A Rudy good hiding: Gestede’s hat-trick sinks Blues1
April 22, 2014 by bluenosebible
Birmingham City 2-4 Blackburn Rovers
Written by: Oliver Osborn
Home woes continue for Birmingham City as Rudy Gestede scored a first half hat-trick to guide Blackburn Rovers to victory at St. Andrews.
The result leaves the side without a win in their last 16 home games and sitting just above the relegation zone on goal difference.
Rovers took a four goal lead going into half time with Todd Kane scoring along side Gestede’s three goals to take advantage of the Blues’ poor defending.
Lee Clark’s side managed to make the scoreline more respectable after substitutes Nikola Zigic and Demarai Gray found the net, but the game was well over by this point.
Despite leaving the pitch with the match ball, the Blackburn striker was left red faced in the sixth minute after he blazed over from Josh King’s cross from three yards out with an open goal to aim at.
Luckily for Gary Bowyer’s men the Frenchman made up for his error with the opener only four minutes later.
Another great cross from the right by King was delievered well to the back post before an unmarked Gestede rose the highest to nod home from close range.
A second soon followed as Craig Conway’s free-kick was again put into a dangerous area and the striker left Darren Randolph no chance with a thumping header.
Frustration started to grow from the Birmingham faithful and when Kane’s goal went in just four minutes later, a ring of boos surrounded St.Andrews.
The full back was left in acres of space outside the area before hitting a shot that was deflected by Tyler Blackett and wrong footed Randolph in the Blues’ goal.
With the game almost all but over before half an hour , Clark decided to introduce Nikola Zigic and switch the out of position players into their natural positions.
But just as Blues were looking for a goal to get them into the match, Rovers pounced and Gestede sealed his hat-trick with a untimed header that found the corner from another Conway set-piece.
Early in the second half, a chance from Zigic forced Paul Robinson into a good low save and it proved to be the catalyst for Birmingham to take control of the second half.
Just past the hour mark, the giant Serbian did manage to beat the former England goalkeeper with a fine header, combining with the other substitute Mitch Hancox, who put in a good cross to the front post.
As the half went on the support became more positive for the home side and as the second went in some even thought Birmingham could find an equaliser.
At just 17 years of age, Demarai Gray scored his first goal for the home side after a good run from Federico Macheda.
The Italian made a powerful run into the Blackburn half before giving the ball to Gray outside the area and the left winger cut inside wrong footing Robinson as his effort found the bottom corner.
One final chance came from Callum Reilly, but his long range shot was well saved by the Rovers’ goalkeeper.
Birmingham boss Lee Clark: “I am confident in the players. We have to have the mentality that we have shown in second halves during this wretched run.
“We have to show this form from the first whistle. It seems that there is a domino effect. We concede the first goal and it results in two or three goals and four in the first half on this occasion.
“If we were to win our two home games then we should be okay.
“We were really punished and it was not good to watch. We responded well in the second half, but we certainly need to perform and our future is in our own hands.
“We have to get rid of the negative thoughts and go again.”
Blackburn boss Gary Bowyer: “I thought we were terrific first half.
“Our football was good and the big man, Rudy Gestede, was unplayable. He took his goals ever so well.
“We always knew Birmingham would come and fight in the second half and that is exactly what they did, although we were disappointed with the two goals we conceded.
“But overall we have come away from home and scored four goals, which must be pleasing.
“We are now unbeaten in the last 10 games. It has been a very busy period for us and the quality of the squad shone through against Birmingham as we lost four players from last Friday.
“Everyone played their part and we now have to see what happens on Saturday.”
Starting line up: Randolph; Packwood, Thorpe, Blackett (Hancox HT), Reilly; Burke, Caddis, Huws, Howard (Zigic 29′); Macheda, Lovenkrands (Gray 68′)
Subs not used: Doyle, Martin, Lee, Shinnie
Man of the match: Rudy Gestede
Lee Clark handed Blackburn the points, before the kick off, with his team selection. It was unbelievably stupid decision, to play 5 players out of position. I have defended him all season, because I believe he has not been helped at all by a board of directors, who, in my opinion, were only interested in making money out of Blues. Yesterday, showed that he is not good enough in this standard of football and I firmly believe, that he will have difficulty getting a job on football, for some time. If new owners come in, the first job they will have to do, is replace him as manager.