Birmingham 2-1 Bristol City Player Ratings: Magnificent Morrison

Birmingham City picked up their first three points of the season thanks to a slightly fortuitous 2-1 win over Bristol City. Here’s our player ratings.

Birmingham City

David Stockdale – made some key saves to keep Blues in the game. 7

Emilio Nsue – struggled to handle Paterson’s movement in the first half, but made some positive runs and combined well with Cotterill in the last half hour. 5
Michael Morrison – imperious all evening. Made some vital last-ditch blocks, often to deny Diedhou and was the main reason Bristol City weren’t out of sight by half-time. 9
Marc Roberts – made some nervy clearances in the first half, but looked a little more assured after the break. 6
Jonathan Grounds – overrun for much of the first half and was rightly hauled off at the interval. 2

David Davis – hard to say whether his half-time removal was tactical or fitness based, but he looked lost on the right side of midfield. 2
Craig Gardner – chasing shadows in the first half but his performance improved when he was assigned a sitting role behind two more combative midfielders. Got the goal and made a crucial late block to deny Diedhou. 6
Cheick N’Doye – looked like a headless chicken in the first half, but when he had more support around him, his raw power came in handy off the ball. 5
Jacques Maghoma – showed flashes of his ability to carry the ball forward at pace, even in a tough first half. Drifted out of the game at times but scored an impressive solo goal to win it. 6

Che Adams – his hamstring injury makes life hard for Birmingham, who are already short on attacking options. Not his best performance though. 4
Clayton Donaldson – no shortage of desire but lacks the athleticism to pressurize defenders, which he had a couple of seasons ago. 4

Paul Robinson (on 45) – his leadership qualities helped Birmingham to the second half turnaround. Contained Eliasson, 17 years his senior. 8
Maikel Kieftenbeld (on 45) – his swift pressing on Pack was key to disrupting Bristol City’s rhythm. Reportedly unlucky to be sent off. 8
David Cotterill (on 60) – looked bright against the club he spent some time on loan at last season. Linked up well with Nsue and was unlucky not to catch Fielding off-guard with his improvised long-range effort. 8

Bristol City

Frank Fielding – given little chance with  both goals and saved a powerful drive at his near post in the second half. One erratic kick gave Cotterill a long-range opportunity but he recovered well. 6

Eros Pisano – had a header saved and made one or two sliding challenges, but his passing could have been better. 4
Bailey Wright – Made a few important headed clearances, even if in the second half, he was guilty of giving the ball away. 6
Jens Hegeler – marshalled Donaldson well in the first half, but began to struggle when asked to do battle in the air. 5
Joe Bryan – one or two misplaced passes invited trouble. There was more onus on him to contribute going forward in the second half, when midfielders in front of him couldn’t find as much space. Had one shot from range that was deflected behind. 4

Korey Smith – did the simple things well in the first half and set up Reid for a chance after the break. A good performance. 6
Marlon Pack – Ran the show in the first half with his fine positioning and passing range. Closed down quicker in the second half by N’Doye and Kieftenbeld, and his performance suffered as a result. 5

Josh Brownhill – cut inside to help overload central areas and showed intelligent positioning. He might have tracked Maghoma for the winner better than replacement Eliasson. 7
Bobby Reid – scored the opener and came close on various other occasions. A little lightweight at times. 6
Jamie Paterson – caused all sorts of problems in the first half with his pace and movement, but waned in influence after the break. Did the dirty work. 6

Famara Diedhou – provided good movement and physical qualities, but needs to be more clinical in front of goal. 5

Callum O’Dowda (on 67) – not helped by the lack of space but looked reluctant to attack the byline. 4
Niclas Eliasson (on 68) – like O’Dowda, he couldn’t get into the game. 4