Birmingham City moved up to the hefty heights of fourth in the Championship table following Friday night’s 2-0 victory over Derby County.
Scott Hogan opened the scoring after some comical defending by the Rams before Jeremie Bela secured the three points with a great finish in the 81st minute.
It was by no means the perfect performance on the night but the job got done and the Blues fans were able to leave St Andrew’s with smiles on their faces once more.
No possession no problem
Not for the first time this season, the Blues showed that having less possession than your opponent wasn’t a problem.
Derby County boasted 67% of the ball on the night but aside from a snap-shot from Tom Lawrence in the second-half, it’s hard to think of a time they even got near Matija Sarkic’s goal.
What’s impressive about this is it’s showing that Birmingham are finding different ways to win this season. They’ve played teams off the park at times and they’ve also shown they can win the tight games that aren’t so pretty on the eye.
Having the ability to change up the style of play is so important at this level. So far, Bowyer is finding that perfect mix.
Chong bruised but getting better
It feels like Tahith Chong is getting fouled more and more every week. Why? Because he’s getting better and better.
Teams are struggling to cope with him and are finding a lot of the time, the only viable option is to take him out.
Bowyer mentioned in his post-match interview that Chong is also adapting to the physicality of the league far better now and I think that’s clear to see in comparison to week one versus Sheffield United.
Another man-of-the-match performance for the Manchester United loanee - I suspect it won’t be his last.
Hogan’s happy NFL is back
Scott Hogan repaid the gaffer’s faith for selecting him from the start by netting Birmingham’s first and his third goal of the season in the first half.
It wasn’t the most impressive of finishes but what was impressive, or intriguing at least, was that celebration.
He seemed to mimic star NFL running-back Ezekiel Elliott’s ‘feed me’ celebration before following that up with the classic signage for ‘first down’ in American football.
For those unfamiliar, the new NFL season started on Thursday. Hogan appears to be happy about that.
Ivan Sunjic unsung hero
There were once again plenty of positive performances in Blue shirts but one for me that went under the radar was Ivan Sunjic.
Without doing anything too spectacular, the Croatian was absolutely everywhere.
He didn’t give any of the Derby midfielders time to breathe on the ball and he, along with Ryan Woods, won the game in the middle of the park for Bowyer’s men.
Sunjic and Woods will be key in the journey of this Blues side. Say it quietly, but things are looking up.