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  • Date:11 Jan 2011
  • Kick-off:19:45
  • Venue:
  • Attendance:34,754
  • Noble (12) Cole (77)
  • Ridgewell (55)

Live Commentary

91:32 +1.32

Roger Johnson concedes a free kick for a foul on Julien Faubert. Robert Green takes the indirect free kick.


Radoslav Kovac is brought on as a substitute for Mark Noble.


Headed effort on goal by Nikola Zigic from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.


Unfair challenge on Barry Ferguson by Carlton Cole results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ben Foster.


Sebastian Larsson leaves the field to be replaced by Nikola Zigic.


Jean Beausejour replaces Alexander Hleb.


Carlton Cole gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. West Ham 2-1 Birmingham.The assist for the goal came from Jonathan Spector.


Corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson from the right by-line, clearance made by Matthew Upson.


Zavon Hines comes on in place of Freddie Sears.


(West Ham) makes a substitution, with Carlton Cole coming on for Frederic Piquionne.


David Murphy fouled by Julien Faubert, the ref awards a free kick. David Murphy delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left wing, save by Robert Green.


The assistant referee signals for offside against Stephen Carr. Robert Green takes the free kick.


Free kick awarded for a foul by James Tomkins on Craig Gardner. Barry Ferguson takes the indirect free kick.


The assistant referee signals for offside against Frederic Piquionne. Free kick taken by Ben Foster.


Victor Obinna shown a red card.


The referee red cards Victor Obinna for violent conduct.


Liam Ridgewell scores a headed goal from inside the penalty box. West Ham 1-1 Birmingham.Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson, assist by Sebastian Larsson.


Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson.


Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Liam Ridgewell by Frederic Piquionne. Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball in from the free kick, brilliant save by Robert Green.


Sebastian Larsson takes a corner.


Sebastian Larsson takes a outswinging corner.


Winston Reid challenges Craig Gardner unfairly and gives away a free kick. Craig Gardner shoots direct from the free kick.


Craig Gardner challenges Jonathan Spector unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jonathan Spector takes the indirect free kick.

45:01 +0.01

Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson.


(Birmingham) makes a substitution, with David Murphy coming on for Scott Dann.


Frederic Piquionne handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Sebastian Larsson takes the free kick, Scott Dann produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.


Sebastian Larsson produces a cross, save by Robert Green.


Free kick awarded for a foul by Cameron Jerome on James Tomkins. Robert Green takes the free kick.


Victor Obinna produces a curled left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.


Effort on goal by Freddie Sears from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.


Foul by Keith Fahey on Julien Faubert, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Robert Green.


Freddie Sears produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.


Corner from the right by-line taken by Craig Gardner, brilliant save by Robert Green.


Victor Obinna takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.


Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Freddie Sears, clearance by Liam Ridgewell.


James Tomkins takes a shot.


Jonathan Spector takes a shot. Blocked by Ben Foster.


Corner taken right-footed by Scott Parker from the right by-line, clearance made by Roger Johnson.


The ball is swung over by Stephen Carr, fantastic save by Robert Green.


Cameron Jerome is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Winston Reid.


Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson, Mark Noble manages to make a clearance.


Mark Noble grabs a goal from inside the box to the top right corner of the goal. West Ham 1-0 Birmingham.Assist on the goal came from Jonathan Spector.


Craig Gardner takes a shot. Comfortable save by Robert Green.


Foul by Scott Parker on Barry Ferguson, free kick awarded. Indirect free kick taken by Stephen Carr.


Mark Noble takes a inswinging corner.


Keith Fahey produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.


Craig Gardner takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Robert Green.


The referee blows for offside against Cameron Jerome. Robert Green takes the indirect free kick.


The official flags Victor Obinna offside. Ben Foster restarts play with the free kick.


Unfair challenge on Frederic Piquionne by Liam Ridgewell results in a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Scott Parker.

The game gets underway.

The whistle is blown to end the first half.

The second half kicks off.

The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.

Match Preview

Carlton Cole looks set to return to the West Ham team for Tuesday's Carling Cup semi-final first leg against Birmingham.

The England striker was one of several first-team players rested for the FA Cup win over Barnsley, so Scott Parker, centre-back Matthew Upson and forward Freddie Sears should also return.

Thomas Hitzlsperger has returned to training after a long-term thigh problem and he could be back in action by mid-February, but Kieron Dyer (thigh) remains out.

Defiant West Ham manager Avram Grant insists his only concern is guiding the Hammers into the Carling Cup final. A recent upturn in fortunes on the pitch was marred by the 5-0 defeat at Newcastle, while Grant continues to find his own position making the headlines.

And while he was unimpressed that director Karren Brady revealed in her newspaper column why the club had pulled the plug on signing Steve Sidwell, the Israeli is not about to be distracted by reports of off-field issues at Upton Park.

"I have answered this a thousand times," Grant said when the subject was again the first question at Tuesday's press conference ahead of the semi-final with Birmingham.

"We are here because of the semi-final, it has been 30 years since West Ham were at Wembley and this is a big game for us. That is what is important for me now.

"I am dealing with the problems on the pitch, and we have done that well. We still have some, so I am trying to deal only with this.

"The results in the last few weeks show we are doing well, they can always be better, but we have been doing well. That is what we are concerned about.

"My position is very clear. I am the manager and need to do the best for the club."

Grant also rebuffed suggestions his future was set to be decided at a board meeting later this week.

"I have nothing to say about this because nobody has said anything to me about this," he added.

"I don't need to answer about things which are in the paper. We have a game tomorrow and that is what is important to me. If there is any personal issue, I speak to the person. I don't have to deal with it in the media. I have not done it before and don't need to do it now."

Birmingham will welcome back several key players. Barry Ferguson, skipper Stephen Carr, Ben Foster, Roger Johnson and Liam Ridgewell were all rested for the 4-1 FA Cup win at Millwall on Saturday.

Midfielder Sebastian Larsson is included in the squad despite being given permission to speak to Newcastle over a possible move. Striker Matt Derbyshire will be hoping his two goals at the New Den will bolster his chances of starting against Grant's side.
Midfielder Lee Bowyer will again be unavailable as he completes a three-match suspension.

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish wants to put a smile on the faces of the club's long-suffering fans by achieving a slice of the success he enjoyed north of the border with Rangers and Aberdeen.

City are one step away from reaching their first final for a decade. The tie will have added spice as it pitches City against their former owners David Sullivan and David Gold, now in charge of West Ham.

Birmingham have often lived in the shadows of local rivals Aston Villa, their opponents in Sunday's derby clash at St Andrew's, but McLeish will do all he can to ensure Blues are victorious by the time the return leg has been played in two weeks' time.

The former Scotland boss said: "It is a big challenge for us. The fans are craving a bit of success at this club. We will do our very best to put a smile on their faces.

"We will be facing our former owners and football throws up these quirky challenges. We will hopefully put one over on our old bosses.

"For me it would be nice to be the manager of a club in a major English final. I've had a lot of success in Scotland in cup finals, both as a player and as a manager, and it would be nice to get to an English cup final."

Formation:4141Manager: Avram Grant

West Ham

Formation: 451Manager: Alex McLeish


  • Robert Green
  • Julien Faubert
  • James Tomkins
  • Winston Reid
  • Matthew Upson
  • Jonathan Spector
  • Freddie Sears
  • Mark Noble
  • Scott Parker
  • Victor Obinna
  • Frederic Piquionne
  • SUBS
  • Ruud Boffin
  • Carlton Cole
  • Luis Boa Morte
  • Radoslav Kovac
  • Frank Nouble
  • Zavon Hines
  • Jordan Spence



Match Report

Grant indebted to Foster blunder Blundering Ben Foster may have saved Avram Grant's job as 10-man West Ham survived a moment of madness from Victor Obinna to beat Birmingham 2-1 in the first leg of their Carling Cup semi-final. England goalkeeper Foster allowed a powder-puff shot from substitute Carlton Cole to squirm through his legs after Obinna looked to have cost the Hammers dear by crazily kicking Sebastian Larsson in the groin. Rightly sent off, Obinna had been central to a sterling first half from the home side, which saw Mark Noble deservedly put them ahead, arguably with the help of another Foster error. Former West Ham trainee Liam Ridgewell levelled after the break and the visitors looked set to go on and win before Foster's howler. The prospect of West Ham's first League Cup final for 30 years had failed to quell the speculation over Grant's future, with some reports suggesting even a win tonight would not be enough to spare him the axe. Despite Birmingham being only two points clear of the Hammers, manager Alex McLeish was under no such pressure as he looked to lead them to their first final since 2001. But his team did not start like that as West Ham bossed the first half virtually from start to finish. Captain Matthew Upson set the tone from the unfamiliar position of left-back, an inspired selection by Grant as he bombed forward at will. The former Birmingham star even forced the first of a number of uncomfortable saves from Foster, with a rising near-post drive after his own cross had come back to him off Obinna. At the other end, Craig Gardner sidefooted straight at Robert Green from 20 yards and that was as good as it got for the Blues before Noble pounced in the 13th minute. The midfielder's run and cross found Obinna, whose header was cleared off the line before finding its way back to Noble, who lashed in from the narrowest of angles with Foster's view blocked by team-mate Scott Dann. West Ham, who thrashed Manchester United 4-0 in the previous round, should have added to their tally before half-time. The marauding Jonathan Spector's piledriver was punched behind by Foster, who then produced acrobatics to tip over James Tomkins' header from the resulting corner. Foster brilliantly pushed Obinna's near-post drive behind following a swift break, Freddie Sears volleyed Julien Faubert's cross wide and curled over from 25 yards. Dann nodded over a free-kick as Birmingham pressed for the final five minutes of the half, but the defender pulled up moments before the break with what appeared to be a hamstring injury and left the field on a stretcher. He was replaced by David Murphy during the interval, which must have included a McLeish rocket because Birmingham emerged a different side. They could easily have levelled when the unmarked Cameron Jerome made a complete hash of a corner from Larsson, who looks set to join Newcastle this week. Jerome almost made amends in the 55th minute when his bullet header from Larsson's corner was cleared off the line by Sears, who moments earlier had miscontrolled Faubert's deflected cross at the other end. West Ham failed to heed the warning and another Larsson corner a minute later saw Ridgewell get in front of his marker to power home. Obinna then pressed the self-destruct button and, after briefly consulting his assistant, referee Phil Dowd brandished a red card. Ridgewell might have scored a second but strayed narrowly offside heading too close to Green, while Upson looked lucky not to concede a penalty after shoving over Barry Ferguson. Grant threw on Cole and Zavon Hines for Frederic Piquionne and Sears before Murphy flicked Larsson's latest cross wide. The 10 men finally managed a shot through Winston Reid's weak effort and, amazingly, retook the lead 12 minutes from time when Cole's even tamer effort from Spector's cross went through Roger Johnson's legs and under the hapless Foster. Birmingham replaced the ineffective Alexander Hleb with Jean Beausejour, and Larsson with Nikola Zigic, the latter nodding just wide in the closing moments as the visitors poured forward.