Birmingham City 2 Blackburn Rovers 1
You had to feel sorry for Steve Bruce. A victory for Birmingham City, the one that finally removed the spec-tre of relegation, and all the talk is about that human peacock we call Robbie Savage.
Bruce, the Birmingham manager, sold Savage to Blackburn Rovers in January but it is a subject that will not go away. Apparently, there was a gentlemen's agreement between the clubs to ensure that Savage did not play on Saturday.
Mercifully, Savage was nowhere to be seen - he might have been lynched had he turned up - but he was there in spirit, arousing all sorts of abuse from the Birmingham supporters.
"You can stick your Robbie Savage up your a***," they sang as Birmingham, in defeating Blackburn 2-1, reminded us that the player in question did not necessarily take a forward step in leaving St Andrew's.
Not that Birmingham have flourished in his absence. Their squad continues to improve but, as Bruce would admit, they have underachieved badly this season. They have only won four Premiership matches since Savage left.
How can a team that boasts Emile Heskey, Mario Melchiot, Matthew Upson and Kenny Cunningham be festering in the bottom half of the Premiership? Why did they make such hard work of defeating a poor Blackburn team?
Birmingham, began well, enjoyed much of the possession, but won only after coming from behind to a 13th-minute goal by Jonathan Stead. Birmingham's goals came in the final half-hour, from Robbie Blake and Heskey, with the prevailing emotion at the end one of relief rather than euphoria.
"I thought it was going to be one of those days," Bruce said. "We started off brightly and had two chances before they scored, but in the end I think justice was done and the better team won."
Or, rather, the worst team lost.
Birmingham's football was erratic and the team might have lost had it not been for the skill of Jermaine Pennant on the right flank, the strength of Heskey upfront and the composure of Stephen Clemence in midfield.
This was Birmingham's first victory in six matches and it should have been easier than it was.
How different it might have been had a shot by Walter Pandiani, which hit the inside of the post, registered a goal. How different it might have been had the Birmingham defenders not lost their concentration to allow Stead to head home unmarked from six yards.
Fortunately for Bruce, the final half-hour provided much about which he could smile. He substituted Mehdi Nafti, replaced him with Blake, then watched the striker equalise in the 61st minute with a neat finish after a good move involving Clemence, Stan Lazaridis, Pandiani and Heskey.
"Sometimes that happens straight after making a substitution," Bruce said. "But one thing for certain is that when Robbie got in a position to score, I knew he would not miss." Bruce was equally confident about Heskey's chances of scoring from 20 yards in the 80th minute. This time Blake was the provider, flicking the ball into the path of Heskey who scored with a fierce low shot to seal the victory.
Heskey has become the most under-rated striker in the Premiership. Many observers thought that he was past his peak when Liverpool sold him to Birmingham for £6.25 million last summer but, if anything, he has improved.
The arrival of Pennant on the right of midfield has given Heskey new options, even if the jury is still out on Pandiani.
It is not known if he will be playing for Birmingham next season. On loan from Deportivo La Coruna, he may yet return to Spain or move elsewhere in the Premiership.
One thing is certain - he is not a prolific goalscorer and nor is Heskey, so the onus is on the midfield to score more than they have. It is a conundrum for Bruce, who is still lamenting the day, last August, when Mikael Forssell suffered a knee injury and returned to Chelsea.
Birmingham have not really recovered. They have enjoyed brief periods of good form - usually against the better teams - but nothing that would suggest sustained success.