Redknapp’s Birmingham avoid relegation by beating Bristol City

Striker Che Adams had already twice gone close before hitting Blues' matchwinner at Ashton Gate

Striker Che Adams had already twice gone close before hitting Blues’ matchwinner at Ashton Gate

Che Adams scored the only goal of the game at Ashton Gate as Harry Redknapp’s Birmingham City beat Bristol City to ensure survival in the Championship.

With both Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers winning their games, Blues also had to win to stay up.

But Redknapp’s side kept cool to earn their second straight victory.

Blues’ goal came on 16 minutes from striker Adams, only playing as last week’s red card against Huddersfield Town was overturned.

The lively Adams had already twice gone close in the first six minutes, forcing good saves from Fabian Giefer. But he then muscled his way down the middle to latch onto Lukas Jutkiewicz’s ball over the top, before holding off two challenges, then turning to fire low right-footed under Giefer.

Craig Gardner also tested Giefer with a powerful 40-yard shot that had to be tipped over. But, in the end, Adams’ seventh goal of the season – and his second this season against Bristol City – got the job done to earn Blues only their fourth league win in 25 Championship games.

Having survived on the last day for the second time in four seasons, Blues climbed a place to stand 19th in the final table, two places and just a point behind Bristol, who had assured their own safety by winning at Brighton week earlier.

Before replacing Gary Rowett with Gianfranco Zola in mid-December, Blues were outside the play-off places only on goal difference, prior to their dramatic nosedive under Zola.

Redknapp, brought in to replace the sacked Zola with less than three weeks of the season left, only had three games to keep Blues up. But, in those three matches his team have equalled the number of league wins they had in Zola’s 22 games in charge.

After just 20 days in charge, with former Bristol City boss Steve Cotterill and ex-West Bromwich Albion midfielder Paul Groves as his backroom team, 70-year-old Redknapp now has to decide whether to remain in charge next season.

Harry Redknapp celebrated his second win in three games in charge as Birmingham City boss<!–

Harry Redknapp celebrated his second win in three games in charge as Birmingham City boss

Bristol City manager Lee Johnson:

“It was a difficult game for us but I’m proud of the players in the way they kept going to the end.

“The big picture for me is the fantastic run we’ve been on. Those last five or six games have turned around the season.

“It stands the club in great stead moving forward. If we can add one or two players in the summer that will give us a boost.”

Birmingham City manager Harry Redknapp told BBC WM:

“It was a fantastic feeling when the referee put the whistle in his mouth. It was tense. We were hanging in there at the end.

“They hit us with balls into the box and we had to keep winning the first or second ball. We kept getting bodies in the way and dealing with it and the lads were fantastic.

“We knew what was going on around us. They were signing ‘you’re going down’ when Blackburn scored and I knew Forest would win. But we’ve managed to get the result. The buzz is fantastic when you get a result like that.”

Live Text

Match ends, Bristol City 0, Birmingham City 1.

Stephen Gleeson (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Second Half ends, Bristol City 0, Birmingham City 1.

Nsue (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card.

Bailey Wright (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by David Davis (Birmingham City).

Tomasz Kuszczak (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt missed. Aden Flint (Bristol City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high following a corner.

Attempt blocked. Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Lee Tomlin with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Bristol City. Conceded by David Davis.

Foul by Bailey Wright (Bristol City).

Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Joe Bryan (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by David Davis (Birmingham City).

Foul by Marlon Pack (Bristol City).

Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Bailey Wright.

Substitution, Birmingham City. Stephen Gleeson replaces Che Adams.

Attempt missed. Milan Djuric (Bristol City) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Callum O’Dowda with a cross.

Attempt missed. Craig Gardner (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

Foul by Aden Flint (Bristol City).

Che Adams (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Bailey Wright (Bristol City) header from very close range is too high. Assisted by Lee Tomlin with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Bristol City. Conceded by David Davis.

Hand ball by Bailey Wright (Bristol City).

Substitution, Bristol City. Callum O’Dowda replaces Jamie Paterson.

Attempt missed. Joe Bryan (Bristol City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Lee Tomlin.

Substitution, Birmingham City. Clayton Donaldson replaces Jacques Maghoma.

Foul by Milan Djuric (Bristol City).

Krystian Bielik (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Joe Bryan.

Foul by Bailey Wright (Bristol City).

Che Adams (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution, Birmingham City. Krystian Bielik replaces Lukas Jutkiewicz because of an injury.

Foul by Milan Djuric (Bristol City).

David Davis (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Josh Brownhill (Bristol City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Lee Tomlin.

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