United beat Birmingham

  • 1 October 2007

Cristiano Ronaldo struck five minutes after half-time to give Manchester United victory at Birmingham and move them second in the Premier League.

United lost keeper Edwin van der Sar through injury at half-time and had to survive a spirited Birmingham display.

United restored all their big names after a shadow side lost to Coventry in the Carling Cup at Old Trafford - but it was Birmingham who posed the bigger threat in the first 45 minutes.

Jerome forced a fine diving save out of Van der Sar when he was presented with possession by Paul Scholes - then did well to stop Queudrue's header from the resulting corner. Sebastian Larsson's cross found McSheffrey at the far post, but his effort was smuggled off the line by Ferdinand.

Jerome then failed to take advantage of a poor clearance by Van der Sar as United looked uncertain at the back.

Van der Sar needed lengthy treatment to his left foot midway through the half, and despite carrying on until the interval, he was replaced by Tomasz Kuszczak.

United needed a break, and Queudrue's horrendous loss of concentration handed it to them five minutes after the re-start. He allowed a ball to bounce in the area, seemingly unaware of Ronaldo's menacing presence, allowing the Portuguese star to steal in, take possession and evade Taylor to score.

Birmingham responded in spirited fashion, with Kuszczak producing a fine diving save to turn away a shot from McSheffrey that had deflected dangerously off Ferdinand.

United almost doubled their lead immediately, but Stephen Kelly cleared Wayne Rooney's effort to safety.