Birmingham City player ratings gallery: One scores 3/10 in 1-0 loss to Hull City as two get 8

Birmingham City player ratings from the 1-0 home defeat to Hull City in the Sky Bet Championship, including one 3/10 and two fortunate 8s.

Birmingham City ended 2022 with a second successive defeat in the Sky Bet Championship as Hull City earned a surprise 1-0 victory at St Andrew’s. Oscar Estupinan scored his 10th of the season to help the visitors to an important win.

Before kick off, a minute’s silence was impeccably served by all at St Andrew’s for former Birmingham youngster Cody Fisher, who was stabbed to death in a Digbeth nightclub this week. There was also applause echoing around the ground in the 10th minute for Brazilian legend Pelé, who passed away aged 82 on Thursday.

The first big chance of the game fell to Regan Slater in the 16th minute as acres of space opened up on the edge of the penalty area. The Hull winger progressed well as he drove forward and struck hard and low. The ball rolled just past the far post, however, much to the relief of Birmingham goalkeeper John Ruddy.

Hull were able to keep control of the game but were nearly caught on the counter attac halfway through the first period. Blues captain Troy Deeney jumped highest to win a long ball forward and was then quickest to react as it came down to feet. Deeney struck with power but was unable to find the corner as Matt Ingram pulled off a comfortable save.

The visitors were able to carve out yet another clear-cut opportunity as their pressure mounted. Hannibal Mejbri gave away a silly foul on the edge of the penalty area and the free-kick was taken cleverly by Jean Michael Seri. The Ivorian laid the ball back to Regan Slater who peeled away and caught his strike well, but Ruddy was there to make a diving save.

Blues made a far better start to the second half and they looked more confident passing out from the back. Dion Sanderson, who had a brilliant game in a back three, was unfortunate to go off with a knock as Eustace looked to Lukas Jutkiewicz and Jordan Graham on the hour mark. Emmanuel Longelo was the other player to go off – a poor night for the wing-back.

Liam Rosenior’s side began showing some threat on the counter attack and thought they had taken the lead in the 68th minute, as Ryan Longman netted a diving header at the far post. The offside flag was up against the Tigers forward – though a little too late perhaps for the travelling support as an orange flare had already been fired in the away end.

Just 10 minutes later they did get their goal, though, as a low Cryus Christie cross was converted at the near post by Hull top scorer Oscar Estupinan. The Colombian netted his 10th Championship goal of the campaign to send the Tigers faithful into raptures.

The hosts applied plenty of late pressure and Ruddy (yes, you read that right) had a delightful opportunity with the last kick of the game. Meeting a deep cross, the Blues ‘keeper headed just wide and Hull were able to hold on for a valuable three points.

Here are our Blues player ratings from the defeat.

Overall attendance: 17,868. Away support: 1,412.

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