Birmingham City produced a huge upset to beat Arsenal in the Carling Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, to win their first major trophy since 1963. Arsenal, who themselves are without a trophy since 2005, were the firm favourites to win the cup before the game, considering their lofty position in the League, their free flowing football and the fact that Birmingham had only ever beaten Arsenal once in the entire history of the Premier League.
Birmingham hadn’t read the script and surged forward from the outset, in only the second minute Lee Bowyer charged into the Arsenal penalty area and was brought crashing down by goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny which would have been a certain penalty and a straight red card, had the linesman not controversially flagged Bowyer as offside. Replays clearly showed he was onside and the Birmingham players were rightly outraged.
Justice seemed to have prevailed when after 28 minutes Serbian giant Nikola Zigic out jumped everybody to head the Blues into an unexpected lead. Birmingham were not intimated by their rivals and showed great resilience and determination against the favourites, and could have scored a second had poor control not let him down,
Arsenal who were without the injured club captain Cesc Fabregas and Theoทางเข้าเว็บตรงufabet Walcott, soon rallied and it was a moment of great football that saw Arsenal score an equaliser in the 39th minute. Jack Wilshere’s fearsome shot shook the crossbar of the Birmingham goal and the rebounded ball was crossed by Arshavin for Van Persie to sweep in a brilliant volley. With the score at 1-1 Ben Foster made a fine save from a Sami Nasri effort to ensure his team went to half time on level terms.
Arsenal began the second half with gusto as Tomas Rosicky went close with a swerving shot, the Gunners onslaught gathered momentum and the Blues were indebted to goalkeeper Ben Foster, who made a string of fine saves from Samir Nasri Andrey Arshavin and substitute Nicklas Bendtner. Foster was later given the man of the match award for his outstanding performance.
Birmingham however were not only resilient in defence but they also showed ambition of their own and alarm bells should