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Full Time After Extra Time This is a live match. Extra Time Half Time

Southampton vs Birmingham City. Sky Bet Championship.

St. Mary's StadiumAttendance28,924.

Southampton 3

  • T Harwood-Bellis (9th minute)
  • C Alcaraz (22nd minute)
  • A Armstrong (86th minute)

Birmingham City 1

  • J Stansfield (58th minute)

Southampton 3-1 Birmingham: Wayne Rooney's search for first point as Blues boss goes on after slick Saints performance

Report and free match highlights from the Sky Bet Championship match between Southampton and Birmingham City at St Mary's on Saturday | Goals from Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Carlos Alcaraz and Adam Armstrong seal victory for Russell Martin's side

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Southampton and Birmingham City

Southampton ensured Wayne Rooney's search for a first point as Birmingham manager will extend into another week as a controlled, confident performance earned them a 3-1 win at St Mary's on Saturday afternoon.

Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Carlos Alcaraz put Saints 2-0 up with 21 minutes on the clock, though the visitors were, perhaps unjustly, denied a way back into the game, when referee David Webb waved away penalty appeals despite Saints goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu clattering into the back of Oliver Burke in the box.

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Birmingham City boss Wayne Rooney was keen to look at the positives despite his side losing at Southampton in the Sky Bet Championship.

Rooney's Blues did find a way to reduce the deficit, when Jay Stansfield thumped home just moments after his second-half introduction, but when there was no sign of a follow-up equaliser, Adam Armstrong fired in a low shot to seal a solid home win.

Southampton climb up to fourth in the Championship table after their fourth league win in six games, while Birmingham - who occupied a play-off spot less than three weeks ago - drop a place to 13th.

Birmingham's blues goes on on the south coast

Image: Taylor Harwood-Bellis scored Southampton's opener at St Mary's

Rooney called for patience as he implements his style of play after his side were booed off after the defeat to Hull on Wednesday and the vocal travelling support showed their support with a raucous reception at St Mary's. But they were soon silenced.

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Taylor Harwood-Bellis rises high above his marker to put Southampton 1-0 up over Birmingham in the Sky Bet Championship

Southampton looked well-drilled in the opening stages and took the lead their pressure deserved when Harwood-Bellis rose above his marker to direct Armstrong's deliciously clipped cross past John Ruddy. There was more than a hint of offside about it, yet the goal stood.

It was 2-0 just over 10 minutes later when a stunningly crafted move freed up Kamaldeen Sulemana on the left, with his low ball deflected into the path of Alcaraz, whose finish at the back post could hardly have been simpler.

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Carlos Alcaraz doubles the lead for Southampton against Birmingham City in the Sky Bet Championship

Birmingham were denied what looked like a clear penalty just before the half-hour, with Burke clumsily clattered into by Saints goalkeeper Bazunu. Referee David Webb, however, rapidly decided against awarding a spot-kick that may well have changed the face of the game.

Armstrong's diving header after a teasing Kyle Walker-Peters cross almost made it three early on in the second half, but just before the hour, Stansfield came off the bench, outmuscled his marker from a long ball forward and fired brilliantly past Bazunu with aplomb.

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Jay Stansfield scores seconds after coming on to get Birmingham back into the game against Southampton in the Sky Bet Championship

The latter stages were broken up by numerous substitutions from both teams, but there was still enough time for Saints to make sure of the victory, with Armstrong controlling a high ball from Ryan Fraser and striking a low third.

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Adam Armstrong puts Southampton 3-1 up against Birmingham City in the Sky Bet Championship

The boos that followed the aforementioned defeat seemed to be replaced by cheers of appreciation for England legend Rooney, but with Ipswich up next for the Blues, on paper, the challenge is only going to get tougher.

Should Birmingham have been awarded a penalty?

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Speaking on Soccer Saturday, Mike Dean is shocked Birmingham are not awarded a penalty in their clash at Southampton

Former Premier League referee Mike Dean on Soccer Saturday:

"It's embarrassing as it is such a bad decision - the Birmingham player has won the ball and he has just smashed him in the back and it is not even a hard decision, the 'keeper is nowhere near the ball and it is just a penalty all day long.

"It is just basic refereeing."

The managers

Southampton's Russell Martin:

"I haven't seen it back but at the time I thought it was a penalty. I feel for Wayne and if he's frustrated with that I would be as well. It was a moment of madness from Gav. He hadn't had a lot to do at that point.

It has been a really nice run, especially after the run that came before that.

"That probably makes me more proud of the players and the staff for the way they came through that. It has been beautiful to see the growth in that time.

"To see them smiling together and fighting for each other, it has been brilliant to be a part of it.

Birmingham's Wayne Rooney:

"These decisions happen when you don't have VAR. I'm not a fan of VAR and you accept referees and linesmen might make mistakes but what you can't accept is the penalty decision.

"It is ridiculous and everyone in the stadium could see it. The keeper is committed and is coming at pace and is reckless. If he is coming like that then he has to win the ball but he absolutely wipes out Burkey.

"The most frustrating thing is that the fourth official told me that the referee was clear in his decision and wasn't willing to take advice from his fourth official and assistant. He was clear there was minimal contact. That is a worry for me.

"I hope VAR doesn't filter down but we would have got a penalty if VAR was here. I know referees will make mistakes, I can accept that but for me that was too much and a big error."

What's next?

Both teams are back in action at 3pm on Saturday November 4. Southampton travel to The Den to take on Millwall, while Birmingham host Ipswich at St Andrew's.

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