Birmingham vs Southampton: Joe Aribo nets winner in 7-goal thriller

Nigeria international Joe Aribo was the match-winner as Southampton twice came from behind to beat Birmingham City in the English Championship.

In what was a very entertaining game at St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium on Saturday, seven goals were produced along with a sending-off.

Goals from Koji Miyoshi, Juninho Bacuna and Jay Stansfield looked to have won the game for Birmingham when they found themselves leading midway through the second half.

However, Southampton ended the game strongly, as Che Adams and Aribo scored to add to earlier strikes by Adam Amstrong and David Brooks to secure a 4-3 victory for the visitors.

Joe Aribo scores winner against Birmingham

For a moment it seemed Southampton were headed for a third straight defeat in the Championship following disappointing results against Hull City and Millwall in recent weeks.

However, Russell Martin’s side simply refused to give up despite conceding after just two minutes against Birmingham City.

The Saints had to come back from a goal down twice before Adams’ clinical finish in the 59th minute put them in front for the first time in the game.

Their lead, though, was cancelled late on when Bacuna restored parity for the hosts. There was, however, still time for some more late drama, with Aribo scoring in the 96th minute to win the game for Southampton.

The Nigerian nicely controlled Taylor Harwood-Bellis’ headed effort in the box before smashing the ball into the net with his left foot to send the Saints faithful into overdrive – with literally the last kick of the game.

Southampton boost promotion hopes after beating 10-man Birmingham

Meanwhile, the result means Southampton have now halted a run of three matches without a win (two in the Champions League and one in the FA Cup).

Martin’s side, however, had to do it the hard way despite playing over 30 minutes of the second with a man advantage after Birmingham’s Dion Sanderson received a straight red card.

The Saints have also boosted their promotion hopes, having moved up to fourth on the Championship table and are now only eight points below leaders Leicester City.

Meanwhile, Aribo’s winning goal is only his second in all competitions this season for Southampton.

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Emmanuel Ayamga

Emmanuel Ayamga is an African sports writer, with bylines on DW, Al Jazeera, World Soccer Magazine and These Football Times.