidi’s attempted cross ends up in the side netting. Rooney summons another Championship veteran from his bench, with Lukas Jutkiewicz replacing Emanuel Aiwu.

83 mins: At the other end, Fatawu reaches into his box of tricks to send two defenders sprawling before cutting back to Cannon, who fires his shot over the bar.

82 mins: More Birmingham pressure, more Leicester discomfort under the high ball, but they are reprieved when Dion Sanderson is flagged offside.

81 mins: Burke swings in a cross from the right, and Faes has to be alert to clear under pressure from Hogan.

80 mins: Fatawu takes a Leicester corner but bends it over everyone’s heads, and out of play. Rooney throws on striker Scott Hogan, who replaces Bacuna.

79 mins: With Leicester a little short at the back, Choudhury wins a foul for a nudge from Donovan, much to the home crowd’s frustration.

78 mins: Tom Cannon, an £8m summer recruit from Everton, replaces Patson Daka up front for Leicester.

76 mins: Dewsbury-Hall, now operating on the left flank, fails to pick out a teammate with his cross. On balance of play, it would be pretty ridiculous if Leicester somehow fail to win this game.

Well then! Miyoshi makes an impact with a run to the edge of the area and finds James, whose shot deflects off Vestergaard and into the far corner! That’s woken the crowd up, alright.

GOAL! Birmingham 2-3 Leicester (James 74′)

Jordan James gets his second of the game, and from nowhere, Birmingham are back in it!

72 mins: Rooney decides to ring the changes. Off go Bielik, Dembele and Stansfield; on come Oliver Burke, Japan international Koji Miyoshi and teenage winger Romelle Donovan.

70 mins: Dewsbury-Hall crosses for Daka, who doesn’t get hold of his shot. Here comes Choudhury for Mavididi, who gets cheered by the away fans and booed by the home fans; I guess that’s when you know you’ve had a good game.

68 mins: Fatawu tries again to cut inside and find the far corner, but his shot is wild and flies into the away end.

67 mins: Hamza Choudhury is coming on; it looks like he’ll replace Mavididi, who has scored twice but is also on a booking.

65 mins: Ricardo finds Dewsbury-Hall in midfield, untroubled, with options left and right. He opts to switch play wide to Mavididi, who gets to the byline but runs out of space.

64 mins: Buchanan gets his own back with a trip on Fatawu, who was threatening to skip away downfield once again.

62 mins: Bacuna asks the crowd to turn up the volume as Birmingham try to find a way back into the game. Leicester are holding them comfortably at arm’s length at the minute, though.

60 mins: Lee Buchanan is caught on his knee by a high boot from Fatawu, but the referee doesn’t spot it – it surely would have been a booking if he had.

59 mins: The corner is arrowed in towards Marc Roberts, but Leicester get it clear. Rooney then livens up the home crowd with some textbook close control when the ball flies out of play.

58 mins: The ball in rebounds off Stansfield, and Fatawu is on hand to hoof it downfield. Birmingham come again, and Stansfield wins another corner with some tenacious work down by the touchline.

57 mins: Jay Stansfield, who hasn’t been involved much, gets in front of Dewsbury-Hall but can’t connect with his header. Birmingham get a corner …

56 mins: Dembele prods the ball beyond Justin, who brings him down and is perhaps lucky to avoid a booking. A rare chance for Birmingham to offer a threat from the free kick …

54 mins: Leicester’s key attacking move – Winks or Ndidi passing to Dewsbury-Hall, who moves it on to either winger – has worked time and time again. On this occasion, Mavididi is found in a central area and tries unsuccessfully to catch Ruddy out with a backheel.

52 mins: “Sacked in the morning” is the gleeful chant from the away fans. We’re not at that stage yet, but it’s looking like two wins from 11 for Wayne Rooney now.

It’s been a tough second half for Wazza. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

51 mins: From yet another quick break, Fatawu almost makes it four, bending the ball just wide of the far post after another deep run from Dewsbury-Hall.

GOAL! Birmingham 1-3 Leicester (Mavididi 49′)

Well, that didn’t work. As soon as the hosts step forward, Leicester exploit the space and Mavididi gets one-on-one with Aiwu again. He cuts inside and shoots, and the defender’s boot only serves to deflect the ball over Ruddy and in!

Stephy Mavididi looks to the skies after extending Leicester’s lead.
Stephy Mavididi looks to the skies after extending Leicester’s lead. Photograph: Plumb Images/Leicester City FC/Getty Images

48 mins: Birmingham are definitely sitting a little deeper in this second half, rather than go too gung-ho with the game in the balance.

Peep!

We’re back for the second half, and Leicester are back on the attack – but Dewsbury-Hall is flagged narrowly offside.

Neil Warnock here, failing to be disciplined.

“Sorry I forgot to close it” 😅
“Anymore angry than that you’ll frighten everybody” 🤣

Enjoy this blooper reel by Neil Warnock, but enjoy it by being disciplined 😂 pic.twitter.com/3026fY75gS

— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) December 18, 2023

Half time: Birmingham 1-2 Leicester

The leaders have scored twice with devastating counterattacks, either side of Jordan James’ well-taken equaliser. Since they went back in front, Leicester have been dominant – but there’s still only a goal in it.

48 mins: Juninho Bacuna gets a rare pocket of space and shapes to shoot – but Wout Faes is in the way, and blocks his effort on goal.

47 mins: There’s still time for Leicester to race downfield twice but fail to get the final ball right …

46 mins: We have played one of three added minutes, and I think Birmingham want this half to be over.

45 mins: But KDH is on hand to quickly win the ball back and find Mavididi, who flicks the ball past Aiwu and then goes over after minimal contact. Having already been booked, he risked the silliest sending-off of the season there.

43 mins: Dewsbury-Hall sets up Daka, who opts to pass backwards instead of hold the ball up …

42 mins: Dembele goes in late on Justin, and Leicester get a free kick, from which they work upfield again …

41 mins: More trickery from Mavididi, sending Aiwu this way and that before slicing his shot wide.

40 mins: Again, Birmingham look short at the back –but Sanderson gets a vital touch to stop Fatawu playing Daka in on goal.

39 mins: Leicester now have a grip on this game – it feels like a Cup tie that’s close to slipping away from the underdogs. Dewsbury-Hall crosses for Daka, who might have done better with his first-time shot.

37 mins: Wout Faes with a lovely little defensive cameo, ball-juggling his way past three attackers before going down theatrically to get the free kick. That was David Luiz-esque (in a good way).

36 mins: Having been abandoned by his marker, Mavididi tries to volley a cross back into the danger area, but it doesn’t come off.

35 mins: Dembele tries to get in behind the Leicester defence, but he’s a good yard offside.

33 mins: Maresca is out of his seat, barking at his players after an attacking move breaks down. To me, he looks like an AI-created combination of Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola.

Enzo Maresca.
A hint of Jorge Sampaoli, too. Photograph: Plumb Images/Leicester City FC/Getty Images

31 mins: Mavididi is causing plenty of problems for the home defence; he gets upended, but is quickly up and running into the box, his deflected cross bouncing to safety.

Reference

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