Brum boss ecstatic with Everton draw

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Birmingham boss Alex McLeish saw his side's five-match winning stretch come to an end after Sunday's 1-1 draw at Everton but declared himself satisfied with the battling performance.

Diniyar Bilyaletdinov's sixth-minute strike put the Toffees ahead in a game they dominated but Sebastian Larsson's 22nd-minute effort levelled things up and the visitors defended resolutely under pressure after the interval.

"We were hoping we would remain intact on this unbeaten run up to Christmas Day," said McLeish, whose side have gone nine matches without defeat in the Barclays Premier League. "To come to Goodison, not play that great and get a point I suppose is a fantastic bonus."

McLeish accepted his side had got lucky with some of the officials' decisions, with Louis Saha having a goal wrongly ruled out for offside moments after Everton's opener and then Stephen Carr appearing to handle the ball when he challenged the Frenchman.

"I know Louis Saha was not offside. We have had some like that go against us but it shows you, in a split-second decision, how difficult it is for the linesman," said the Scot.

On Carr's possible handball McLeish added: "Looking from the dug-out I thought someone threw their arm up and people are telling me that now but no-one seemed to bat an eyelid.

"It's one of those strange ones. What was the decision given, a goal-kick?"

Everton boss David Moyes said: "I'm frustrated because we had opportunities in a game which I feel we were in control of and should have won.

"I didn't think Saha's disallowed goal would be the turning point at the time because I thought we were dominating the game and playing so well we would go on a score more goals.

"I thought our play was fine but I thought in the final third we were wasteful in our final pass and finish."

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Sebastian Larsson

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