Birmingham City 0-0 Swansea City Player Ratings: Kieftenbeld dominates

Pedersen and Asoro duel – @BCFC

Despite an impressive performance, Birmingham City were held to a 0-0 draw by Swansea City at St Andrews on Friday night. Here’s our Player Ratings from the game.

Birmingham City

Lee Camp – untested in the usual sense, but his distribution was reasonably good; although some of the time he lost possession due to his long kicks, he also often got the ball into Jutkiewicz and that played it’s part in Birmingham’s attacks. 6

Maxime Colin – got forward well and played some nice diagonal balls as well as some useful crosses. Camped in the opposing half at times and helped create space for Jota. 7
Michael Morrison – made many important challenges, some with more aggression than one would necessarily expect from a centre-back; Morrison was fortunate not to be booked for a shoulder-barge on Celina in the second half. Would have scored the winner were he not adjudged to have been in an offside position. 6
Harlee Dean – did a lot more work in the opposing box than his own, forcing two good saves from Mulder in the first half. Carried out his standard defensive duties with minimal fuss. 7
Kristian Pedersen – was quick to loose balls and tracked his man well when needed too. Took longer over short throw-ins than would have been ideal. 7

Jota – forced a good save from Mulwin at his near post after teasing Olsson. Stole the ball, then played a wonderful pass into Jutkiewicz after one of many very exciting runs. Not only did Jota show the quality we have come to expect from him, he also showed a willingness to commit to the system out of possession, which has not always been the first thing one would say about him. 8
Maikel Kieftenbeld – after stealing the ball to set up a good opening for Bogle early on, Kieftenbeld showed incredible tenacity throughout the match. He was very quick to second balls due to not only his good physical condition, but also his desire to help his teammates; those qualities gave Birmingham an excellent base from which to build. 9
Gary Gardner – after signing from Aston Villa, Gary Gardner did some good defensive work and mopped up loose balls in midfield very effectively and looked for the simple passes forward. 9
Jacques Maghoma – a very persistant chaser of loose balls, Maghoma gave Roberts than run-around tonight. He was more than capable of taking on his full-back directly, but as a right-footed player playing on the left, he could also deliver looping balls to Jutkiewicz from slightly deeper areas, meaning this was an unpredictable performance. Maghoma slotted narrowly wide from a tight angle in the first half, then nearly set up Jutkiewicz for the winner in the closing stages. 8

Omar Bogle – pressed well, occupied centre-backs and looked bright, showing good movement to provide opportunities for himself, one of which he hit wide and one he saw saved. In a good performance overall, Bogle will have been disappointed not to add the finishing touches. 7
Lukasz Jutkiewicz – worked hard and won a lot of aerial balls to bring others into play. While his endeavour couldn’t be questioned though, his ruthlessness in front of goal possibly could.  When played through on goal just after the half-hour mark for the game’s best chance, Jutkiewicz slotted wide. 7

Che Adams (on 79) – worked hard and was willing to chase back if needed. 6
Charlie Lakin (on 85) – with Birmingham short on central midfielders this season, Lakin could well get more appearances. 5

Swansea City

Erwin Mulder – with Kristoffer Nordfeldt out injured, Swansea had to lean on the 6’4″ goalkeeper and he proved here that, having played European football during an eight-year stint at Feyenoord, he is a more than capable replacement. Made some excellent saves in the first half. 8

Connor Roberts – many fans have called for the academy graduate to start over Kyle Naughton for some time now and it is good to see that Graham Potter has been brave enough to trust the 22-year-old, who was very popular at Yeovil in 2015-16. However, he couldn’t keep up with Maghoma at times and needed a lot of support from his teammates; slightly better in the second half though. 5
Mike van der Hoorn – the 25-year-old brings the kind of pedigree one might expect from someone who has played 33 games for Ajax. As the only reasonably experienced centre-back in the squad, Swansea need the Dutchman to deliver consistently; here though, he was part of a successful defence, but through luck as much as judgement as he struggled to win his aerial duels with Jutkiewicz. 6
Joe Rodon – the ball-playing centre-back wasn’t necessarily the first name on the teamsheet with League Two Cheltenham in the second half of last season, so it is impressive that he is now a Championship regular. Struggled to contain Bogle in the first half and had to be bailed out by Olsson on one or two occasions after the break. 5
Martin Olsson – as the only defender over 25 to feature for the Swans this season, Olsson adds a touch of knowhow to compliment Roberts’ youthful exuberance; evidenced by a crucial back-post clearance late on. Although, the Swede did struggle to contain Jota in the first half. 6

Jay Fulton – the Scot was linked with a move to Reading this summer but Swansea will be glad they kept hold of him. Bolton-born box-to-box battler has had to be patient during his last five years in Wales, but the early signs are this could be his year. One of Swansea’ better players in the first half; he got through a lot of covering work to support Roberts, even if this meant he couldn’t quite impose himself in the way he was capable of. 6
Bersant Celina – the Kosovan often lit up Portman Road last season with some fine individual play, but in the first half here he was given a deeper, central role which not only increased his defensive responsibilities, it also meant failed risks in possession were more problematic. Had a very poor first half in a role that didn’t quite suit him, although he even contributed little after moving to the left in the second half. 3
Tom Carroll – the Tottenham academy graduate has built up a reputation as somebody who has a good presence in midfield, who works hard, keeps play ticking over and does the simple things well. Here, those qualities were not evident and Potter will want one of the oldest players in the side to have a greater influence on games. 4

Joel Asoro – the 19-year-old, who earned praise for his work ethic during a tough season for Sunderland, has made a reasonable impact with the Swans. Arguably Swansea’s brightest spark from a wide right position in the first half, despite picking up a knock; moved into a more central role after the break but didn’t see much of the ball. 6
Oliver McBurnie – the Scot should not be fazed by this level, having featured a few times in the Premier League under Alan Curtis, but this was a frustrating night. He spent a lot of time in a false nine position, trying to draw centre-backs out but most of the times, the areas he tried to received the ball in were closed off by Blues players. 4
Barrie McKay – the enigmatic 23-year-old, who has already played 103 games for Rangers, is very skilful and showed at Forest that he is capable of the spectacular. However, he didn’t receive enough passes to feet at St Andrews and was taken off early in the second half. 4

Leroy Fer (on 63) – added a touch of composure and experience to the midfield and helped shore things up. 6
Daniel James (on 63) – looked lively when he came on, albeit without much product. 6
Matt Grimes (on 77) – the young technician was highly rated at Northampton and it looks as though he will occupy a deep midfield role here. 5