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2016/17 English League Championship, 2016/2017 English League Championship
  • Lloyd Dyer (36')
  • Lucas Akins (52')

Birmingham City 0-2 Burton Albion

Gianfranco Zola's miserable reign as Birmingham boss came to an end after the Blues slumped into the bottom five of the Sky Bet Championship following a home defeat to Burton.
Zola resigned immediately after the 2-0 loss at St Andrew's which saw Birmingham fall to within three points of the drop zone, while opponents Burton eased their own relegation fears.
The visitors completed the season double over Birmingham thanks to goals in either half from Lloyd Dyer and Lucas Akins.
Burton's second goal prompted an immediate chant of ``we want Zola out'' from the disgruntled home fans, and they got their wish soon after full-time with the Italian handing in his notice.
Birmingham had picked up just four points from a possible 27 under the Italian and Monday's display was another poor, disjointed and dejected performance from a demoralised Blues side who slipped ever closer to relegation.
It could have been different, though, if home striker Lukas Jutkiewicz had not missed an open goal in only the fourth minute.
Burton goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin came racing out in an attempt to punch the ball clear only to fail in his objective. The ball fell to Jutkiewicz who, with the goal at his mercy, screwed his shot wide.
The visitors, making their first ever visit to St Andrew's, responded with a chance of their own and it was only a timely intervention by Ryan Shotton which prevented Dyer hitting the target.
Burton lost McLaughlin in the 29th minute when he was injured after David Davis fell on top of him, with Stephen Bywater taking his place.
That injury was a setback for the Brewers but within seven minutes they were celebrating after capitalising on some poor play in midfield to break through and score.
Goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak bravely blocked Luke Varney's shot only for the much-travelled Dyer - who had a loan spell with Birmingham two years ago - to convert the rebound from close range.
To add injury to insult Kuszczak picked up a knock in that incident and failed to reappear for the second half.
His spot was taken by Adam Legzdins, who had only been on the pitch for seven minutes when Burton made it 2-0.
The visitors dominated play at the start of the second half and were rewarded when, following a corner on the right, Akins scored on the turn from inside the six-yard box.
That prompted the Birmingham fans to vent their anger, but the result could have been even more chastening in the end as Varney hit the post late on for Burton, who claimed their first win in four matches.
For Birmingham, the result leaves them worryingly close to the bottom three and with only three matches for Zola's replacement to turn things round - starting with Sunday's trip to Aston Villa.
ends

English League Championship Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Norwich City 17 +8 33
2 Middlesbrough 17 +11 31
3 Leeds United 17 +12 30
4 Sheffield United 17 +8 30
5 West Bromwich Albion 17 +12 28
6 Derby County 17 +5 28
7 Nottingham Forest 17 +7 27
8 Swansea City 17 +6 26
9 Blackburn Rovers 17 -1 26
10 Queens Park Rangers 17 -4 26
11 Aston Villa 17 +4 24
12 Birmingham City 17 +3 24
13 Bristol City 17 +1 22
14 Stoke City 17 -1 22
15 Brentford 17 +4 21
16 Wigan Athletic 17 -7 20
17 Sheffield Wednesday 17 -9 20
18 Preston North End 17 -4 18
19 Rotherham United 17 -9 18
20 Reading 17 -5 16
21 Millwall 17 -7 16
22 Hull City 17 -8 16
23 Bolton Wanderers 17 -12 16
24 Ipswich Town 17 -14 11