—END OF LOAD TAG—>
|David Dunn (Brett Emerton, 88)|
|Morten Gamst Pedersen|
|El Hadji Diouf (David Hoilett, 69)|
|Nikola Kalinic (Jason Roberts, 46)|
|Craig Gardner (Sebastian Larsson, 74)|
|Keith Fahey (Kevin Phillips, 79)|
|Cameron Jerome (Christian Benitez, 74)|
Blackburn 2 Birmingham 1: David Dunn's brace against his former club gives Blackburn the points despite a lovely free-kick from James McFadden which had earlier brought Birmingham level.
Birmingham are enjoying a spell of late pressure in stoppage time as they try to find an equalising goal.
There will be four minutes of added time for Blackburn to hold on or Birmingham to find an equaliser.
Dangerous free-kick is played into the area. Johnson heads it across goal and Benitez so nearly gets on the end of it but it's played behind for a corner.
Innocent looking challenge by Andrews, but the referee awards him a yellow card.
Blackburn substitution: Dunn leaves the field to be replaced by Emerton. It looks like his goals will give Blackburn the points this evening.
Foul by Carr on Dunn and he goes into the referee's book.
Birmingham are sticking to the task and trying to force themselves forward, but despite getting the ball forward in the Blackburn half they can't fashion an opening for a shot.
It's starting to look like Blackburn will close this game out. The visitors just haven't created enough chances in the game and Blackburn have looked solid defensively since going back in front.
McFadden tries to play it forward for Benitez, but Salgado clears. Birmingham are trying to push forward in search of an equaliser but they appear to lack any creativity to break Blackburn down.
Birmingham substitution: Phillips comes on to replaces Fahey in Birmingham's final change of the night.
Hoilett races away from McFadden, cuts inside and into the penalty area, but his finish is way off target, high and wide.
Birmingham substitution: Gardner is replaced by Larsson in the second change.
Birmingham substitution: It's a double swap here from McLeish. Benitez comes on for Jerome.
The corner is met by Samba, but he can't get the power in the header and it's straight at Hart for a comfortable save.
Hoilett tries to go beyond Carr and shoot, but Carr does well to get a block on the shot and it's another corner to the home side.
Hoilett shoots from 25 yards and Johnson has to head away. Blackburn are starting to up the pressure on the visitors.
Samba plays the ball into the area for Roberts and Dann has to come across and clear at the expense of a corner. The goal has changed this game again with Blackburn looking the side on top.
Blackburn substitution: Diouf comes off to be replaced by Hoilett.
After a more subdued celebration after his first, Dunn is booked for his celebration of that goal.
Blackburn 2 Birmingham 1: Blackburn win a corner off of Carr. The ball is played in and Dunn ends up with the simplest of headers from almost on the goal-line to put the hosts back in front.
Free-kick to Birmingham half-way inside the Blackburn half on the right for a foul by Diouf on Gardner. The visitors are getting more and more into this and the fans are starting to show their frustration.
Salgado produces a cross from the right towards Roberts at the far post. It's a decent delivery which Johnson has to do well to clear.
Jerome beats Samba to the ball in the right corner of the pitch and earns his side a corner off of the big Blackburn defender.
Johnson stands on the ball as is dispossessed by Olsson. He plays it forward for Roberts as Blackburn look to break. It ends with Dann closing down a shot at the expense of a corner.
All of a sudden this game looks a bit more open. Blackburn need to come forward again and Birmingham have their tails up after that goal.
Blackburn 1 Birmingham 1: McFadden curls the free-kick straight into the bottom corner. Brown didn't even move. There will be question marks over the positioning of the wall but it's a lovely strike by the Birmingham man.
Pedersen concedes a free-kick just on the edge of the penalty area. This looks perfectly set for a left-footer and McFadden looks interested in this.
Andrews catches Bowyer and the Birmingham is not happy with it. He seems to be suggesting that Andrews had a second bite at him when he was on the groud.
The game settled quickly into a similar rhythm to the first half. Blackburn with their lead aren't committing too many men forward and Birmingham are struggling to raise the tempo to stretch the home side.
Great work by Carr. He chases down a lost cause and gets a cross in which is deflected behind for a corner.
Blackburn build the first attack of the half, but it ends with a cross by Pedersen which is headed clear by Dann.
Blackburn get this second half underway looking to close out this game and equal their home unbeaten record under Sam Allardyce.
Blackburn substitution: Kalinic is not going to re-appear for this second half and will be replaced by Roberts. This change was met with a chorus of boos on Sunday, before Blackburn got themselves back on level terms.
Blackburn 1 Birmingham 0: Dunn's 5th minute strike separates the sides in a fairly even first half with very little goalmouth action. Blackburn got their noses in front early and have defended in numbers since. Birmingham are yet to create a chance.
There will be a minimum of two added minutes at the end of the first half.
Birmingham have settled into this game much better as the half has worn on, but Blackburn have been really organised defensively and the visitors really haven't created a worthwhile chance in this opening 45 minutes.
Decent effort by Barry Ferguson. He hits it from 25 yards but it goes wide with Brown waving the ball away.
An in-swinging corner comes in from McFadden. Jerome so nearly gets there to turn home but Brown does well to get the ball away.
Bowyer plays it wide to Gardner and his cross from the right is deflected behind for a corner.
Salgado gets into the box and plays it across for Dunn, who taps the ball home, but the whistle blows for a free-kick against Salgado.
Almost another goal for the home side. Cross by Diouf is met by Kalinic and he so nearly diverts it past Hart and in, but Ridgewell does well to put the ball behind.
Low cross by Carr across the face of goal. It's a really good looking cross, but there's no runner across the near post and Brown dives out and smothers the ball.
McFadden whips in a corner which is flicked on by Johnson, but the header goes through to Brown.
Long ball forward by Johnson for Jerome, but he can't bring the ball under control and the ball runs through to Brown in the Blackburn goal.
Fahey crosses for Jerome, but Blackburn just clear.
Gardner fires in a shot from 25 yards but it's always heading high and wide and the ball goes safely out for a goal-kick.
McFadden is brought down by Salgado 10 yards inside the Blackburn half. Free-kick to the visitors. McFadden has been one of the brighter sparks for the visitors so far this evening.
Birmingham have a spell of possession inside the Blackburn half, but the home side are forcing them very narrow with ten men behind the ball and only Kalinic forward.
The game is becoming a little scrappy as both sides struggle to get meaningful possession of the ball.
The flag goes up against the hosts as Dunn plays a clever ball forward down the right channel for Kalinic. He was almost in there.
Pedersen launches a long throw-in into the Birmingham area. Hart punches as far as the edge of the area. Salgado heads it back at goal, but it goes over for a goal-kick.
Foul on Dunn midway inside the Birmingham half. Pedersen lofts it into the area. Hart comes out but the ball is only half cleared. Dunn heads it back towards goal, but it's cleared by the visitors.
Foul by Diouf on McFadden. Free-kick to Birmingham half-way inside the Blackburn half. McFadden takes. It's only half cleared by Samba as far as Bowyer, who heads back across goal, but Jones clears.
The visitors are just starting to enjoy a bit more possession in the past few minutes and are forcing the home side a bit deeper.
Ridgewell gets an opportunity to cross, but with four players in the penalty area he finds the first defender and can only win his side a throw-in.
Decent ball into the Blackburn box, but it flies over the head of Jerome and goes out at the far side of the pitch.
Long ball played into the Birmingham box is met by the head of Samba. The big Blackburn man can't get a strong contact on the ball though at it's an easy for Hart to gather.
Mistake by Carr gifts possession to Dunn. He moves forward towards the Birmingham box and crosses, but the flag goes up and it's a free-kick to the visitors.
McFadden gets space to shoot left-footed from the edge of the area. The shot is deflected and it forces a decent save by Brown to turn it away from the top corner and out for another corner to Birmingham. The visitors are starting to find their feet.
It's been a slow start for the visitors. They win their first corner, but it hits the first defender and is easily cleared.
Dunn finds Diouf out on the left. He crosses toward Kalinic, but it just goes over the head of the Blackburn forward or Birmingham could have found themselves 2-0 down.
Samba drives towards the edge of the area. He can't get by Ridgewell though and has to lay the ball back and the momentum of the attack goes. It's been a good start for the home side.
Blackburn 1 Birmingham 0: Kalinic does well to hold the ball up. He lays it off to Dunn who strikes from the 20 yards and it finds the corner despite Hart getting a hand to it.
Long throw-in by Pedersen into the penatly area towards Samba, but the ball is cleared towards half-way by Gardner.
Long ball up towards Jerome by Ridgewell, but his first touch isn't great and he's dispossessed.
Early free-kick to Birmingham midway inside the Blackburn half. Ferguson takes towards the penatly area, but Blackburn clear.
Birmingham have the kick-off in this first half.
Birmingham have also kept 10 clean sheets this season, although only one of these has come in the last 10 games.
Blackburn are undefeated in the last 12 home games against tonight's visitors. However, Birmingham will look to the fact that they have won 11 of the 16 games against sides in the bottom half of the table this season.
Victory tonight, followed by a win in the local derby at Burnley this weekend and Sam Allardyce will surely feel his side are safe on 41 points.
Indeed, Blackburn's home points tally of 29 is the best in the bottom half of the table.
Tonight's hosts have lost only twice at home in the league all season and only Chelsea at the weekend have taken a point off of them in their last five home games.
Birmingham won the reverse fixture in December and at that point were sitting in sixth place on the back of five straight wins. However, they've now lost four of the last five games on the road and have dropped to ninth.
Loan striker Franco di Santo is also available for the home side after being ineligible to play against his parent club Chelsea at the weekend, but he only makes the bench.
Blackburn's David Dunn came off early with a calf injury in Sunday's 1-1 home draw with Chelsea, however, he's been passed fit for this evening and makes the starting 11 this evening.
Birmingham team line-up: Hart, Carr, Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Gardner, Bowyer, Ferguson, Fahey, McFadden, Jerome
Blackburn team line-up: Brown, Salgado, Samba, Jones, Olsson, Nzonzi, Andrews, Pedersen, Dunn, Diouf, Kalinic
Blackburn face Birmingham at 8pm on Wednesday, March 24th.
Its been a fairly predictable season in the Premier League.
Southend United have gained promotion to League One after a tense penalty shootout again Wycombe Wanderers that ended in 7-6.
Clubs across Europe are rubbing their hands together in glee as Sami Khedira has announced hell be leaving Real Madrid at the end of the season.
With the summer transfer window fast approaching, Liverpool will again have the chance to strengthen their squad.
We love football.
Hull and Newcastle will be fighting for their Premier League lives on Sunday in yet another instalment of relegation drama