Match Report: Birmingham City 0-2 Newcastle UnitedBy: Daniel | February 15th, 2011
Newcastle displayed a very efficient, coherent and professional display tonight with a 2-0 victory over Birmingham City.
Newcastle controlled large periods of the game and were clinical in front of goal which will be a sigh of relief for fans and Alan Pardew as both strikers Leon Best and Peter Lovenkrands got on the score sheet and powered United to victory.
It was Lovenkrands who got Newcastle off to a terrific start when he converted a good cross from Jonas Gutierrez on the half volley past Blues goalkeeper Ben Foster after just 2 minutes.
Gutierrez was once again the provider for the second goal as his great dummy allowed him time and space to pick out a splendid cross which Leon Best jumped over two defenders to score United’s second on the 50th minute mark and this allowed a bit of breathing space between the two sides.
Birmingham did have some half chances from set pieces. Most notably from a corner which Zigic headed the ball straight into Steve Harpers hands. However, throughout the game Newcastle were able to pass the ball around the on a poor pitch and in the end were too good defensively for Birmingham as the whole team limited the Blues chances.
All in all, a great three points, a great performance, a great start to a two week break for Newcastle.
Harper: 7 – Controlled his area a lot better tonight and was a lot quicker with his distribution.
Simpson: 7 - Apart of a solid back line which looked very safe. Also a great strong tackle in the second half.
Williamson: 7 - Started a bit shaky but then we all started to see the Big Mike that we know and love and the one who dominated Samba at Blackburn. Did another terrific good job on Zigic tonight.
Coloccini 7 - Similar to Williamson. Just an all around good performance apart from given the ball away a couple of times early on but thats just nit picking on my behalf.
Enrique 7 – Got caught out a couple of times with the ball, but was very solid defensively overall. Lacked the same attacking prowess we saw at Blackburn.
Barton 7 – Solid, workman like performance, nothing really to comment on other than some good wing play in this game.
Tiote 8 - Tiote, once again, bossed the midfield. His patience on the ball and drive and determination are a pleasure to watch. Great game.
Nolan 6 - I feel a bit harsh handing out a 6 here. Nolan didn’t make any mistakes but he wasn’t notable in the game either.
Gutierrez 8 - Set up both goals with astute crosses. Looked great running at the Birmingham back four. I like this Jonas.
Lovenkrands 7 - Got his goal, all you can ask. Threatened a couple of times after that too. Good game.
Best 8 – Five goals now in the Premier League for Leon. Took his goal well tonight and also dominated in the air.
Ranger 6 - Wasn’t spectacular when he came on but did a job. Not enough time really.
Guthrie 6 – Similar to Ranger, filled a gap, completed a task, done a job.
Campbell 6 – Nice to see Sol back on the field and looking fit. Hardly on the pitch though so no rating is really realistic.
Overall, a good win. A two week rest for the lads now and they deserve it.