Everton beats Birmingham 2-0 to record first win
BIRMINGHAM, England (AP)
Everton finally recorded its first win of the Premier League season, ending Birmingham's 18-match unbeaten run at home in the Premier League with a 2-0 win.
The visitors scored their first away goal this term on 54 minutes when Birmingham defender Roger Johnson deflected the ball into his own net from Leon Osman's cross.
Tim Cahill made sure of the points in injury time with a header from Leighton Baines' deep cross as Everton climbed off the bottom of the table - and ensured city rival Liverpool drops into the relegation zone ahead of its game against Blackpool on Sunday.
''Birmingham have a great home record and for us to end it after more than 12 months was really great from our point of view,'' Everton manager David Moyes said. ''The players needed to see the way we were playing was going to get them rewards points-wise - and we got it today.
''But I am not jumping about because we've won again because I expect us to go on and win a lot of matches.''
Birmingham had not lost at home in the Premier League in more than a year, but it has only won once this season and Alex McLeish's side again looked short of creativity in the final third.
''I have thrown down the gauntlet to all our strikers,'' McLeish said. ''Places are up for grabs in the front areas. I want to see more in training and reserve matches and the opportunity is there for someone.
''Cameron Jerome is putting himself about up front but we need someone else to be a threat up there.''
Everton could have gone ahead sooner than it did. Cahill headed straight at Birmingham 'keeper Ben Foster, who also gathered a Seamus Coleman header in a busy first half.
After Yakubu and Cahill missed two more chances, Birmingham almost took the lead with its first attack after 26 minutes but Jerome shot wastefully wide after a defensive error by Sylvain Distin.
Yakubu was denied by Foster and Osman shot over before Everton finally took a deserved lead through Johnson's unfortunate own goal.
City became more of a threat when striker Nikola Zigic replaced Keith Fahey as Lee Bowyer snatched at a good chance, but Everton sealed the win with a trademark header from Cahill.