Wednesday 8th November 2006 (7.45pm) @ St Andrews, Birmingham

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GOALS: Agger 49
Daniel Agger's winning goal

LIVERPOOL TEAM: (4-4-2) - Rafa selected a strong side for the outing to Championship side Birmingham. Robbie Fowler was named as captain.




Agger 49

Paletta ][





Unused Subs: Martin, Carragher
][ = Yellow Card
Name = goalscorer and time(s)

Alonso for Sissoko (25)
Fowler for Kuyt (71)
Guthrie for Bellamy (88)


Birmingham City: Maik Taylor, Kelly, Martin Taylor, Jaidi, Sadler, Larsson, Nafti (Muamba 68), Danns, Gray, Campbell (McSheffrey 58), Jerome (Bendtner 58). Subs Not Used: Doyle, Kilkenny.

Att: 23,061
Referee: H Webb (S Yorkshire)



Momo fell heavily after a challenge and has a suspected dislocated shoulder
and gets stretchered off (is this the last we will see of Momo till 2007?)


Birmingham regained their pride but still bowed out of another competition at the hands of Liverpool as Daniel Agger's goal in first-half stoppage-time settled tonight's Carling Cup fourth round clash at St Andrews.

Blues had been humiliated 7-0 on the same ground in an FA Cup tie last season - the lowest point of Steve Bruce's managerial career.

This tie was a far more competitive affair against a Reds side who made nine changes from the starting line-up against Reading at the weekend - although the visitors were worthy winners.

The Birmingham players wore black armbands for the fourth round tie as a mark of respect for their former goalkeeper Johnny Schofield who died last week.

Blues would have been mindful of conceding two goals in the opening five minutes of the 7-0 humiliation by their opponents in last season's FA Cup clash and began the tie in a determined mood.

Sebastian Larsson brought the Birmingham supporters to life with a right wing run before squaring his cross back to Campbell - but his shot was blocked by Momo Sissoko.

The first chance fell to Steve Bruce's when Julian Gray fired over when Jerzy Dudek should have at least been tested.

A right-wing cross from Stephen Kelly picked out Jerome who won the ball in the air but he was adjudged to have fouled Gabriel Paletta.

Liverpool threatened for the first time after 12 minutes when Mark Gonzalez exchanged passes with Zenden before unleashing a fierce drive which flew inches wide.

Blues midfielder Mehdi Nafti became the first player to be yellow-carded a minute later after a challenge in the centre circle on Zenden.

Liverpool enjoyed a spell of concerted pressure and recalled striker Robbie Fowler completely miskicked when attempting to convert a cross from Lee Peltier.

Liverpool were forced into a substitution after 26 minutes when, after a lengthy delay, Mohamed Sissoko was carried off on a stretcher with what appeared to be a right shoulder injury after he had fallen awkwardly following a challenge by Nafti.

Gonzalez exchanged passes with Pennant after taking a short corner and his powerful cross-shot was deflected just past Maik Taylor's far post.

Birmingham produced their best chance of the opening half after 44 minutes when Martin Taylor made a great run down the left flank before sending over a low cross for Campbell - but he was denied by Dudek.

Liverpool retaliated and Craig Bellamy thought he had got clear of the Blues defence but referee Howard Webb adjudged he had fouled Martin Taylor.

Jerome almost caught out Dudek with a totally mishit cross which was creeping inside the near post before the goalkeeper turned the ball aside for a corner.

Zenden sliced a shot wide while Robbie Fowler's header from a Gonzalez cross was deflected past the post.

But in the fifth of seven minutes of injury-time Liverpool finally went ahead through Daniel Agger.

Blues failed to deal with a corner from former player Jermaine Pennant and Agger had the space to lash the ball into the roof of the net from close range.

Birmingham fans were incensed when Webb waved aside claims for a penalty after Paletta appeared to shove Jerome.

HT: Birmingham 0 Liverpool 1

It was revealed that Sissoko had dislocated his right shoulder and he was taken to a Birmingham hospital for X-rays.

Danns, a lifelong Liverpool fan, made a surging run towards the visitors box and was body-checked by Paletta - who was booked by Webb.

A cross from Paletta picked out Bellamy whose shot lobbed up into the hands of Maik Taylor after he had initially gone down in anticipation of a low effort from the Welsh international.

Maik Taylor then had to scramble across his goal-line to keep out a fiercely driven effort from Gonzalez at the base of a post.

The Northern Ireland number one also dealt with a long-range attempt by Zenden as Liverpool started to dominate proceedings.

Birmingham boss Steve Bruce made a double substitution just before the hour mark replacing Jerome and Campbell with Gary McSheffrey and Nicklas Bendtner.

Liverpool had the chance to double their lead after 64 minutes when Jaidi was adjudged to have fouled Gonzalez after a surging run.

But Maik Taylor kept Birmingham in contention by comfortably saving Bellamy's penalty away to his left.

Bellamy had another chance soon after when he appeared to miskick with the goal at his mercy from Zenden's low centre.

Nafti showed his frustration when he was replaced by Fabrice Muamba - heading straight for the dressing room and kicking an advertising hoarding before disappearing down the tunnel.

Fowler got in the way of a goalbound shot from Zenden and it was his last act before making way for Dirk Kuyt after 72 minutes.

Alonso was just off target with a 20-yard volley before Gray wasted a golden chance to bring Birmingham level.

The former Crystal Palace player made good ground to the far post but sent his shot straight at Dudek from Larsson's cross when it looked easier to score.

Bellamy could have sealed the game with five minutes remaining - but the Welsh international striker dragged his shot across the face of goal.

John Curtis, PA

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Match Report filed: 8th November 2006