Blues 2 – 2 Norwich: Ratings

Blues got their Championship season underway  in scorching heat at home to Norwich City on Saturday. Goals from Jacques Maghoma and Viv Solomon-Otabor for Blues were cancelled out by Onel Hernandez.

Starting XI

Connal Trueman

If you would have asked Blues fans leaving St Andrews after staying up against Fulham last season if they expected Connal Trueman to start the first game of the 18/19 season - I dont think anyone would have said yes! Coming in for his first game it was always going to be difficult, he made some good saves in the first half and dented Jordan Rhodes from point blank range in the second. Should have done better with Norwich’s first goal though.

6
Maxime Colin

Started the 18/19 season in the exact same form that he ended last season. Always looked to support Jota going forward and looked solid defensively. He’s going to be a crucial player for Blues this season.

7
Harlee Dean

Solid at the back. A classic Harlee Dean performance, no nonsense defending. Dealt with Jordan Rhodes well throughout apart from one minor lapse in concentration where Rhodes found himself free in the area, but Trueman was on hand to bail him out.

7
Michael Morrison

Very similar to Harlee Dean - a solid performance. Didn’t cause too many problems going forward from corners but dealt with what he had to very well.

7
Kristian Pedersen

A full league debut for Blues for the new signing. First half he looked very shaky, there were quite a few occasions where he got caught out of position a few times and Norwich got in behind. Grew into the game in the second half and played well. Looked dangerous on the ball, and has a fantastic delivery from set pieces.

6
Jota

A frustrating afternoon for Jota. Seemed to find himself in some promising positions at times but couldn’t seem to make the most of the openings. Needs to be more composed in the ball when he finds himself in attacking positions.

5
Maikel Kieftenbeld

A good performance from the Dutch midfielder. As ever, his energy was vital for Blues in the middle of the park. Should have done much better with the Norwich equaliser though, dived in unnecessarily allowing the to completely pass through in the middle of the park.

6
Craig Gardner

A very strong start to the season for Craig Gardner. Looked composed on the ball and put himself about in the centre of the park. Early signs this season are that Gardner could be a key player for Blues in the middle of the park.

7
Jacques Maghoma - Man of the Match

Started this season exactly how he finished last season. Looked a threat every time he was on the ball, battled well and caused Norwich plenty of problems. He took his goal really well too.

8
Lukas Jutkiewicz

A very impressed performance from Juke up front. Held the ball up well, brought others into play, and battled well for the team. Ball over the top for Viv Solomon’s goal was sublime.

7
Che Adams

Ran his socks off for the team throughout, created a few openings due to his hard work and skill. Another player who will hope to push on at Blues this season.

6

Substitutes

Cheikh Ndoye
Didn’t have too much time to have an affect on the game. There was one moment where N’Doye epitomised Birmingham City - chasing back, hounding his man and putting the ball out for a throw in.
6
Viv Solomon-Otabor
I was personally made up for Viv Solomon marking his return to St Andrews with a goal. He took it wonderfully well too.
6
Beryly Lubula
Too late to have any impact on the game.
6

Fans

Attendance: 22,677 – 2,383 Away Fans

Norwich City Fans – 5

Brought good numbers, which was to be expected considering it was the first game of the season. Didn't make too much noise though, I personally expected a little more from them.