Bowyer late show pegs back United
Manchester United are set to end 2010 on top of the Barclays Premier League despite Dimitar Berbatov's goal being cancelled out late on by Birmingham midfielder Lee Bowyer in the 1-1 draw St Andrew's.
Berbatov followed his double in the Boxing Day win over Sunderland with what looked another decisive contribution to take his tally for the campaign to 15 goals.
But Bowyer, who had scored the winner against Chelsea last month, equalised with a minute of normal time remaining to lift Birmingham out of the bottom three.
Berbatov made an early run into the Birmingham box but Sebastian Larsson was alert to the situation and halted United's leading scorer. Larsson then showed his attacking prowess with an inviting cross from the right flank, but Cameron Jerome was unable to keep his header down and it flew harmlessly over the bar.
United went close to breaking the deadlock after 18 minutes after Anderson released the overlapping Ryan Giggs. His cross-cum-shot almost deceived Foster but he managed to finger-tip the ball on to his right-hand post.
Michael Carrick gave away a free-kick when he jumped into the back of Jerome 20 yards out but Larsson curled his shot just wide.
Birmingham, beaten at home only once in 16 months, started the second half in positive fashion. Larsson sent a flick header across the face of goal from Jerome's cross after good play by Beausejour, Bowyer had a shot deflected for a corner and then Gardner volleyed straight at Van der Sar from 12 yards.
Then after 58 minutes Berbatov broke the deadlock.Gibson played a probing pass into the path of the striker who came inside Liam Ridgewell before drilling a low shot past Foster into the corner of the net for his eighth goal in his last three starts.
The Bulgarian almost added a second goal two minutes later when his low shot beat the dive of Ben Foster and clipped the outside of a post.
But there was still time for a twist, and with a minute remaining in regulation time Bowyer rescued a point for Birmingham when a deep cross from Johnson was helped on by Zigic, with a hint of handball, and fell into the path of the former England midfielder who made no mistake.