Birmingham 1 Man United 1
Birmingham City 1 Manchester United 1, St Andrew´s Stadium, English Premier League, January 9, 2010. Manchester United missed the opportunity to go top of the Premier League table after a 1-1 draw against Birmingham City at St Andrew´s. Cameron Jerome put Alex McLeish´s Birmingham side into the lead seven minutes before the sound of the half-time signal, only for defender Scott Dann to score an own goal in the 63rd minute of the tussle.
After losing 1-0 to Coca-Cola Football League One club Leeds United at Old Trafford in the FA Cup Third Round the previous weekend, Manchester United locked horns with Birmingham City at the St Andrew´s Stadium on the second Saturday of 2010. Key players Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher, Ryan Giggs, and Antonio Valencia were all back in action for United, while goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, defenders Rio Ferdinand, John O´Shea, and Nemanja Vidic, and midfielder Owen Hargreaves were all sidelined with different injury problems. Manchester United´s provisional squad for the match included Tomasz Kuszczak, Ben Amos, Rafael da Silva, Wes Brown, Jonny Evans, Gary Neville, Fabio da Silva, Patrice Evra, Antonio Valencia, Oliveira Anderson, Paul Scholes, Ji-Sung Park, Darren Fletcher, Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney, Mame Biram Diouf, and Michael Owen. In front of a crowd of almost 30,000 spectators at St Andrew´s, eighth placed Birmingham and second positioned Manchester United played out an exciting and frenetic 1-1 draw in the 21st round of the Premier League. Despite of the fact that United dominated the first frame totally outplaying The Blues, the visiting team seldom managed to threaten the tight home defence, and instead it was the hosts who went into the lead seven minutes before the half-time break. City saw a lot more of the ball following the resumption and the home outfit created a number of scoring opportunities as the second period progressed, but Manchester United finally had their equalising goal three minutes past the hour mark. England international Wayne Rooney kept on working hard as always, though, and the marksman put Birmingham right fullback Stephen Carr under severe pressure through the whole of the game. But as things turned out, United had to settle for one point instead of three, and thereby missed the chance to go top of the table.
Manchester United, who had edged out Birmingham by 1-0 at Old Trafford in the reverse meeting on the first Sunday of the 2009-10 Premier League season, had several decent chances during the first half, but The Reds found it hard to break the defensive deadlock. Then, completely against the flow of play, City went ahead as a good cross from Scottish striker James McFadden was knocked out to experienced midfielder Lee Bowyer whose header was blocked by Manchester United and Northern Ireland defender Jonny Evans before former England U21 international Cameron Jerome finally got the ball, putting the blue shirts into a 1-0 lead seven minutes ahead of the half-time break. Following 63 minutes of fierce play, Sir Alex Ferguson´s title challengers eventually managed to square the match as Birmingham centre back Scott Dann conceded an own goal. Wayne Rooney’s drive was blocked as was Paul Scholes’s effort before the ball landed at the feet of Patrice Evra and his shot was deflected into the net by poor Dann. The Brummies were far from demoralised and Ecuadorian forward Christian Benitez tested Manchester United shot stopper Tomasz Kuszczak with a brilliant effort shortly afterwards. As the game drifted away to a draw, however, Scotland midfielder Darren Fletcher was sent off by referee Mark Clattenburg for his second yellow card offence after a foul on Jerome in the 84th minute. Birminghan City Team: Joe Hart, Stephen Carr, Scott Dann, Roger Johnson, Liam Ridgewell, Sebastian Larsson, Lee Bowyer, Barry Ferguson, James McFadden, Christian Benitez, Cameron Jerome. Substitutes: Maik Taylor, Martin Taylor, Stuart Parnaby, Franck Queudrue, Keith Fahey, Gary McSheffrey, Kevin Phillips. Manchester United Team: Tomasz Kuszczak, Rafael da Silva, Wes Brown, Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra, Antonio Valencia, Paul Scholes, Ji-Sung Park, Darren Fletcher, Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney. Substitutes: Ben Amos, Fabio da Silva, Gary Neville, Oliveira Anderson, Ryan Giggs, Mame Biram Diouf, Michael Owen.