Birmingham City 0-0 Stoke City: Blues, Potters remain unbeaten after stalemate

Steven Fletcher’s second-minute effort was as close as Stoke came to St Andrew’s

Birmingham and Stoke maintained their unbeaten start to the season as they played a goalless draw at St Andrew’s.

Steven Fletcher forced an early save from Blues goalkeeper Matija Sarkic, but the hosts responded well and created the best chances.

Skipper Harlee Dean headed just past the post for Marc Roberts’ long throw, and Scott Hogan shot a few inches wide after jumping on Leo Ostigard’s weak head.

Gary Gardner pushed the ball into the net late after Dean unleashed another long throw from Roberts, but the effort was ruled out for offside.

Both teams entered the game after a positive first week of the season, winning their first league games and advancing into the EFL Cup.

Birmingham welcomed fans to St Andrew’s for a Championship match for the first time since last March, but numbers have remained limited, with two closed stands for repairs.

Stoke, who hasn’t won at Birmingham in 13 visits since October 1988, started off the best, but the hosts have gradually taken matters into their own hands.

Moments after his near-crash in the first half, Hogan was scored on goal by Ivan Sunjic’s through ball but sliced ​​a shot to the corner flag.

A tight second half fell short of an entertaining first half as the Blues failed to score a goal on target, although Gardner was not deprived of a spectacular late winner as by the flag of an assistant referee.

Stoke had found the net five times in his first two games, but also failed to disturb Sarkic after the break as Birmingham scored their third straight clean sheet.

Birmingham head coach Lee Bowyer told BBC WM 95.6:

“Both teams worked extremely hard, especially out of possession, and I felt like we both called off each other.

“I think on clear occasions we got ahead of him, but unfortunately for us we failed to seize those chances.

“It wasn’t pretty to watch, but we have another clean sheet against a good Stoke side, which is something positive for me. Overall I think a point was right.”

Stoke boss Michael O’Neill:

“We didn’t do enough to win the game. To be honest, I didn’t feel like we were ever going to lose it.

“We handled what we knew we were going to handle, which was a lot of long throws and balls into the box. We handled that really well.

“We can’t have 30 seconds for each throw-in, that’s where the time flies. Then we had three minutes at the end. It’s just the nature of the game and there are a lot of games in it. the championship that end like this.

“If you want to come out of the league you have to aspire to be a better team than that and that’s obviously what we’re trying to do.”

Queues

Birmingham

Training 4-1-2-1-2

  • 13Sarkic
  • 2Colin
  • 4Roberts
  • 12Dean
  • 3Pedersen
  • 34Sunjic
  • 6Woods
  • 11Bela
  • 20Gardner
  • 9HoganBooked at 49 minutesReplaced byAnekeTo 66 ‘minutes
  • tenJutkiewiczReplaced byLekoTo 71 ‘minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Friend
  • 14Leko
  • 15Aneke
  • 17Sanchez
  • 18Mcgree
  • 23Familia-Castillo
  • 27True man

Feed

Training 5-3-2

  • 12Bursik
  • 2Black-smith
  • 19Østigard
  • 36Souttar
  • 16Wilmot
  • 14Tymon
  • 25PowellBooked at 67 minutes
  • 4Allen
  • 7ClucasBooked at 57 minutes
  • 22SurridgeReplaced byBrownTo 76 ‘minutes
  • 9FletcherReplaced byThompsonTo 90 + 2 ‘minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Davies
  • 3Fox
  • 6Bath
  • 11Valiant
  • 15Thompson
  • 18Brown
  • 23Ince

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