Wolves 1-2 Birmingham Player Ratings: Davis haunts Molineux

Gardner and Davis celebrate Blues’ second

Goals from Maikel Kieftenbeld and David Davis saw Birmingham to a 2-1 win away to their West Midland rivals, Wolverhampton Wanderers. But how did players on both teams rate?

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Carl Ikeme – spilled the ball for Kieftenbeld’s opener. Conceding from perhaps the only two shots on target does not reflect well. 2

Conor Coady – as a central midfielder by trade, Coady did not look comfortable. Worked hard but his distribution was poor. 4
Danny Batth – struggled to contain Adams and could have done better with two headers from Price’s set plays. 3
Richard Stearman – dominated Adams in the first 20 minutes by attacking the ball early. Afterwards, the centre-back did little to justify Lambert’s faith in him over Kortney Hause. 4
Matt Doherty – looked sluggish and made poor decisions in possession. Both of Birmingham’s goals came from play down his side. 2

Jack Price – some decent set piece deliveries but too predictable in possession. A hardworking but limited sideways pass merchant. 4
George Saville – one or two good pieces of covering work were the only things he offered a stagnant Wolves midfield. Rightly taken off at the break. 2

Helder Costa – had lots of space early on which he was unable to capitalize on. Busier in the second half and created two chances for Dicko, one of which resulting in the goal. 7
Dave Edwards – lacked pace, but was not helped by teammates who did not have the invention to pick out the good runs he did make. 4
Andreas Weimann – anonymous throughout. Any quick bursts were undone by wasteful crossing or shooting – not that the two were distinguishable. 2
Jon Dadi Bödvarsson – fed off scraps in the first half yet worked hard and won free-kicks. It suited him better to be the selfless runner then, than in the second half when his task was to provide the finishing touches, which he could not provide. 5

Nouha Dicko (on 45) – provided the raw pace and power to stretch the visiting defence. His close-range header forced a good save from Kuszczak before his goal. It’s surprising Lambert didn’t make more substitutions. 7

Birmingham City

Tomasz Kuszczak – untested in the first half due to an opposing lack of quality. Made a couple of good stops after the break. 6

Josh Dacres-Cogley – as an attacking right-back by trade, naturally he looked a touch naive early on and got booked. Grew into the role in demanding circumstances. 6
Ryan Shotton – sometimes forced into wide areas in the first half and picked up a booking. Made some good defensive headers after the break. 7
Paul Robinson – stood his ground defensively and was well-protected before the interval, but his second half sending off allowed Wolves back in. 4

Emilio Nsue – saw his close-range shot deflected behind in the first half. Had good moments, but also bad ones, giving the ball away for Wolves’ goal. Moved inside more than necessary with four central midfielders on the pitch. 5
Robert Tesche – a steady presence in midfield. Showed some renewed discipline to his game, though his long-range shooting has been better. 6
Maikel Kieftenbeld – anticipated everything, including the keeper’s spill for the opener. 8
Cheick Keita – some nice touches and looked better defensively than usual. Has contributed more going forward in previous games, but his shrewder approach this time ensured any escapades did not hinder the defence. 7

Craig Gardner – showed leadership to take the players out for a meal, then encouraging them as he left the field. Was involved in Birmingham’s better attacking play and could be a key figure in the coming weeks. 7
David Davis – took his goal well and battled for everything in midfield. Appears to relish facing his old employers. 8
Che Adams – worked hard in isolation. As an auxiliary striker with limited support in a team that played the second half with 10 men, he did not look out of place – but was not involved enough to warrant a rating above standard. 5

Krystian Bielik (on 55) – slotted in superbly at centre-back. Made some crucial blocks despite picking up a minor knock. 8
Greg Stewart (on 78)