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BLUES 2 FC NURNBERG 1

mcfadden A Garry O'Connor goal after just 11 seconds and a James McFadden strike gave Blues a 2-1 win over 1.FC Nurnberg in Austria.

Alex McLeish's side made it three victories in as many matches and drew a line under what has been a valuable pre-season tour.

Once again Blues played some excellent football - the attack-minded philosophy adopted by McLeish and his side has been a real feature of the trip.

The small but noisy crowd had barely had time to take their places when Blues took the lead from the kick-off.

The ball was fed to McFadden and he burst past his man and sent in a delicious cross that O'Connor gleefully powered home with his head.

Gary McSheffrey - another lively performer who has shown his versatility by playing out on the right and the left in Austria - was booked for a late challenge soon after.

mutchOn the quarter-hour mark Nurnberg levelled the scores after Blues' defence had been caught napping.

No-one cleared to safety from a throw-in and Peter Perchtold lashed an arrowing shot across Maik Taylor and into the top corner from ten yards.

Less than 60 seconds later Blues hit back with the perfect response.

Seb Larsson - playing his first pre-season game since returning from muscle soreness - crossed from the right and when the keeper fumbled McFadden showed his class with a shot on the turn that rifled into the net.

Once again the rain poured down, but was no distraction to Blues who kept creating opportunities.

naftiMartin Taylor twice hit the post with headers and Larsson saw a free-kick tipped over.

Soon after the break Lee Carsley's shot was saved by Daniel Klewer as Blues carried on where they had left off.

But Nurnberg were a stiffer test in the second half, and gave Blues plenty more to think about. Colin Doyle - on at the break as a replacement for Maik Taylor - twice reacting smartly to deny Greek international striker Angelos Charisteas.

The second period was thin on chances but still a good run-out for those involved, and the noisy band of Blues fans who had travelled to the game got their first glance of new boy Marcus Bent when he came on for the last half hour.

bentThe backline, which included Stephen Kelly at centre-back after half-time, were well organised in keeping Nurnberg at bay and the final whistle signalled a successful pre-season trip and a trio of thoroughly deserved wins.

Blues: Taylor (Doyle 46), Parnaby, Taylor (Kelly 46), Ridgewell (Jaidi 46), Murphy (Wilson 83), Larsson (Mutch 46), Nafti (Phillips 46), McSheffrey (Zola 70), Carsley, McFadden (Bent 62), O'Connor (Jerome 46).

Nurnberg: Klewer, Goncalves, Gygax, Masmanidis, Perchtold, Bieler, Kluge, Pinola, Avardonedo, Reinhardt, Vittek. Subs: Stephan, Wolf, Charisteas, Mintal, Judt, Kammermeyer, Engelhardt, Pagenburg, Mnari, Breska.
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