Manchester United returned to the top of the Premier League table despite Lee Bowyer's last-minute equalizer for Birmingham City.
United usurped Manchester City but could not end Birmingham's 18-month run without a home defeat to top-six opposition.
Blues manager Alex McLeish battened the hatches for the visit of their glamorous opponents. Cameron Jerome was utilized as the lone front man, with Nikola Zigic sacrificed for Jean Beausejour who helped form a compact midfield-five.
For United, there was one change from the side that dispatched Sunderland 2-0 on Boxing Day. Darron Gibson was handed his first Premier League start of the season in place of Ji-Sung Park, who had traveled to Qatar to represent South Korea in the Asian Cup.