Birmingham City 2-2 Ipswich Town Player Ratings: Jota shines

Jutkiewicz bags a brace –

Birmingham City clawed back a two-goal half-time deficit to draw 2-2 with Ipswich Town, although the hosts might feel they deserved all three points. Here’s our Player Ratings from the game.

Birmingham City

Lee Camp – neither of the goals he conceded were overt errors, yet the second goal was perhaps preventable. Given that Blues only faced three shots on target, they might have hoped for their goalkeeper to come up trumps at big moments and that didn’t quite happen here. 5

Maxime Colin – the former Brentford right-back started brightly and offered width early on, but was guilty of losing his opposite number for the second goal. Although Blues were better going forward collectively in the second period, Colin was less influential individually. 6
Michael Morrison – let down by his teammates in the lead-up to the opener, but it could be asked whether a peak, in-form Morrison a couple of years ago might have been more dominant from Ward’s corner. His distribution isn’t quite what one would want from the modern centre-back, too. 5
Harlee Dean – won plenty of aerial duels. However, it could be questioned whether he retreated too readily in the lead-up to the opener; plus, considering his previous club was Brentford, the accuracy of his passing from the back left something to be desired. 6
Kristian Pedersen – won his fair share of challenges but, after losing the ball in the lead-up to the opener, the Dane lacked the drive to recover his position quickly and help out down his channel. Going forward, he didn’t offer too much either. 5

Jota – the silky Spaniard’s set plays made him central to Birmingham’s attacking threat in the first half; his excellent foot-work lit up this contest and he neatly set up Jutkiewicz’s first goal. A fine performance. 8
Gary Gardner – started well, hitting the post inside the first five minutes. For spells of the first half though he retreated slightly, especially after Ipswich’s first goal went in, so Monk might have made the right call in replacing him at the interval. 4
Charlie Lakin – the youngster has done himself proud since coming into the Blues team and his sheer tenacity has won him the hearts of many fans. However, it was a big ask for him to perform well for a third game running and it is important to remember that he is still at a very early stage of his professional development. 5
Jacques Maghoma – the former Sheffield Wednesday winger looked quiet in the first half, as he didn’t find any space in behind, but found some momentum after the interval and made more of those powerful runs we have come to expect from him. 6

Che Adams – the young forward endured a challenging first half with little space in key areas for him to utilize, but still he pressed tirelessly and got into plenty of goalscoring positions after the break, with one sharp effort stinging Gerken’s hands. Missed an opportunity to build on last week’s brace at Leeds and kick-start an individual purple patch, but he will soon see the fruits of his labour. 7
Lukasz Jutkiewicz – so far this season, it has looked like the target man would be crucial in terms of winning aerial duels, occupying centre-backs and holding the ball up, but that the goalscoring burden could lie with others. It is great news therefore, that not only did ‘Jukey’ do the work we have come to expect from him, he also grabbed a brace; one cool finish one-on-one, followed by a snap-shot from inside the box. A great afternoon’s work. 8

Maikel Kieftenbeld (on 45) – by throwing himself into challenges and being quick to loose balls, the Dutchman took control of the midfield and played a huge part in the improved second half display. 8
Connor Mahoney (on 64) – the Bournemouth loanee was exciting to watch due to his willingness to take on opposing players, giving Birmingham unpredictability in the final third. Could have grabbed himself a goal, too. 8

Ipswich Town

Dean Gerkin – made some decent saves and did well to deny Adams in the second half, but looked slightly erratic prior to Birmingham’s equalizer. There could be a window for Bartosz Bialkowski to work his way back into the side if he can rediscover the form he showed in the previous two seasons. 5

Matthew Pennington – sent off late on but had a hand in both of Ipswich’s goals; he showed composure to play one ball down the line for the opener, before heading home Ward’s corner to put Ipswich two up. When he returns from suspension, he may be better suited to playing at centre-back to utilize his qualities in possession, whilst allowing for a more athletic performer at right-back. 6
Luke Chambers – the long-serving centre-back’s commitment to Ipswich could never be questioned – and reports suggest he has been one of the better players so far this year. Still, he has limitations in possession, which was part of why Ipswich struggled to play the ball forward with any real precision. 5
Aristote Nsiala – it was a big ask for Nsiala, a very old-school centre-back, to step up another division so quickly. While he had few problems winning aerial duels, he didn’t look at all comfortable on the ball, which meant he was caught out on more than one occasion after the break. Looks in danger of becoming a liability. 4
Jonas Knudsen – difficult to see quite what Knudsen offered. The successful full-back will offer two of width, quality in possession and defensive bravery; while the left-back half-filled the latter quota by making one or two decent blocks, he didn’t offer much more. One cannot help but ask whether he is one of the players Ipswich have been too loyal to. 4

Trevoh Chalobah – there appears to be an intelligent player in there; he was at his best when he was able to step into the opposing half and win second balls. However, because he was charged with helping out a seemingly vulnerable midfield partner, he perhaps didn’t quite have the freedom to do what he’s good at. Although this wasn’t a great performance from Chalobah, one senses he is worth persisting with. 6
Cole Skuse – the long-serving midfielder deserves credit for his commitment to Ipswich over the years and is no doubt an honest pro. It feels from the outside though, as if the 32-year-old has been off-colour for at least a year now; he no longer appears to have the passing quality or the physical attributes, to impose himself on a game at this level with any discernible authority. The fact he has started every game this season must be seen, partially at least, as evidence of Ipswich’s budgetary limitations under the Marcus Evans regime. 3

Gwion Edwards – got through plenty of defensive work including a number of tackles, but with just one shot all game, he might have hoped to express himself in a more positive sense. Barely seen in the opposing half after the interval. 5
Jon Nolan – scored a superbly taken opener and appeared to briefly take confidence from that, but alas he was asked to do a lot of defensive work that didn’t quite suit him. Nolan is at his creative best when he is given the ball to feet in the opposing half and given how rarely that happened in B9, there’s an argument to say that the playmaker’s productivity was actually quite impressive. 7
Grant Ward – his first half corner found Pennington for the second goal, but that was about as good as it got for the Rotherham man, who’s only effort at goal went wayward. Stuck in his defensive third for much of the second period. 4

Kayden Jackson – the striker showed at Accrington last season that he can be a real threat running in behind and that was in evidence for the opener, which saw him tee up Nolan. Whenever there was the possibility of a through ball for Jackson, he always had the will to accelerate. The problem was that he spent much of the contest isolated, so most ‘passes’ to him was played from deep and pitting him against four defenders. Given the circumstances, he did well to grab an assist and very nearly tee up a winner for Sears. 6

Freddie Sears (on 81) – the substitute added fresh energy and could have grabbed all three points for his side had he got to Jackson’s pull-back before Lee Camp. 6
Janoi Donacien (on 89) – fans will be hoping the former Accrington man can start at right-back more often – especially with Pennington now suspended. 5