2017/18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Marc Roberts (32')
  • Jacques Maghoma (69')
  • Mark Duffy (7')

Birmingham beat Blades to take step towards survival

Jacques Maghoma was Birmingham's goalscoring hero in their vital 2-1 Championship home win over Sheffield United.
Birmingham, teetering on the edge of relegation for much of the season, clawed a step closer to safety following this crucial home success.
It was a pulsating Birmingham performance as they pressurised United for long periods but they had to show a lot of courage to fight back after a sixth-minute goal from former Birmingham player Mark Duffy.
It was Marc Roberts, drafted into the side in place of suspended captain Harlee Dean, who sparked off Birmingham's recovery with a 31st-minute strike for his first goal of the season with Maghoma clinching the vital points with a fine individual effort after 69 minutes.
United, without a win in their previous four games, made a positive start in their bid to get back into the play-offs as two former Birmingham players cashed in on some poor defensive play. Clayton Donaldson clashed in midfield with Michael Morrison and the ball went back into United's half, where John Fleck produced a slick pass to the livewire Duffy.
The stocky striker, who had an outstanding game for the Blades, took full advantage of the open space to move forward and open the scoring with a low near-post shot which completely deceived goalkeeper David Stockdale. He then collected a yellow card for over-celebrating the goal against his old club.
With the atmosphere electric, Stockdale was better prepared a few minutes later when he pushed a stunning drive from Lee Evans over the bar.
It was a feisty game with neither side holding back as they battled hard for the points and Birmingham's sheer determination saw them rewarded with an equaliser from Roberts, who was on hand at close range to convert a left-wing corner from Maghoma.
A minute into the second half Jamal Blackman had to make a low save to keep out a Lukas Jutkiewicz header from Jota's cross.
But Blackman had no chance when Maghoma raced clear after picking up a lofted pass form Che Adams to score with a shot on the run in the 69th minute and take them five points clear of the bottom three.

English League Championship Standings

1 Norwich City 38 +29 78
2 Sheffield United 38 +30 74
3 Leeds United 38 +24 73
4 West Bromwich Albion 38 +24 67
5 Middlesbrough 37 +9 58
6 Aston Villa 38 +14 57
7 Preston North End 38 +8 57
8 Derby County 37 +2 56
9 Bristol City 36 +7 55
10 Sheffield Wednesday 38 -3 55
11 Nottingham Forest 38 +8 54
12 Hull City 38 -2 51
13 Birmingham City 38 +4 50
14 Brentford 37 +10 49
15 Swansea City 36 -1 47
16 Stoke City 38 -5 47
17 Blackburn Rovers 38 -8 47
18 Queens Park Rangers 38 -14 44
19 Wigan Athletic 38 -16 39
20 Millwall 37 -14 37
21 Reading 38 -16 37
22 Rotherham United 38 -21 36
23 Bolton Wanderers 38 -37 29
24 Ipswich Town 38 -32 24