Klasnic strike enough to sink Birmingham

Bolton Wanderers 2 Birmingham City 1

Birmingham, despite losing to goals from Kevin Davies and Ivan Klasnic, celebrated their best league finish since 1959; for Bolton, the summer holds the prospect of looking forward to a tenth consecutive season of Premier League football. By such standards are campaigns viewed a success for many outside the division's elite.

Security long since assured, the fact this was just about as low-key as any fixture on the day's card should not have come as too much of a surprise and led to each side throwing caution to the wind to a large extent. In the case of Bolton, that led to Davies slipping his marker to meet Paul Robinson's left-wing free-kick with a header, seven yards out, which gave Joe Hart no chance. The home team's lead was doubled just before the hour as the latest in a series of clever passes from Jack Wilshere played in Vladimir Weiss who, with the aid of some terrible defending, squared for Klasnic to score. The visitors fought back through lively substitute Christian Benitez who was awarded a 75th-minute penalty after a minor entanglement with Zat Knight. After Benitez's kick was well saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen – who then blocked Lee Bowyer's follow-up attempt – James McFadden eventually scrambled the ball home at the far post.

The fact it had taken Birmingham three attempts to score from the penalty summed up their problems on the day, if not the season as a whole. Alex McLeish's side might have been on their way to making mathematically certain of ninth place inside the opening 90 seconds when a good run from Cameron Jerome climaxed in an intelligent pass back across the area, which Bowyer completely mis-hit.

Hart, one of the big success stories among many at St Andrew's this season, saved superbly from Matt Taylor, but Jerome, twice, and Bowyer were again guilty of poor misses from promising situations.

City's frustrations might have worsened considerably before the interval after Wilshere's shot appeared to hit the arm of Liam Ridgewell in the area and, after no penalty had been awarded Taylor again missed woefully. The introduction of Benitez, however, added mobility and urgency to the attack and the Ecuador international glanced wide moments before winning the penalty that brought down the curtain on a season to remember for Birmingham.

Bolton (4-4-2): Jaaskelainen; Steinsson, Knight, Cahill, Robinson; Weiss (Chung-Yong, 66), Muamba, Wilshere, Taylor; K Davies, Klasnic. Substitutes not used: Samuel, Gardner, M Davies, Ricketts, Al Habsi.

Birmingham (4-4-2): Hart; Carr, Johnson, Ridgewell, Vignal; Larsson (Benitez, 66), Ferguson, Bowyer, McFadden; Jerome, Michel (Fahey 75). Substitutes not used: Taylor, Murphy, Fahey, Parnaby, Carsley, Mutch.

Referee: K Friend (Leicestershire).

Booked: Bolton Klasnic; Birmingham Ridgewell, McFadden, Johnson.

Man of the match: Weiss.

Attendance: 22,863.

England watch

Despite conceding twice, Joe Hart will not have done his World Cup chances any harm as the 23-year-old keeper was let down by his defence for both goals and saved superbly, early, from Matt Taylor. Bolton defender Gary Cahill put in a solid display but did allow Cameron Jerome a lot of space at times which a better opponent would have exploited.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
David Silva strokes home his and City's second goal
football
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
Extras
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
indybest

News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas