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  • Birmingham City 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Defoe,Ridgewell score

    Tottenham Hotspur's grip in fourth place in the Premier League table loosened after they were pegged back to a 1-1 draw by Birmingham City at St Andrews.

    Jermain Defoe's 15th league goal of the season but Spurs ahead with 20 minutes remaining, but a goal in stoppage time from Liam Ridgewell saw the Blues avoid a first home defeat since September.

    The result means that Spurs are now just one point above fifth-placed Liverpool, who beat Bolton Wanderers 2-0.

    Birmingham boss Alex McLeish named the same line-up for the 11th league match in a row, and their defending was as consistently solid as their starting XI.

    They had the game's first real chance when Lee Bowyer's shot was saved easily by Heurelho Gomes, but after that the visitors began the create the majority of the chances.

    David Bentley, retaining his place in the side after scoring in the 2-0 win over Fulham in the week, had an impressive showing. The midfielder had an effort saved at the near post by Joe Hart, after earlier setting up Luka Modric with a chance the Croatian drilled wide.

    Birmingham did have chances to take the lead, however, most notably through Christian Benitez. The Ecuadorian striker skilfully turned past the diving Michael Dawson on the edge of the Tottenham box but, having done the hard part, could only hit a tame finish at Gomes.

    Tottenham took control of the match in the second half, with Bentley drawing another save from Hart before Peter Crouch scuffed an excellent chance wide from close range.

    There were appeals for a penalty when a Tom Huddlestone strike from the edge of the box struck James McFadden, but referee Stuart Attwell decided the Scot did not handball.

    Their dominance was rewarded on 69 minutes when Crouch flicked on Gareth Bale's cross with a diving header and Defoe struck on the half-volley to register his first goal in five matches.

    It looked as though that was going to be enough to see Spurs strengthen their bid for Champions League football next season, but they threw away the points soon after the fourth official signalled for five minutes of added time.

    Birmingham rallied late on and when Cameron Jerome headed McFadden's ball back across goal, Ridgewell found himself unmarked at the far post to steer the ball in from close range for his second of the season.



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