skip to content
Corner taken short by Samir Nasri.
Corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from the right by-line, Gael Clichy makes a clearance.
A cross is delivered by Kevin Phillips, Johan Djourou manages to make a clearance.
The ball is crossed by Francesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie takes a shot. Save made by Ben Foster.
Francesc Fabregas challenges Roger Johnson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Roger Johnson takes the free kick.
Samir Nasri takes a short corner.
Short corner taken by Robin van Persie.
A cross is delivered by Bacary Sagna, blocked by Liam Ridgewell.
Roger Johnson is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Lukasz Fabianski.
Corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from the left by-line, Alex Song manages to make a clearance.
The ball is sent over by Stephen Carr, Bacary Sagna gets a block in.
The ball is swung over by Gael Clichy, Liam Ridgewell makes a clearance.
Robin van Persie decides to take a short corner.
Neves Denilson takes a shot. Blocked by Roger Johnson.
Short corner worked by Robin van Persie.
Andrey Arshavin takes a shot. Ben Foster makes a save.
Neves Denilson joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jack Wilshere. Theo Walcott goes off and Andrey Arshavin comes on. Kevin Phillips joins the action as a substitute, replacing Cameron Jerome. Nikola Zigic is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Lukasz Fabianski takes the free kick.
A cross is delivered by Craig Gardner.
Sebastian Larsson takes the inswinging corner, save by Lukasz Fabianski.
Alex Song concedes a free kick for a foul on Alexander Hleb. Barry Ferguson takes the free kick.
Theo Walcott takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
Robin van Persie produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the target.
Francesc Fabregas produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the target.
Lee Bowyer leaves the field to be replaced by Nikola Zigic.
An own goal is conceded by Roger Johnson. Birmingham 0-3 Arsenal.
Francesc Fabregas takes a shot. Ben Foster makes a save.
Cameron Jerome challenges Lukasz Fabianski unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Lukasz Fabianski.
The ball is crossed by Craig Gardner, Lukasz Fabianski makes a save.
Craig Gardner delivers the ball, clearance made by Johan Djourou.
Alexander Hleb replaces Jean Beausejour.
Samir Nasri grabs a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Birmingham 0-2 Arsenal.The assist for the goal came from Francesc Fabregas.
Stephen Carr is caught offside. Lukasz Fabianski takes the free kick.
Samir Nasri takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
Theo Walcott crosses the ball, Jack Wilshere produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar.
Scott Dann booked for unsporting behaviour. Scott Dann concedes a free kick for a foul on Theo Walcott. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Robin van Persie, Roger Johnson makes a clearance.
Francesc Fabregas fouled by Stephen Carr, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Lukasz Fabianski.
Effort from the edge of the area by Theo Walcott goes wide of the left-hand upright.
Liam Ridgewell is ruled offside. Lukasz Fabianski takes the indirect free kick.
Unfair challenge on Lee Bowyer by Francesc Fabregas results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Scott Dann.
Theo Walcott takes a shot. Save made by Ben Foster.
The ball is delivered by Stephen Carr, Johan Djourou makes a clearance.
Effort from outside the penalty box by Theo Walcott goes wide left of the target.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Sebastian Larsson by Alex Song. Sebastian Larsson delivers the ball, Close range shot by Roger Johnson goes over the bar.
Robin van Persie takes a shot. Ben Foster makes a save.
Johan Djourou receives a yellow card. Johan Djourou challenges Cameron Jerome unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from left channel, Robin van Persie makes a clearance.
Samir Nasri crosses the ball, Scott Dann makes a clearance.
Liam Ridgewell is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour. Liam Ridgewell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Theo Walcott. Free kick crossed left-footed by Robin van Persie from right channel, save made by Ben Foster.
Long range shot by Francesc Fabregas goes wide right of the net.
Stephen Carr sends in a cross, save made by Lukasz Fabianski.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Cameron Jerome by Johan Djourou. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from left channel, Bacary Sagna manages to make a clearance.
Samir Nasri gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Sebastian Larsson. Free kick crossed right-footed by Sebastian Larsson, Alex Song manages to make a clearance.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Robin van Persie on Liam Ridgewell. Barry Ferguson takes the free kick.
The ball is sent over by Craig Gardner, save made by Lukasz Fabianski.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson played to the near post, Robin van Persie manages to make a clearance.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Francesc Fabregas on Craig Gardner. Sebastian Larsson fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick, Lukasz Fabianski makes a save.
Stephen Carr produces a cross, Alex Song makes a clearance.
The referee blows for offside against Cameron Jerome. Johan Djourou restarts play with the free kick.
Goal scored by Robin van Persie from outside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Birmingham 0-1 Arsenal.Scott Dann concedes a free kick for a foul on Robin van Persie.
The referee blows for offside against Cameron Jerome. Lukasz Fabianski takes the free kick.
Robin van Persie takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
Francesc Fabregas restarts play with the free kick.
Roger Johnson receives a caution for unsporting behaviour. Francesc Fabregas fouled by Roger Johnson, the ref awards a free kick. Gael Clichy restarts play with the free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Craig Gardner on Francesc Fabregas. Shot comes in from Robin van Persie from the free kick.
Effort from deep inside the area by Theo Walcott misses to the right of the target.
The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.
The referee calls an end to the first half.
The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.
The final whistle goes and the game is over.
Same again for Blues
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish is poised to field an unchanged team in Saturday evening's home Barclays Premier League clash with Arsenal.
McLeish looks set to keep faith with the line-up which earned an impressive 1-1 draw at home to Manchester United in mid-week thanks to Lee Bowyer's late goal.
Blues have no fresh injury worries as they strive to maintain an impressive home record - just one league defeat in the last 16 months at St Andrews - with former Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb again likely to be amongst the substitutes as he continues his comeback from a hamstring injury.
Ahead of the game, McLeish said he will focus on quality rather than quantity when he looks to bolster his Birmingham squad during the January transfer window.
McLeish has held talks with club owner Carson Yeung's right-hand man, Peter Pannu, regarding his strategy for next month.
The former Scotland boss would not reveal whether he is satisfied or not with the budget at his disposal.
But a striker is a priority for McLeish who has already been linked with Robbie Keane, Ryan Babel and Jay Bothroyd.
He said: "We've got some targets and we are working on them.
"We brought in a specialist number one in Ben Foster last summer and he has performed extremely well. Now we are looking for specialists in other positions."
Arsenal welcome back captain Cesc Fabregas from suspension, but fellow midfielder Abou Diaby will be out for around a month after suffering a calf strain in Wednesday night's 2-2 draw at Wigan.
Robin van Persie and Alex Song are expected to come back into the side having been rested against the Latics, but Thomas Vermaelen (Achilles), goalkeeper Manuel Almunia (ankle) and Kieran Gibbs (ankle) are all still out.
Defiant Arsene Wenger maintains the title is "Arsenal's to win" despite blowing the chance to end 2011 level on points with leaders Manchester United.
In what has become a frustrating trait of the Gunners' season, they failed to build on victory over championship rivals Chelsea by being held to a 2-2 draw at relegation battlers Wigan on Wednesday night after a late own goal from Sebastien Squillaci.
Wenger's men remain third, two points behind United, who have a match in hand, and Manchester City, who have played two games more, while Chelsea immediately clawed back a couple of points after ending their poor run of form by beating Bolton.
Nevertheless, Wenger has complete faith his young team can deliver in 2011.
"It is Arsenal's title to win. We have to go on a run and be consistent," Wenger declared when asked whether the championship was now United's to throw away.
"The only thing we have learnt from this first six months is that the team who will be the most consistent, with great emotional stamina and resolve will win it. It could be the league of the mentally strong. It is a league with a lot of ups and downs and the teams who deal the best with that will certainly win it."
Gunners keep pace with top two
Arsenal kept the pressure on the two Manchester clubs at the top of the Barclays Premier League as they overwhelmed Birmingham, securing a 3-0 win at rainswept St Andrew's.
A Robin van Persie free-kick and Samir Nasri's 13th goal of the season put the visitors in control before an own goal from Roger Johnson added to City's misery.
The Gunners remain in third spot, two points adrift of United and City, after a sixth away success of the season.
Arsenal were worthy winners and carved out a host of gilt-edged opportunities. Skipper Cesc Fabregas pulled the strings in midfield and City struggled to cope with the runs of Van Persie and Nasri.
Only poor finishing and a couple of fine saves from Ben Foster kept the scoreline respectable.
Birmingham had already slipped back into the relegation zone before kick-off and failed to match the quality of their performance in the midweek draw with Manchester United.
Manager Alex McLeish will not press the panic button and is aware of the need to bring in a quality striker during the January transfer window.
But he will also be concerned at the way his normally frugal defence was cut to ribbons by the rampant Gunners.
Arsenal started brightly and Theo Walcott skated past the challenge of left-back Liam Ridgewell but shot into the side netting from a narrow angle.
Foster was called into action for the first time in clinging onto a low drive from Van Persie after being teed up by Fabregas.
Arsenal were in the ascendancy and after 13 minutes Van Persie put them ahead when Scott Dann was adjudged to have brought down Van Persie just outside the area.
Van Persie's free-kick took a deflection off Lee Bowyer and flew past Foster into the corner of the net.
Birmingham tried to retaliate and it needed a fine save from Lukasz Fabianski after Fabregas had fouled Craig Gardner.
Former Arsenal midfielder Sebastian Larsson's free-kick was lifted over the defensive wall and Fabianski had to go full stretch to his right to keep out the effort.
Arsenal were still looking the more dangerous and a reverse pass from Nasri played in Van Persie only for his control to let him down.
A defence-splitting pass from Fabregas picked out Walcott but his first touch left a lot to be desired and Foster was able to collect.
Birmingham were struggling to move out of second gear although Johan Djourou was yellow carded after hauling down Jerome.
The home side had claims for a penalty turned down when Van Persie looked to control the ball with his arm after Johnson headed back across goal.
Arsenal were carving out plenty of chances and Van Persie found himself with only Foster to beat, but he tried to clip the ball over Foster and failed to make proper contact on his shot.
The game was now more open and Johnson squandered a good opportunity when he volleyed wide after Jerome had flicked on a Larsson free-kick.
But Arsenal were soon back on the offensive at the start of the second half and the influential Fabregas, on his 200th Premier League appearance, created an opening for Walcott.
However, the England winger completely miskicked across the face of goal.
The chances continued to fall to Arsenal and Wilshere should have marked his 18th birthday with a goal. Walcott's chip was turned back to an unmarked Wilshere eight yards out but he sidefooted over the bar.
Foster then did well to block an effort from Nasri after a mistake by Johnson had allowed him a free run at goal, but it came as no surprise when Nasri made it 2-0 after 57 minutes.
He exchanged passes with Fabregas before driving a low shot past Foster just inside the box.
Eight minutes later it became 3-0 with an own goal from Johnson. Nasri set up Fabregas, whose shot was blocked by Foster, but the loose ball bounced off Dann and then Johnson and over the line.
Arsenal were now rampant and Fabregas had a free run into the area but fired high and wide. Foster was equal to a low drive from Walcott who was in acres of space and then turned a low shot round the post from substitute Andrey Arshavin.
Blues looked well beaten and Dann needed to make a last-ditch tackle to deny Van Persie a second goal.
"Alan Pardew sent off for head butting Hull playe..."
© 2004 - 2014 football.co.uk