Birmingham City player ratings vs Wycombe: Bela shines again as Roberts sees red – Birmingham Live

Birmingham City player ratings vs Wycombe: Bela shines again as Roberts sees red – Birmingham Live

Birmingham City were held to a frustrating draw by the Championship’s bottom club Wycombe Wanderers – a result that does nothing to help either team’s relegation fears.

Blues probably deserved the three points with The Chairboys goalkeeper Ryan Allsop producing two superb second half saves but in truth the visitors struggled for quality in the final third.

To make matters worse they will now be without defender Marc Roberts for three matches after he was sent off for a bad challenge with two minutes to go.

Aitor Karanka recalled Lukas Jutkiewicz up front and the target man had the two shots Blues manager on target in a first half which ended 0-0.

Birmingham City players in a huddle prior to kick-off

Both came from similar circumstances, with Gary Gardner nodding the ball up to the edge of the area and Jutkiewicz turning and shooting straight at Allsop.

Gardner and Ivan Sunjic also had drives from distance but neither could work the goalkeeper as Blues struggled for quality in attacking areas.

Wycombe were feisty and went back to front quickly and while they didn’t really break down Blues’ defensive shape they did force Neil Etheridge into two saves.

First in the 24th minute he tipped over from Admiral Muskwe’s header and ten minutes later he had to change direction quickly to claw away Uche Ikpeazu’s effort.

The Chairboys offered no attacking threat in the second half though – and while Blues didn’t exactly pepper the goal they did force two excellent saves out of Allsop.

The first came in the 53rd minute when Mikel San jose glanced Jeremie Bela’s free kick across goal only to to see it clawed away.

Twenty minutes later Bela curled in a brilliant cross which Maxime Colin headed goalwards but somehow hit Allsop from two yards.

Roberts saw red late on as he levelled Onyedinma with a couple of minutes to go.

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STARTING FORMATION

4-1-4-1

PLAYERS

ETHERIDGE 6

Some nervy moments as he let balls skid off the surface – but an excellent save from Uche Ikpeazu just after the half hour.

COLIN 6.5

Had a battle on his hands as Wycombe lumped the ball on to him and looked outmuscle the Frenchman. He stood up well and will wonder how he didn’t win it after a good run on to Bela’s centre.

Wycombe Wanderers’ Uche Ikpeazu (left) and Birmingham City’s Maxime Colin

ROBERTS 5.5

Won plenty in the air against Ikpeazu and released Bela with a ball down the right – but you could see Wycombe back off him in possession. A strong display in which he did what he had to only to spoil it late on.

DEAN 6.5

Really solid sweeping up behind Roberts and won his fair share against Ikpeazu as well. Another solid display.

PEDERSEN 6

One really strong back post header kept Wycombe out midway through the first half. A game that tested his physical qualities rather than his technical and tactical and he passed the test.

SAN JOSE 6.5

A return to midfield and he competed well in a battle of second balls. Almost won it with a glancing header.

SUNJIC 6

Certainly got forward to try to support Jutkiewicz but lacked the requisite quality when the ball broke to him in shooting positions.

GARDNER 7

First start of 2021 and justified his selection with a determined display. Dominant in the air in midfield and sent over a superb crosss for Jutkiewicz in the first half.

SANCHEZ 5

On the fringes of a game that was as far from Segunda Division as imaginable. Really didn’t influence the game at all.

BELA 7.5

Sent over more crosses than usual and looked to have the beating of Jack Grimmer whenever he wanted. Did well to survive a thunderous challenge from Muskwe and looked the most likely player to unlock the door.

JUTKIEWICZ 6

Looked a bit more like his old self in a physical battle that suited him. Couple of shots on target in a decent first half but also misjudged a couple of crosses.

Lukas Jutkiewicz of Birmingham City is challenged by Ryan Tafazolli of Wycombe Wanderers

SUBSTITUTES

Friend (Sanchez, 90)

Not used: Prieto, Hogan, Leko, Toral, Harper, Clarke-Salter, Cosgrove, McGree

OPPOSITION

WYCOMBE (4-3-3): Allsop; Grimmer, Tafazolli, Knight, Obita; Thompson, Ofoborh, Bloomfield (Wheeler 90+1); Muskwe (Kashket 67), Onyedinma, Ikpeazu (Akinfenwa 67). Not used: Anderson, Stewart, Horgan, McCleary, McCarthy, Mehmeti

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REFEREE: John Brooks

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