Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish paid tribute to Christian Benitez after he inspired his side to a 2-1 triumph at Portsmouth on Tuesday night.

The Ecuadorian forward fed strike partner Cameron Jerome for both his first-half goals and caused the Pompey rearguard all manner of problems in the opening 45 minutes.

Benitez had a golden opportunity to net one of his own after 39 minutes, when he beat the offside trap and rounded goalkeeper David James, only to be halted by a last-ditch tackle from Hermann Hreidarsson.

Despite costing £8.5 million, the 23-year-old has netted just three times this term, with his last goal coming in a 2-1 win at Everton on January 23.

But McLeish has been pleased with the South American's efforts in the last two games against Portsmouth.

He said: "I thought Chucho had lost a bit of confidence in the last few weeks. He had an injury and perhaps wasn't feeling quite his best.

"The players were finding it difficult to find him on the pitch and he wasn't getting into any of the little pockets he had been looking dangerous in during the early part of the season.

"He came on last Saturday and I think he got a wee lift from his performance. He created a bit and he looked very dangerous tonight."