Birmingham City v Arsenal - Player ratings

Last updated : 16 May 2005 By Mike Bohndiek
A nothing of a game was won by a nothing of a goal. We clearly, as Arsene stated later, had our minds purely focused on Cardiff, and this game was more about avoiding injuries than picking up a win. Another league campaign ends, and Wenger is still yet to finish outside of the two top. A fine achievement. No matter what happens next Saturday, I believe that we can view this season as a success. The development of young players has seen our squad reliability grow. We no longer need to spend big money in the summer, with the emergence of Senderos at the back. Obviously there will be some strengthening, and rightly so, but the fact remains that we can now look to the youth on the bench and see that they are up to first team football. Roll on next season, which I am sure will be one of the closest run titles in recent memory!

Key Incidents:

Goal (Birmingham) (80) – After we failed to deal with a Pennant corner, the ball fell loose in the box. With legs flying everywhere, Pandiani managed to stick out a boot and direct the ball into the corner.

Goal (Arsenal) (88) – Vieira knocked the ball over the Birmingham backline into the path of the Bergkamp who was just inside the box. He took the ball down, took an extra touch and then poked the ball under Maik Taylor, to level the scores.

Goal (Birmingham) (90) – Where did this goal come from? We had barely finished celebrating our goal, when the Brum fans roared and Heskey wheeled away in celebration. Senderos lost track of him, allowing him to get into our area and fire past Lehmann. A lack of concentration on the part of Senderos, but hopefully he will learn from that and take it into next weeks match.

Player Ratings

Jens Lehmann - 6.5 - Had not a shot to save, but saw two go past him. He was unlucky on both counts.

Ashley Cole - 7 - He had another good game, with many a venture forward leading to promising positions for us.

Sol Campbell - 6 - He played well with Senderos, and I believe that Wenger will start them along side each other in Cardiff.

Philippe Senderos - 6 - Slipped up to let Heskey put away the winner, but I think he will bounce straight back.

Kolo Toure - 6 - He didn't look as comfortable going forward as Ralph does, but his defending was solid.

Freddie Ljungberg - 6 - Played on the left in place of the injured Pires. He had a quiet game, but that was to be expected after returning from injury.

Patrick Vieira - 7 - Made some good tackles, and his forward running was back to it's best, leaving defenders on the floor. I just wish he would have the confidence to take a shot at the end of it!

Gilberto - 6 - Sat back and helped us soak up any pressure. In a game like this, he is at his least effective, due to the play being so disjointed.

Cesc Fabregas - 6 - A slight dip for him, but he'll be back on form for the final. It seemed he did not want to fly into challenges for fear of injury.

Dennis Bergkamp - 6 - Saw little of the ball for the first half, as we struggled to make an impression on the game. Got himself another goal, but I pray that it isn't his last for us.

Robin Van Persie - 6 - Had one early chance, and made many off the ball runs, but in reality he saw little of the ball.


Edu - 5 - Made little impact on the game, slotting into the left side.

Mathieu Flamini - 5 - Replaced Gilberto, and played exactly as the departed had.

Jeremie Aliadiere – 5 - Showed a few nice touches, but most came to nothing.