Birmingham City ended a run of three straight defeats as they defeated Middlesbrough at St Andrew’s on Friday night.
The Blues opened the scoring just after the half-hour mark when midfielder Fran Villalba coolly slotted home his first for the club following a neat pass from right-back Maxime Colin.
Pep Clotet then needed late heroics from substitute Odin Bailey, who was only making his third senior appearance for the west Midlands side, as he headed home from close range with less than a minute remaining on the clock.
Boro had equalised just moments earlier with Daniel Ayala bundling home a cross from Britt Assombalonga, who had robbed captain Harlee Dean of the ball to tee up his centre-back.
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The late winner was just deserts for the home side as they recorded 26 attempts at goal in comparison to Middlesbrough’s five, per WhoScored.
Birmingham midfielder Ivan Sunjic, in particular, has been receiving glowing praise from the Blues faithful following the victory.
One supporter claimed he was the next Robbie Savage while another believed the club haven’t had a central midfielder of that quality since Barry Ferguson.
A further member of the St Andrew’s crowd called him a ‘Rolls-Royce’ with others describing his performance as ‘total quality’ and ‘different class.’
Here’s the best of the reaction:
What we’ve missed for years, haven’t had a centre mid like it since Barry Ferguson
— Tim Hutchinson (@R6_VoLT) October 4, 2019
Unbelievable!! Class player and class record signing…. we have been waiting for a midfielder like him for years ??
— Michael Edwards (@BcfcMichael) October 4, 2019
Next Robbie savage
— Max Bradley (@maxbradley_) October 4, 2019
He is another level total quality
— shem (@shemtheory) October 4, 2019
Ivan was immense
— KARLFZONE (@KARLFZONE) October 5, 2019
Cannot believe his 22 playing like a boss! Great signing and dare I say it best in years!
— Jasper Hicks (@hicks_jasper) October 5, 2019
He owned that midfield tonight ??
— Jessica Emmie (@jessica_emmie28) October 4, 2019
— Adam (@T1987Adam) October 4, 2019
Absolute class act this guy, can’t wait til hes really settled
— Neil Curtis BCFC (@neilcurtis1969) October 4, 2019
— Gary Cooper (@gcooper100) October 5, 2019