Penalty punishes sloppy City

Manchester City's title hopes faded further as Craig Gardner's penalty earned Birmingham a 2-2 Premier League draw on Wednesday night.

Last Updated: 02/02/11 at 22:12 Post Comment

Gardner: Celebrates equaliser from spot

Gardner: Celebrates equaliser from spot

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Gardner had scored the goal which earned Alex McLeish's Blues side victory over West Ham in the Carling Cup semi-final last week and followed that up with a late equaliser from the penalty spot as his side salvaged a precious point at St Andrew's.

The visitors twice led through Carlos Tevez and Aleksandar Kolarov but were pegged back by Nikola Zigic and then Gardner's sixth goal of the campaign.

It means they are now eight points adrift of league leaders Manchester United and have played a game more.

There was no doubting the quality of Roberto Mancini's side and Tevez was a constant threat.

But Birmingham's never-say-die attitude surfaced yet again with on-loan David Bentley and veteran Barry Ferguson impressing.

Edin Dzeko posted an early warning to the home side when his low cross was cut out by Ben Foster.

But after four minutes Tevez converted his 17th goal of the campaign.

David Silva was allowed to break into the Birmingham box before finding Tevez.

His shot from a narrow angle took a slight deflection off Martin Jiranek before bobbling into the far corner of the net.

Tevez took up another good position to latch onto a reverse pass from James Milner.

But he failed to make full contact with his shot and Foster saved comfortably.

Joe Hart was seriously tested for the first time after 15 minutes when he tipped over a volley from Zigic.

Birmingham started to get a foothold in the game and drew level thrugh Zigic in the 25th minute.

Bentley angled in a low free-kick from on the left flank and Zigic was first to react at the near post in deflecting the ball past Hart.

The visitors were rattled after their early dominance and Nigel de Jong was yellow carded for bringing down Bentley.

Micah Richards was stretchered off just after the half-way mark when he bravely won the ball in the air but then collided with De Jong.

He was replaced after a lengthy delay by Kolo Toure.

After 41 minutes a superb strike from Kolarov restored the lead for the visitors.

Gardner paid the price for bringing down Dzeko on the edge of the area as Kolarov's powerful shot curled into the corner of the net.

Bentley was posing a threat and Kolarov was booked for a rash challenge on the on loan Tottenham player.

Mancini made a half-time switch with Patrick Vieira replacing De Jong.

Bentley was only just too high with a dipping drive from just outside the box as the action got under way again.

At the other end Jerome Boateng would have been disappointed not to test Foster more seriously after good play by Dzeko.

Birmingham retaliated but Jiranek completely mis-kicked from 12 yards out and Johnson headed just wide from a deep Bentley centre.

Tevez was linking up well with Silva and Foster did well to block a shot from the Argentinian after a diagnol run.

Birmingham levelled for the second time after 77 minutes.

Vieira fouled fellow substitute Kevin Phillips inside the penalty area and up stepped Gardner to hammer the spot-kick past Hart into the roof of the net.

In the last minute Hart tipped over a deflected effort from the alert Phillips.

Kolarov was inches wide with a free-kick in the dying seconds.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

Premier League: Alexis Sanchez and Tomas Rosicky give 10-man Arsenal 2-1 win over QPR

Alexis Sanchez and Tomas Rosicky gave Arsenal a 2-1 win over QPR despite Olivier Giroud's second-half sending off.

Premier League: Manchester City respond to Chelsea's victory by winning at West Brom

Manchester City won 3-1 at West Brom to reduce the gap on Chelsea at the top of the Premier League back to three points.

Premier League: Stoke manager Mark Hughes praises tactical display in win over Everton

Stoke manager Mark Hughes believes his side got their tactics right as they picked up a 1-0 win at Everton.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property