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Troy love is Brum deal.

Byline: IAN BAKER at St Andrew's

BIRMINGHAM 0 WATFORD 1 Deeney 85 pen AITOR KARANKA admits he would love to sign Troy Deeney - after the boyhood Birmingham fan stunned his beloved club yet again.

The Watford captain blasted home an 85th-minute penalty on his 500th career league appearance to give his side only a second away win of the season.

It was the fifth time Deeney had scored against the Blues.

And, strangely, that earned him a hug from Birmingham boss Karanka at the finish.

Karanka said: "I love him. Ever since I've been in England, I've loved him.

"You can see he's a proper leader in the changing room.

"I have a very good relationship with him, he's a top player.

"I think he can play another 100 or 200 games.

"The only thing about him that's not so good is when he's an opponent in front of you.

"I know that he's a big Birmingham fan - he told me before the game and he told me he wanted to win the game.

"If he wants to come, I'd like to sign him. I need to speak to the CEO to see if we can borrow him!

"One day, hopefully, I can."

This game was a genuine shocker though.

Birmingham - after two good wins in a week - could have taken the lead as Mikel San Jose flicked Gary Gardner's first-half corner against the post.

However, it was Deeney, 32, who had an impact on the game in the second half - but that was with two poor misses.

First, he ran on to a Ben Wilmot long ball before a tame attempt to lob keeper Neil Etheridge.

Then Deeney headed well wide from a Ken Sema cross as it looked as if his luck against the Blues would run out.

But Kristian Pedersen brought down sub Stipe Perica and was handed a red card for his second booking.

And there was never any doubt that Deeney would score to put Watford fourth and a point off the top two.

Hornets boss Vladimir Ivic said: "I've said a lot of times how important Troy is for us.

"Troy is a very important player for us and we know he is a winner.

"His mentality is very positive for the team and he's the guy who can be a second coach on the pitch."

Ivic added: "It was an important three points, but we can't talk about the Premier League."

BIRMINGHAM CITY: Etheridge 6, Clarke-Salter 7 (Sanchez 79), San Jose 7, Roberts 6, Dacres-Cogley 6 (Colin 79), Gardner 7, Kieftenbeld 6 (Clayton 62, 6), Sunjic 6, Pedersen 5, Leko 5 (Halilovic 79), Jutkiewicz 5. Unused Subs: Prieto, Crowley, Hogan, McGree, Toral,

WATFORD: Foster 6, Ngakia 7, Troost-Ekong 7, Wilmot 7, Femenia 7, Chalobah 6, Garner 5 (Capoue 90, 5), Cleverley 6, Quina 5 (Perica 69, 7), Deeney 7, Sema 6. Unused Subs: Bachmann, Pedro, Gray, Navarro, Parkes, Crichlow, Phillips.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Troy Deeney. Kept his nerve to score trademark penalty against his boyhood club after a previously frustrating afternoon.

REFEREE: Matt Donohue 6.

that BIRMINGHAM WATFORD 2 ..Shots on Target 3 5 ..Shots off Target .1 5 .Corners ..6 13..Fouls10 0 Offsides..2 61.6.PassingSuccess%..68.1 315 . Total Passes..386 45.2..Possession % ..54.8 53.6..Territorial Adv %..46.4 VITAL STATS


ROAR POWER Deeney after scoring Hornets' winner from penalty spot

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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:IAN BAKER at St Andrew's
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 13, 2020
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