Birmingham City 1-1 Everton

BirminghamBirmingham City 1-1 EvertonEverton

All the talk at Birmingham City this week has been about events off the pitch, but the players seemed to be well focussed on the job on hand as they produced a battling display to draw with Everton.

Once again, it was the highly rated Mauro Zarate who came to the Blues rescue, striking a late free-kick to rescue a point for the Midlands team and at the same time, denting the Champions League aspirations of David Moyes’ men.

In a game full of chances, Liam Ridgewell volleyed over from six yards before Cameron Jermome headed against the Everton woodwork.

Tim Howard made sensational one-handed saves to deny Radhi Jaidi and James McFadden before Joleon Lescott headed Everton in front from close range.

But substitute Zarate struck a curling equaliser after a handball by Lee Carsley.

With relegation rivals Bolton defeating West Ham, Zarate’s strike could prove to be hugely significant.

Birmingham now sit two points above third-bottom Bolton with four games of the season left to play.

But the result is a major blow for Everton’s fading hopes of snatching fourth place from Liverpool. They are now two points behind the Reds, who have a game in hand and play Blackburn tomorrow.

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