Manchester City 3 Birmingham City 0

Last updated : 20 April 2005 By Footymad Previewer
An unfortunate own goal from Birmingham City keeper Maik Taylor provided a moment of fortune for Manchester City as their victory keeps alive their slender hopes of winning a UEFA cup place.

The Northern Ireland international was unlucky to see Robbie Fowler's 55th minute header strike the upright and rebound into the net off his body.

Fowler was decidedly unlucky not to be credited with what would have been his 11th goal of the season as he played a key role in its creation.

The striker sprayed a lovely ball out to the left for Kiki Musampa, whose precise cross was met by Fowler, whose powerful header struck the upright and rebounded into the net off the hapless keeper.

Fowler was initially credited with the goal but it was later amended to Taylor.

Until the goal there had been a distinct end of season flavour to this clash involving two mid-table teams.

But the goal brought the City of Manchester Stadium to life and sparked a lively last half hour in which Richard Dunne and Antoine Sibierski added further goals for City.

City ought to have taken a first minute lead when Shaun Wright-Phillips blazed over the crossbar from four yards after Fowler's shot came back off the upright.

That was as near as City came to a goal in a lacklustre opening 45 minutes.

Indeed, Birmingham has a couple of decent efforts, notably a free-kick from Darren Anderton which goalkeeper David James parried, with Clinton Morrison firing the rebound narrowly wide.

Birmingham discovered how cruel football can be when within a minute of having a Morrison goal ruled out for offside, City took the lead through their lucky strike.

And not long after City had taken the lead Jermaine Pennant came within inches of equalizes as his free-kick clipped the top of the crossbar.

Birmingham threw on forwards Robbie Blake and Walter Pandiani in the last quarter in a bid to conjure an equalizer.

City doubled their lead in the 80th minute when Dunne headed home a Fowler free-kick for only the second goal of his career. Ironically the only other one was also against Birmingham.

City added a third and clinching goal in the 86th minute through a Sibierski penalty which was awarded for a handball against Morrison.