St Andrew's, Saturday 10 April 2004
BIRMINGHAM CITY 1
MANCHESTER UNITED 2
Ronaldo (60), Saha (78)
Birmingham: Maik Taylor, Martin Taylor, Cunningham, Upson, Lazaridis (Grainger 14) (Clapham 45); Johnson, Savage, Clemence (John 78), Hughes; Forssell, Morrison. Subs not used: Bennett, Tebily.
United: Carroll, G. Neville, Brown, Silvestre, O'Shea; Fletcher, Djemba-Djemba (Forlan 74), Scholes, Giggs (P. Neville 88); Saha, Solskjaer (Ronaldo 55). Subs not used: Howard, Butt.
Arsenal's 'Invincibles' had put together an almost unassailable lead at the top, although the Reds had beaten the Gunners in the FA Cup semi-finals the previous weekend. Steve Bruce's Birmingham were sitting sixth and full of confidence after thrashing Leeds 4-1 in their last home fixture.
Action: Both sides traded chances early on, Robbie Savage coming closest for the Blues when his shot cannoned back off the crossbar. The home side took the lead shortly before half-time when full-back Martin Grainger curled a quickly-taken free-kick beyond Roy Carroll's grasp. Sir Alex sent on Cristiano Ronaldo 10 minutes into the second half and it proved to be an inspired move, as the winger headed home Ryan Giggs' cross to level just five minutes after coming on. Giggs and Louis Saha both went close before they combined for the winner, the Frenchman rising highest to power home and ensure the points would be heading back up the M6.
Reaction: The Reds finished third, disappointing defeats at Portsmouth and Blackburn ending any chance of catching