—END OF LOAD TAG—>
|Keith Fahey (Kevin Phillips, 83)|
|James McFadden (Christian Benitez, 76)|
|Vassiriki Abou Diaby|
|Tomas Rosicky (Andrey Arshavin, 68)|
|Theo Walcott (Samir Nasri, 68)|
|Pereira Neves Denilson|
Its all over at St Andrews! And a late freak injury time goal from Phillips means the points are shared at Birmingham. Arsenal will argue that they deserved to win, but failure to convert pressure into goals has told in the end.
Kevin Phillips scores! He didn't know much about it, however sub Kevin Phillips has been hit in the face by the ball, and its looped over Almunia to level the scores!
Carr is booked for fouling Arshavin.
Bowyer fails to capitalise on a great chance for Birmingham after Almunia's original punch clearence found the City player, Bowyer however could not compose himself and the ball sailed into the stands.
It seems the Nasri substitution was a great piece of tatical work from Wenger, with him and Arshavin really making a difference since their introduction.
Gardner enters the referee's book after he fouls Diaby.
Kevin Phillips comes on to replace Cameron Jerome.
Samir Nasri scores! The Arsenal player picks the ball up in the middle of the park, he goes on a run and strikes from distance to give Arsenal a deserved lead.
Christian Benitez replaces James McFadden.
Diaby has the ball in the back of the net! However Howard Webb has blown the whistle for an earlier foul by the Frenchman, some Gunners fans though might be thinking that decision was on the soft side.
Good period of pressure from Arsenal as Nasri has a crack on goal, Hart is equal to it however, but the Gunners certainly on top.
A great cross comes in for Bendtner at the back post. Johnson goes up to clear it, but he misses the header, the Danish Striker isn't prepared for this however and watches as the ball floats by.
Sagna puts in a cross and its met by Bendtner, but his effort goes wide of the post.
Double change for the Gunners as Andrey Arshavin and Samir Nasri come on to replace Theo Walcott and Tomas Rosicky.
Song seems to be hobbling as well now, but he seems to be running it off, which will be a relief for Wenger.
Ferguson puts in a great free-kick that Johnson flicks onto the post! The ball then hits Dann and somehow, from only a couple of yards out, goes over the bar!
Arsenal on the attack again, with Diaby trying provide Walcott with a delicate through ball, Birmingham are able to intercept however. Arsenal are certainly on top, and need to make this pressure count.
Diaby has a great chance! He received the ball on the edge of the box, but he decides to strike the ball straight at Joe Hart, either side of the City keeper and that could have been the lead.
Arsenal have scored 17 goals in the last 6 games, however a sterdy City home defence has meant the Gunners are yet to add that total.
McFadden applies great pressure on Sol Campbell, and the defender is forced to head the ball out for a corner, however, there is an offside from the resulting play and Arsenal can clear the danger.
Rosicky cracks and effort from well outside the box, it takes an uncomfortable dip for Hart, but the keeper is equal to it.
The game restarts, and Fabregas is still present in the side, so the Spaniard, it seems, is now fine.
Howard Webb blows his whistle and the sides head into the break with the scores at a deadlock. Arsenal had the upper hand at first, but as the haf went on, City certainly proved that they're not out of this either.
Sagna does well to head Gael Clichy's ball across the face of the goal, but no Arsenal player is there to take advantage.
Johnson heads clear for Birmingham, however, the header is a poor one and Walcott attempts to volley home from the edge of the box, he fails to make a proper connection and Hart saves easily.
Fabregas is running with more freedom now after a touchline discussion with Wenger, perhaps the Gunners midfielder has been told to make it to the break for future assesment.
Fabregas seems to be struggling, he's attempting to run it off, but at the moment its not looking good for the Arsenal playmaker.
Jerome also tries his luck with an effort on goal, Almunia tips the ball wide, City are on the ascent!
Manuel Almunia makes a good save from a James McFadden effort from range.
Walcott is the aim of a great diagional through ball, however its just too long for him, and hart is able to collect the ball and stop the danger.
Gael Clichy is booked for bringing down Craig Gardner on the wing.
Arsenal are certainly the team on top so far in this half, however the Gunners have yet to capitalise on this pressure, and this will give City hope.
Sol Campbell has a clear header on goal from a Fabregas corner, but the effort goes over the bar and the scores remain level.
Walcott puts good pressure on Dann, and the City player loses possession of the ball in a dangerous area, keeper Hart however reads the danger well and comes out to stop the Arsenal youngster before he can get a shot on goal.
Alexandre Song is cautioned as he brings down James McFadden in a late tackle.
Birmingham play Arsenal at their own game and hit the Gunners on the break, however a poor ball ends that particular move.
James McFadden tries his luck from range, and his shot goes just wide of the post.
Craig Gardner has an effort on goal, but its goes safely over the bar, Arsenal however, have made the stronger start in the opening 10 minutes.
St Andrews of course was the scene of Eduardo's horrific leg break 2 years ago, he starts on the bench today, along with an Arsenal bench high in quality with players like Andrey Arshavin ready to come on and make the difference.
Diaby has a great effort on goal early on after Rosicky provides the pass, the shot however is deflected wide, and the resulting corner is collected by Hart.
Arsenal will be looking to make it 7 wins on the bounce in the League while Birmingham will be hoping to continue their fantastic home record as referee Howard Webb gets the game underway.
Arsenal make 4 changes with Sagna,Diaby,Walcott & Rosicky in for the suspended Vermaelen, Eboue, Nasri & Arshavin begin on the bench as Arsenal start with;Almunia, Sagna, Campbell, Diaby, Clichy, Denilson, Song, Walcott, Fabregas, Rosicky, Bendtner
Birmingham manager Alex McLeish names an unchanged starting XI from the side that lost to Blackburn midweek as City start with; Hart, Carr, Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Gardner, Ferguson, Bowyer, Fahey, Jerome, McFadden
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