Serb grabs second in a week to secure victory for Blues
Nikola Zigic proved a threat from a Sebastien Larsson corner, setting up Liam Ridgewell to nod home from six yards, before the big Serb scored for the second week in a row, making Charlie Adam pay for his poor first touch in the area.
There was a surprise change of style from Birmingham, with the hosts opting to revert back to 4-4-2 after calls from supporters to change the system. Lee Bowyer had to settle for a place on the bench, while Nikola Zigic was partnered by Garry O’Connor in attack in the place of the injured Cameron Jerome.
Meanwhile, Elliot Grandin dropped to the bench in Blackpool’s only change from the 3-2 defeat to Manchester City last weekend, with goalscorer in that match Marlon Harewood taking his place, meaning Gary Taylor-Fletcher played in a deeper role than usual.
It was Birmingham who had the first real chance of the game. Eardley brought down Fahey on the edge of the area with a clumsy trip from behind, but Larsson’s resulting free-kick was well dealt with by Gilks, who tipped the ball over the bar.
Just moments after Blackpool’s Taylor-Fletcher had an effort on goal with a header from close range, Birmingham surged forward again. O’Connor was played through one-on-one with Foster from the halfway line but was denied by an excellent piece of defending from Cathcart, who put in a last-ditch tackle to clear the ball away.
It didn’t take long for the hosts to get another change, however. Larsson’s inswinging free-kick from the right failed to be cleared by the Blackpool defence as Gilks was unable to scramble the ball away. Zigic nodded the ball off the crossbar before Ridgewell arrived just at the right time to nod home from close range.
Zigic and O’Connor had the majority of the Blues’ chances in the first half, but they proved wasteful at times. The former miscued his effort moments before the break well over the bar and the latter couldn’t take advantage of a number of opportunities in the final third.
Birmingham began the second half the brighter of the two teams, and they added a second after more poor defending from Blackpool. Larsson’s corner wasn’t fully cleared and fell to Ridgewell on the right side of the area. The left-back hooked the ball across the face of goal and Adam, who looked certain to steer it away, controlled the ball horribly straight to Zigic, and the striker made no mistake by turning the ball home.
While the Blues were looking good going forward and solid defensively, their opponents were anything but. The Seasiders were all over the place at the back and were unable to create too many chances through Harewood, Varney, Campbell and Co.
Hleb had a decent opportunity to put his side 3-0 up after a mazy dribble through the centre, but he was stopped in his tracks by Cathcart, whose block meant his side could breathe a sigh of relief.
Blackpool were presented with a rare chance in the last minute as Vaughan let fly from the edge of the area. However, Foster was equal to it and a late comeback didn’t materialise as the Blues picked up the three points.
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