West Brom 3 Birmingham City 2: Comeback win boosts Baggies' promotion hopes
West Brom boosted their hopes of securing automatic promotion from the Championship as they came from behind to beat Birmingham City 3-2 in a frantic derby.
Having fallen behind for the second time when Lukas Jutkiewicz headed in just before the hour, West Brom rallied through Jay Rodriguez's penalty before Jake Livermore hammered home to secure a significant win.
Birmingham, docked nine points last week for breaching financial rules on profitability and sustainability, had the better of the first half – Gary Gardner heading in early on, while Jutkiewicz squandered a great chance to double their lead.
Dwight Gayle should have made Birmingham pay for that profligacy on the stroke of half-time, only to head over from point-blank range, but he made amends after the restart, nodding in from Chris Brunt's excellent free-kick.
But like Gayle, Jutkiewicz made no mistake when afforded a second chance, directing Connor Mahoney's pinpoint delivery past Sam Johnstone.
Birmingham's lead was short-lived, though – Mahoney adjudged to have brought down Conor Townsend in the area, with Rodriguez sending Lee Camp the wrong way.
And the turnaround was complete in the 74th minute, Camp unable to keep out Livermore's powerful strike as West Brom moved to within four points of second-placed Sheffield United, while Birmingham, five points above 22nd-placed Rotherham United, are in danger of being dragged into a relegation scrap.