Date: 23rd December 2007 at 11:53am
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Birmingham manager Alex McLeish must have indulged in a pre-Christmas snifter before his interview on Match of the Day. That seems to be the only explanation of his bizarre comments on the game with Bolton.

‘Jussi Jaaskelaninen made a crucial save for Bolton and at the time it looked like we could go on and win,’ raved the Scotsman after his side had been emphatically beaten by a Bolton team who never really got out of first gear. The save in question was from the head of Ivan Campo. The number of goal attempts from Birmingham that were on target? Zero.

Not that the Wanderers played well. Despite far superior possession and territorial advantage they created little in the way of clear chances until Kevin Nolan`s effort was incorrectly disallowed for offside after 66 minutes. Birmingham`s respite was short lived. Bolton were in front five minutes later as Stephen Kelly failed to clear Nicolas Anelka`s cross and El Hadji Diouf took the ball around the defender before finishing adroitly.

What tiny chance Birmingham had of getting back on level terms disappeared on 78 minutes as Johan Djourou`s suicidal throw-in was intercepted by Anelka. The Frenchman rounded ‘keeper Maik Taylor before slotting home from close range. Anelka added his second and Bolton`s third in stoppage time with Birmingham`s defence having knocked off for Christmas. Bolton manager Mystic Megson delivered a sober assessment of the game.

‘It is a great result for us – whether it was actually a true 3-0 or not I’m not sure. We started well but seemed to run out of ideas a bit. In the end we needed a few bits of quality to get us through.’

As for McLeish, we`ll have a shot of what you`re drinking son.

 

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