Birmingham 2 Crystal Palace 2: Diop pegs back Murray-powered Eagles
17:32 GMT, 15 December 2012
17:32 GMT, 15 December 2012
Battling Birmingham fought back from two goals down to share the points with npower Championship promotion hopefuls Crystal Palace.
It looked like it was game over when Palace goal machine Glenn Murray made it 20 goals for the season as he completed his double to make it 2-0 on the hour mark.
But substitute Nikola Vidic and Papa Bouba Diop levelled things up to ensure Lee Clark's men claimed a share of the spoils.
On target: Papa Bouba Diop leaps to head home the equaliser
Birmingham: Butland, Caddis (Hancox 58), Caldwell, Davies, Robinson, Burke (Zigic 65), Reilly, Diop, Elliott (Hall 56), King, Lovenkrands.
Subs Not Used: Doyle, Ibanez, Morrison, Redmond.
Booked: Burke, Lovenkrands.
Goals: Zigic 66, Diop 82.
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Ramage, Delaney, Parr, Bolasie, Garvan, Dikgacoi, Zaha, Murray (Wilbraham 82), Moritz (Gabbidon 77).
Subs Not Used: Price, Easter, Moxey, O'Keefe, Appiah.
Goals: Murray 39,60.
Ref: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire).
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It was the hosts who showed first
intent, Chris Burke's 18-yard effort bringing Palace keeper Julian
Speroni into action after eight minutes.
Paul Robinson then tried his luck but his effort cleared the bar as the Blues dictated things at the start.
Clark's men had made all the early running but their enthusiastic
approach cost them after 29 minutes when Chris Burke was booked for
bringing down Andre Moritz.
Burke then tried to break the deadlock with a speculative shot from
distance which sailed wide of the target as the hosts continued to
Speroni was in the action again nine minutes before the break when he
saved from Peter Lovenkrands' 12-yard effort, and the keeper was
relieved to see a header from Curtis Davies go wide following a Wade
There had been little seen of Palace's swashbuckling style in the first
half but credit had to be given to the Blues' approach that had denied
Holloway's men any space at all.
But having weathered the storm for most of the first half, it was Palace
who took the lead just six minutes before the break when Yannick
Bolasie's break from the right gave Murray an easy tap-in.
It was typical smash-and-grab stuff and Holloway will have been
delighted with the scoreline – if not his side's below-par performance –
at the break.
City picked up where they had left off after the interval, with Burke
again testing Speroni from distance as Clark's men kept up their
At the other end, Palace's Kagisho Dikgacoi went close following an Owen Garvan corner.
Elliott was replaced by Robert Hall within 10 minutes of the restart as
Clark signalled a change – and hopefully a change of luck – in front of
But it wasn't to be as Murray grabbed his second of the afternoon for
Palace on the hour, stabbing home from close range after good work from
Zigic replaced Burke with 25 minutes to go and within a minute the
striker had grabbed a goal back for the hosts, heading home King's
And it was 2-2 with eight minutes left when Diop headed home Hall's cross.