‘Aston Villa Scott Hogan’ – How strikers in Birmingham City are moving in opposite directions


Birmingham City jumped to the brink of championship safety when Lukas Jutkiewicz scored his 15th goal of the season.The striker jumped in the third minute of added time when the 31-year-old pushed him at point-blank range to give the Blues the draw they deserved.

Twenty-four shots from Charlton’s seven and a performance in a different stratosphere than the ones they shot against Huddersfield and Stoke meant they deserved this late reprieve.

That leaves the Blues five points behind the relegation zone, with only six left to play – and even if you will never stop Birmingham City from finding a way to trip on this safe basis, if a club could do it, it is this one – they should now be careful.

How it got there – looking for home points against a threatened relegation opposition is a discussion for the days and weeks to come – but for now, it’s worth admitting that this match was the story of two attackers.

First Jutkiewicz – and his display of never saying who rightly made him the savior of the evening – and secondly Scott Hogan, his striking partner who plundered seven goals from a dozen chances before the lockout and that looks totally messy since the recovery.

After the pitiful non-performance at Bet 365 on Sunday, the Blues received a rocket from their captain Harlee Dean. People did not work for their comrades.

They did it tonight – Jutkiewicz led the way and was ready for battle on the first whistle, he had won half a dozen headers in the first five minutes, Hogan and Jeremie Bela had enough to run.

But in terms of scoring chances, he had to be patient, 93 minutes in fact, until Jude Bellingham sent in a cross, pushed by Dean and the job of Jutkiewicz to set a new career record for a single season.

He is the head and shoulders the exceptional candidate for the player of the year and is the only blues player to appear in each championship match.

Forced to attack for the first half of the season, with only Alvaro Gimenez surpassed and Kerim Mrabti inconsistent for support, Jutkiewicz looted eight goals in late December.

Hogan’s arrival gave him a much needed boost – and Blues the platform from which to spare the strange thought for something grander than a new drop avoided.

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In their first weeks together, Hogan was a master finisher in his first appearances. Clinical and every inch, the 12 million pound striker Aston Villa thought they were signing for Brentford in 2017.

However, his form has fallen off a cliff over the past few weeks, he had a decent opportunity in the West Brom match, which he led directly to Sam Johnstone.

Since then, it has gone near the post when the ball has gone deep, the back stick when it has been played close, to the left when the team has gone to the right and to the right when the game has gone to the left.

His body management is missed, there is a trip and tangled feet when he is near the ball and the missed penalty tonight will have taken a few percentage points off his confidence.

Pep Clotet wanted Brentford Scott Hogan, Steve Spooner got Aston Villa Scott Hogan and in most other championship teams he would be taken off the line of fire.

However, this is the Birmingham City team, the one that was dangerously abandoned early on by the CEO and left no one but teenager Jayden Reid in competition.

Hopefully Hogan will score for the Blues again, ideally in the next two games – and then what? Did he undo the good work of his first months?

It has started but scorers are a scarce commodity and the images of Jutkiewicz and Hogan combining so instinctively in the spring are not easily forgotten.

For the moment however, two attackers who seemed so in step are walking on different rhythms.


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