Birmingham City player ratings gallery vs QPR: ‘Star duo’ earn 8/10 but one gets 5/10 in draw
Player ratings and match report from Friday’s Championship game, Birmingham City 0-0 Queens Park Rangers, at St Andrew’s Stadium.
Birmingham City were unfortunate to not get back to winning ways on Friday evening as they drew 0-0 with Queens Park Rangers under the lights at St Andrew’s Stadium. Despite displaying agility, flair and close control in abundance and carving out lots of clear-cut openings, Blues were unable to find a breakthrough on the night. The visitors were a threat on the counter and had some big chances of their own but were on the back foot for much of the clash.
QPR enjoyed their only real spell of dominance in the opening 10 minutes or so, with Sinclair Armstrong causing the likes of Cody Drameh and Kevin Long all sorts of problems with his physicality and directness. Blues came into life afterward through Keshi Anderson and Jay Stansfield on the flanks, though, with the latter managing a nutmeg and a few intricate flicks to create opportunities. Koji Miyoshi also showed some signs of promise.
John Eustace’s side were agonisingly close to taking the lead in the 20th minute as Stansfield applied pressure in the box and very nearly got his reward. Battling QPR central defender Steve Cook, the striker got to a loose ball first and looped it into the air, above Rs goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. It came back down and appeared to be destined for the net but Sam Field came in to make a heroic clearance off the line, as confirmed by the technology.
The visitors’ first big opening of the night came from Paul Smyth as the winger bore down the right flank and dribbled beyond Kevin Long to strike low and hard, but John Ruddy got across well to make the stop. Drameh then managed to find some space at the other end of the field and got a surprise shot away, forcing Begovic into a save at his near post. Stansfield had an opening in the box with some quick feet soon after, but it was blocked brilliantly by Cook.
Birmingham’s fine work continued immediately after the break as Krystian Bielik struck from range and stung the gloves of Begovic. The Poland international found space on the edge of the area and did well to generate plenty of power but he was denied. QPR then had a chance of their own on the counter as Lyndon Dykes got a shot away. Deflecting off Lee Buchanan, the ball was close to finding an onrushing Field but Ruddy was able to scramble it away.
Scott Hogan really should’ve hit the back of the net in the 57th minute as he sprinted into the area to meet a Miyoshi through ball. The Irishman did well to get in behind but fluffed his lines with his effort directed straight at Begovic, even with the bottom left corner begging to be found. Stansfield had the next chance of the encounter around a dozen minutes later as he ran onto an Oliver Burke lay-off but the striker, despite getting lots behind his shot, saw Begovic make yet another save.
The goalkeeper’s union were made proud once again at the other end when Ruddy did an incredible job to keep out a Dykes header. It appeared the Blues number 21 was wrongfooted but he reacted rapidly to step across and make a diving stop to keep the score at 0-0. Birmingham showed lots of urgency to try and find a winner but were unsuccessful in doing so. Here are our Blues player ratings as the points are shared at St Andrew’s.