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Barclays Premier League

St Andrews Stadium (ATT 21,694) 22nd August 2009 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: C Foy

Birm'ham Birmingham City vs Stoke City Stoke

ft

Stoke 0

Blues and Potters share spoils

Beattie blow for Pulis' side as striker limps off

By Hayley Paterson.   Last Updated: 23/08/09 9:54am

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All square at St Andrews

All square at St Andrews

Birmingham and Stoke picked up a point each as headed efforts from Ricardo Fuller and Garry O'Connor failed to break the deadlock.

Moment of the match: Thomas Sorensen's save from O'Connor's header to deny a great opening goal, with an even better stop. Attempt of the match: Ricardo Fuller got far too much on the ball when he was just yards away from the goal and glanced over. Save of the match: Sorensen's save from O'Connor, it was point-blank and the great Dane kept his side in the game. Talking point: A lack of firepower was the reason behind the draw today, will McLeish and Pulis be dipping into the market before it closes for an extra striker? Man of the match: Fuller was a handful, Delap was behind every thrown but Shawcross is my man of the match - he was solid, assured, dangerous in the box and unlucky not to score.

Tony Pulis' side travelled to St Andrews for the tie with Premier League new boys Birmingham, with Fuller and James Beattie heading the Stoke attack.

But Birmingham had the best chance of the half as defender Franck Queudrue made space for himself 25 yards out to crisply strike towards goal, which Thomas Sorensen was equal to.

Beattie had earlier limped off with a knee injury, making way for Stoke striker Dave Kitson who had a few half-chances.

After the interval the game livened up as Sorensen pulled off the save of the match to deny O'Connor and Fuller's header from a few yards out went over the bar.

Changes

Lee Bowyer came back into Alex McLeish's starting line-up, having served his three match ban imposed against Preston last season.

The Blues boss also had to make two other changes with the injured Gregory Vignal (hip) and Cameron Jerome (ankle) replaced by Stuart Parnaby and Kevin Phillips respectively.

Pulis recalled midfielder Liam Lawrence and Fuller after resting them for the 4-0 mid-week drubbing at Liverpool with Richard Cresswell and Dean Whitehead dropping down to the substitutes' bench.

Ex-Sunderland boss Peter Reid was spotted in the stands at St Andrews with Gerry Francis, who is working with Stoke on a consultancy basis. It is understood Reid will take up the number two post alongside Pulis.

Stoke struck first as Blues 'keeper Joe Hart palmed away a cross from Matthew Etherington when under pressure from Beattie, who landed awkwardly on his knee. The striker was later substituted after 12 minutes for Kitson.

Queudrue brought the home fans to life with the only worthwhile on-target effort from either side in the opening 45 minutes, forcing Sorensen to parry away.

Stoke had an escape when Glenn Whelan failed to make proper contact with a low James McFadden corner at his near post, which flicked up and hit a surprised Birmingham striker O'Connor sending the ball just wide.

Panic

Delap caused panic in the Birmingham box with one long range throw and Keith Fahey was forced to head over his own bar from almost on his goal-line.

McLeish made his first change after 53 minutes with the ineffective Phillips replaced by record signing Christian Benitez as he looked to inject some life into his attack.

Hart was called upon to make his first save after 56 minutes. Fuller got in behind the Blues defence but failed to make proper contact with his shot.

Fuller should also have done better when an O'Connor mis-hit clearance fell to the Jamaican but he headed over from close range.

McLeish brought on Larsson for Bowyer just after the hour mark. The winger immediately made a telling impact, whipping in a free-kick towards O'Connor whose fierce header forced a fine save out of Sorensen at full stretch.

The game started to open up with Kitson just off target with a glancing header from a Lawrence ball.

Fuller was booked for handling a throw from Delap in the six yard box late in the game as both sides played out the point.

Birmingham CityTeam StatisticsStoke City
0Goals0
01st Half Goals0
2Shots on Target1
5Shots off Target12
4Blocked Shots2
3Corners3
10Fouls15
4Offsides2
0Yellow Cards3
0Red Cards0
70.7Passing Success59.8
16Tackles18
68.8Tackles Success88.9
58.9Possession41.1
47.8Territorial Advantage52.2

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 8 22
2 Manchester City 8 17
3 Southampton 8 16
4 West Ham United 8 13
5 Liverpool 8 13
6 Manchester United 8 12
7 Arsenal 8 11
8 Swansea City 8 11
9 Tottenham Hotspur 8 11
10 Stoke City 8 11
11 Hull City 8 10
12 Aston Villa 8 10
13 Everton 8 9
14 West Bromwich Albion 8 9
15 Leicester City 8 9
16 Crystal Palace 8 8
17 Sunderland 8 8
18 Newcastle United 8 7
19 Burnley 8 4
20 Queens Park Rangers 8 4

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