Birmingham 0-0 Swansea: Home side wasteful up front as Swans hold out
Blues fail with 17 attempts on goal; Swansea with no shots on target
By Michael Hincks
Last Updated: 19/08/18 7:22pm
Swansea maintained their unbeaten start in the Sky Bet Championship after holding a wasteful Birmingham to a goalless draw on Friday night.
Goalkeeper Erwin Mulder made five first-half saves to deny the Blues, whose manager Garry Monk was facing his former employers for the first time as a boss.
The draw sees Monk's side pick up a second point of the season, but after 17 attempts on goal, it appears their issues up front have continued, having ended the last campaign as the league's joint-lowest scorers.
Meanwhile, Swansea - who move up to second with seven points - will be relieved to leave St Andrew's with a draw, the ground manager Graham Potter started his playing career at some two decades ago.
Birmingham: Camp (6), Colin (6), Morrison (7), Dean (6), Pedersen (6), G.Gardner (6), Kieftenbeld (7), Maghoma (7), Jota (7), Jutkiewicz (6), Bogle (6)
Subs: Adams (6), Lakin (6)
Swansea: Mulder (7), Roberts (6), Rodon (6), Van der Hoorn (6), Olsson (6), Fulton (6), Carroll (6), Celina (6), Asoro (5), McBurnie (5), McKay (5)
Subs: James (6), Fer (6), Grimes (6)
Man of the match: Jota
Pre-match build-up was dominated around the two managers, with Monk having played at Swansea for 10 years before being handed his first managerial role there in 2014, while Solihull-born Potter was facing the club he made his professional debut for back in 1992.
Potter was looking to build on an impressive start at Swansea after two league wins, but they were well off the pace at St Andrew's as Birmingham failed to punish the visitors.
Mulder kept the hosts at bay throughout the first half, with the Swansea goalkeeper saving well from Harlee Dean's header and Lukas Jutkiewicz's low strike in particular.
Birmingham made four changes to the side that lost at Middlesbrough last weekend, with Lee Camp, Gary Gardner, Maikel Kieftenbeld and Omar Bogle coming into the side.
Swansea made the one enforced change with goalkeeper Erwin Mulder replacing the injured Kristoffer Nordfeldt.
Jutkiewicz also spurned the best opportunity of the first half. The Blues forward had Mulder beaten after cutting onto his left foot, but could only send his effort wide of the mark.
Swansea failed to record a shot on target before the break, and so it remained after, with Bersant Celina wasting their best opportunity when firing over from the edge of the area.
Birmingham struggled to keep up the intensity, and though Jutkiewicz forced another decent save from Mulder, it was another goalless night for the Blues - who scored just 38 times in 46 league games last year.
Man of the match - Jota
The Birmingham midfielder was the liveliest player on the pitch, but he will be frustrated by his side's lack of killer instinct in the final third.
The Spaniard helped the Blues tick in attack, playing clever balls over the top, neat passes through the middle and causing problems down the right wing, while he also had a couple of chances himself.
However, it was not to be for the 27-year-old, who would be unlucky to see a repeat performance go without a goal or assist.
Blues boss Garry Monk: "We showed a real appetite and were clearly deserving of the win. That's the only disappointment, I was very proud of that performance.
"When you're so dominant, you need that goal. We could have scored two or three, but it's one of them. That's the Championship. I can't criticise my players at all, we've been through a lot."
Swansea boss Graham Potter: "Credit to Birmingham, they made it difficult for us. I would have thought I'm the happier person with the 0-0 than Garry.
"Birmingham set up a good defensive block and made it difficult to pass through. When the crowd get behind them here it's a hostile place. It was a lesson for us in the first half, one that we will use and take, but we must credit the opposition for their play."
Birmingham are back in action at Bolton on Wednesday, live on the Sky Sports Football red button, while Swansea are at home to Leeds United on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports Football.