Championship
Bournemouth4Birmingham2

Bournemouth 4-2 Birmingham City

Charlie Daniels celebrates
Bournemouth top the Championship by a point with five games remaining

Bournemouth returned to the top of the Championship, coming from 2-0 down to win as Birmingham finished with 10 men.

Andrew Shinnie fed Clayton Donaldson to lob Birmingham in front, before David Cotterill fired in a low drive.

But Bournemouth hit back when Steve Cook bundled home Matt Ritchie's corner and Callum Wilson slotted home for 2-2.

Yann Kermorgant added a third from the spot after Wilson was fouled, Charlie Daniels crashed in a fourth and Blues skipper Paul Robinson saw red late on.

Bournemouth's Tommy Elphick and Harry Arter both hit the woodwork in the second half, while keeper Darren Randolph saved well from substitute Kenwyne Jones as the Cherries, in bright sunshine, briefly threatened to recapture the free-scoring form which saw them hammer Birmingham 8-0 at St Andrew's in October.

Bournemouth's Championship run-in
Brighton (away, 10 April), Reading (away, 14 April), Sheff Wed (home, 18 April), Bolton (home, 27 April), Charlton (away, 2 May)

Watford's win over previous leaders Middlesbrough at lunchtime had opened the door for Eddie Howe's side to top the pile again, but Birmingham, with a mid-table finish seemingly nailed on, looked set to rain on Bournemouth's Easter parade with two goals within three minutes.

Shinnie's hopeful-looking ball over the top set up for Donaldson, whose lob over Artur Boruc was inch-perfect.

No sooner were the visiting fans chanting "We want eight" when Bournemouth gifted Cotterill time and space down the right and he picked his spot with a low shot across the keeper.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Howe on Bournemouth v Birmingham

Howe had described Bournemouth's equaliser at Ipswich on Friday, a header from a corner, as "un-Bournemouth-like" - and their first goal here was scrappy, as Elphick rose to meet Ritchie's corner but when his effort was blocked, a melee ensued and Cook was credited with the crucial touch.

Suddenly, normal service was resumed as a pass from Kermorgant played in strike partner Wilson, whose finish was slick.

The Kermorgant-Wilson partnership bore fruit again straight after the break when the Frenchman again sent Wilson through, and when Robinson hacked Wilson down near the byeline but escaped a card, Kermorgant made no mistake with a powerfully-struck penalty.

A fourth eventually arrived when substitute Adam Smith's shot was blocked and left-back Daniels lashed in from just outside the box.

Cherries show home fight
Bournemouth fell behind for the first time in a home game this season when Donaldson netted

Birmingham's - and Robinson's - miserable afternoon was completed when he felled Wilson as the pacey striker bore down on goal, and this time received a straight red card.

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe: "Credit to Birmingham as they made it difficult for us.

"They're a tough team to beat, nothing we didn't expect but the key thing was that we stayed in the game, kept fighting and got those crucial goals before half-time.

"The crowd stayed with us, and our mental strength was key. We know we can beat anyone when we're at full pelt, and hopefully we can learn from this experience."

Birmingham manager Gary Rowett: "I said two or three months ago that Derby were probably the best team in the division, now I'd say Bournemouth probably are. They're probably the most complete team in the division as they work so hard for each other.

"At 2-0 after 35 minutes it was some of the best attacking play we've had since I've been here. We caused one of the best attacking sides in the league plenty of problems.

"But we've got to be stronger mentally and see the half out, rather than coming in at 2-2. That's the two sides to our team at the moment, we need to see those games out."

Callum Wilson scores
Callum Wilson rounded Darren Randolph to level before the break and notch his 20th goal of the season in all competitions
Yann Kermorgant
Yann Kermorgant's penalty gave the home side the lead for the first time on the day
Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe's side do not face an opponent currently in the top 10 of the Championship in their final five games

Line-ups

Bournemouth

  • 31Boruc
  • 2FrancisBooked at 69mins
  • 5Elphick
  • 3S Cook
  • 11Daniels
  • 30Ritchie
  • 8Arter
  • 6Surman
  • 20FraserSubstituted forA Smithat 56'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 13WilsonBooked at 55minsSubstituted forJonesat 88'minutes
  • 18KermorgantSubstituted forPitmanat 87'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Camp
  • 4Gosling
  • 10Pitman
  • 15A Smith
  • 19Stanislas
  • 22Ward
  • 49Jones

Birmingham

  • 1Randolph
  • 31Caddis
  • 28Morrison
  • 4RobinsonBooked at 77mins
  • 3GroundsBooked at 61mins
  • 26DavisBooked at 28mins
  • 13Tesche
  • 11Cotterill
  • 22ShinnieSubstituted forThomasat 75'minutes
  • 40DyerSubstituted forGrayat 69'minutes
  • 9DonaldsonSubstituted forKiernanat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Thomas
  • 12Novak
  • 15Kiernan
  • 19Zigic
  • 21Doyle
  • 29Brown
  • 33Gray
Referee:
Andy Woolmer
Attendance:
11,084

Match Stats

Home TeamBournemouthAway TeamBirmingham
Possession
Home70%
Away30%
Shots
Home25
Away9
Shots on Target
Home10
Away3
Corners
Home9
Away7
Fouls
Home13
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Bournemouth 4, Birmingham City 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Bournemouth 4, Birmingham City 2.

Foul by Brett Pitman (Bournemouth).

David Davis (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Michael Morrison.

Foul by Kenwyne Jones (Bournemouth).

Michael Morrison (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Darren Randolph.

Attempt saved. Kenwyne Jones (Bournemouth) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Charlie Daniels with a cross.

Booking

Adam Smith (Bournemouth) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Adam Smith (Bournemouth).

Demarai Gray (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Harry Arter (Bournemouth) hits the right post with a left footed shot from more than 35 yards. Assisted by Kenwyne Jones.

Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Jonathan Grounds.

Substitution

Substitution, Bournemouth. Kenwyne Jones replaces Callum Wilson.

Substitution

Substitution, Bournemouth. Brett Pitman replaces Yann Kermorgant.

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Steve Cook.

Attempt blocked. Andrew Surman (Bournemouth) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matt Ritchie.

Attempt saved. Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Harry Arter.

Attempt missed. Yann Kermorgant (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Rob Kiernan replaces Clayton Donaldson.

Dismissal

Paul Robinson (Birmingham City) is shown the red card.

Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Paul Robinson (Birmingham City).

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Wes Thomas replaces Andrew Shinnie.

Goal!

Goal! Bournemouth 4, Birmingham City 2. Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner.

Attempt blocked. Adam Smith (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Adam Smith (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Charlie Daniels.

Attempt missed. Steve Cook (Bournemouth) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Matt Ritchie with a cross following a set piece situation.

Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by David Davis (Birmingham City).

Booking

Simon Francis (Bournemouth) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Simon Francis (Bournemouth).

Andrew Shinnie (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Demarai Gray replaces Lloyd Dyer.

Attempt missed. Yann Kermorgant (Bournemouth) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Matt Ritchie with a cross.

Adam Smith (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jonathan Grounds (Birmingham City).

Attempt missed. David Cotterill (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

Foul by Adam Smith (Bournemouth).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bournemouth412211887434477
2Norwich412210979433676
3Watford412371182483476
4Middlesbrough412291060322875
5Derby4120111073452871
6Wolves4120111062491371
7Brentford412171370551570
8Ipswich4119111161461568
9Nottm Forest411513136558758
10Blackburn401512135450457
11Charlton401315124952-354
12Sheff Wed411315133743-654
13Cardiff411313154954-552
14Leeds411410174654-852
15Birmingham401214144760-1350
16Bolton411310185058-849
17Huddersfield411212175169-1848
18Brighton411015164348-545
19Reading39129184362-1945
20Rotherham411013184262-2043
21Fulham40127215172-2143
22Millwall40812203565-3036
23Wigan41811223555-2035
24Blackpool40412243179-4824
View full Championship table

Top Stories