Please Daniel, is there any chance of this becoming a regular experience?
You surely know what I mean – winning by the odd late, late goal and keeping up the improvement in performance levels on a virtually game by game basis. This grinding out of results is becoming very popular with us supporters, you know.
Of course although *grinding out* the result against Birmingham is technically correct, we actually played much better than that descriptive phrase suggests.
I’m never one for game-particular stats as such [although I love to read the analytical articles proffered on MFW] but even I was impressed with 73 per cent possession and something like 23 shots.
There’s parking the bus and there’s, erm, Aitor Karanka’s Birmingham City. If you come for a point and don’t get one that’s justice done as the toothless soothsayers of footy often say.
We’ll see a lot more of that this season, as soon as this Saturday when we encounter Wycombe and that’s for sure.
Many folks appear to have chosen the returning Todd Cantwell as their Man of the Match. Considering he’d been *off the scene* for a while he looked pretty sharp. He also drew the foul that invited a second yellow for Blues’ Adam Clayton and generally was always a threat as we tried to work it through the middle.
However my personal choice for pick of the crop on a night when no-one played badly would be Lukas Rupp. He looks so much better in centre midfield and at times seemed to have dancing feet – a side to his game I’d never seen before anyway. And although Emi Buendia will quite rightly claim the assist for Mario Vrancic’s winner, much of the credit was down to Rupp.
Before the dust had settled on Clayton’s dismissal Rupp won a crucial turnover that swiftly moved through Emi to Adam Idah. As Idah ran across the defender Mario nipped in to sweep it home. Jeez we deserved that.
Of course, being City we contrived to throw it away in the dying seconds when Emi and Xavi Quintilla made *a couple of bad decisions* at the back but luckily Birmingham’s Harlee Dean shanked the chance in a way I suspect Ben Godfrey would not have done. And yet again, Emi stormed down the tunnel. Anyone remember Edith Piaf?
I know we can’t get too excited about narrow wins over Rotherham and then Birmingham but these are our first back-to-back victories since May 2019. And our first home win since Leicester in our last game before lockdown.
I don’t expect Wycombe to roll over but a win against them will put us into the Top Six. No not that top six, the Championship version. And where we want and need to be.
A week is a long time in football, as they say.