Birmingham City 1-4 Fulham: Cottagers beat Blues to return to the top of the Championship



Denis Odoi had not scored a league goal for Fulham since hitting the winner in the Championship play-off semi-final win over Derby in May 2018
Denis Odoi had not scored a league goal for Fulham since hitting the winner in the Championship play-off semi-final win over Derby in May 2018

Marco Silva’s Fulham beat Birmingham City comfortably at St Andrew’s to return to the top of the Championship.

The Cottagers were on their way from the moment defender Denis Odoi headed home Harry Wilson’s right-wing corner on 10 minutes.

Aleksandar Mitrovic then drilled home a 44th-minute penalty after Nathaniel Chalobah – their deadline-day signing from Watford – got bundled over in the box.

Fulham debutant Chalobah was then also involved in Fulham’s third with a superb pass for Wilson to run on and score on 54 minutes.

Jean Michael Seri then set up a second for Mitrovic on 83 minutes – the Serb’s sixth goal of the season.

His brace takes him to within one goal of Reading’s John Swift as Championship top scorer this season.

Blues did pull one back on 87 minutes when second-half substitute Troy Deeney scored his first goal for Blues – at the Tilton End too – from the penalty spot, after he had been dragged back by Odoi.

In stoppage time, Deeney had another header saved and Gary Gardner hit the bar. But, despite that late rally from Lee Bowyer’s men, Deeney’s goal was scant consolation for Blues, who had previously only conceded three goals in six games this season, on a night when victory could have lifted them third.

Aleksandar Mitrovic has netted in all but two of Fulham's seven Championship matches this term
Aleksandar Mitrovic has netted in all but two of Fulham’s seven Championship matches this term

Birmingham City striker Troy Deeney told BBC Radio WM:

“Hopefully this is just a bump in the road. This is the best team we’re going to play in this league by far. We had chances but they were just a bit better with their quality and calmness in the final third.

“You can turn things rounds really quickly in the Championship. You haven’t got a week to sulk like you have in the Premier League.

“The majority of the fans stayed and that was a huge positive for us. And it was nice to get off the mark, You don’t want to be waiting five or six games for your first goal.

“The last game I started was for Watford here against Coventry in January. That’s two games now coming off the bench and I’m only going to get better the more I play.”

Line-ups

Birmingham

Formation 3-4-3

  • 13Sarkic
  • 4Roberts
  • 12Dean
  • 3Pedersen
  • 2Colin
  • 34Sunjic
  • 6Woods
  • 11BelaSubstituted forGardnerat 60′minutesBooked at 67mins
  • 7ChongBooked at 48minsSubstituted forAnekeat 75′minutes
  • 10Jutkiewicz
  • 9HoganSubstituted forDeeneyat 53′minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Friend
  • 15Aneke
  • 18McGree
  • 20Gardner
  • 21Sanderson
  • 27Trueman
  • 36Deeney

Fulham

Formation 4-3-3

  • 21Gazzaniga
  • 4Odoi
  • 16Tosin
  • 13Ream
  • 23Bryan
  • 24SeriBooked at 36mins
  • 6ReedSubstituted forQuinaat 65′minutes
  • 12Chalobah
  • 8WilsonSubstituted forMawsonat 78′minutes
  • 9Mitrovic
  • 14De Cordova-ReidSubstituted forCavaleiroat 74′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Rodák
  • 7Kebano
  • 17Cavaleiro
  • 19Muniz Carvalho
  • 20Quina
  • 26Mawson
  • 33Robinson

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