The first half was poor. When Bowyer was incorrectly flagged offside we got lucky, the reason Birmingham came into the game was the fact that were outnumbered in the midfield battle on two many occasions, the Birmingham corner that led to their first goal came when Sagna gave the ball away casually in a dangerous area. Having said that Zigic was given too much space for his header and our defenders did not attack the second ball well enough. Szczesny was then forced into a great block from Zigic when clean through. We did then have a good spell before half time, RVP's fantastic volley was special, we didn't really want half time to come.
Other than a slightly fortunate chance when the ball broke kindly for Birmingham and they hit the post, the second half was one way traffic, we pounded them as the half wore on. Really we should have taken one of the chances that came our way, Nasri blasted a couple at Foster from good positions, Foster made some decent blocks, but we didn't really force the Birmingham keeper into any top notch saves, most of our shots were straight at him.
Birmingham were distinctly second best in the second half but they got the goal and that is what counts. Koscielny must take the blame, his delay in clearing and his mishit clearance left Martins with a tap in, it was truly agonising stuff, it came at a time in the game when we were creating chance after chance, Birmingham looked dead, yet this suicidal piece of defending gifted them a win that they so scarcely deserved.
Birmingham did well given their limited resources and lack of talent, but I feel Arsene played into their hands with his team selection, part of the problem is our lack of some decent all round midfielders in the squad, a fully fit Ramsey would have been perfect alongside Song and Wilshere, also our lack of absolute pace in the squad is obvious without Theo fit. The way Birmingham play is not attractive and it crosses lines at times, but they were always going to turn the game into a scrap and we should have been more ready for this than we were. Well done Birmingham, we may have shot ourselves in the head, but you took advantage and made us pay for our lack of tactical awareness and sloppy defending.