Troy Deeney decision pays off as Birmingham City secure first win in six weeks

Match Report

Troy Deeney produced a brilliant second half display to inspire Birmingham City to a first win in eight games.

The striker also struck the team’s first goal in nine hours and 52 minutes to set Blues on their way to a vital three points.

Swansea equalised through Michael Obafemi with 13 minutes to go but Deeney then set up Riley McGree to ram home a second goal and deliver a deserved victory.

Lee Bowyer made two changes to his starting line-up, both up front where Deeney, who wore the captain’s armband, came in to play alongside Scott Hogan.

The Irish international thought he opened the scoring in the first half, but it was disallowed. Tahith Chong took possession on the right and with his left-foot sent in an inswinger which Hogan nodded home – only for the assistant to raise the offside flag.

Bowyer’s team made a fast start to the second period as Chong broke with purpose down the left wing.

The Manchester United man looked up and saw Deeney on the far side of the box. The skipper took a touch and fired a right foot shot low and hard past Hamer.

Five minutes later Deeney sent Hogan clean through, with the entire Swansea half to run into. Hogan tried to go around Hamer only for an outstretched hand to deny him.

Blues had opportunities to add to their lead, but were made to pay when Gardner gave the ball away in the visitors’ half and one sweeping pass from Ryan Manning sent Irish teammate Michael Obafemi clear.

The striker made light of Friend’s presence and drilled low into the corner.

Just when it seemed more frustration was on the horizon Deeney won an 83rd-minute tackle and poked McGree clear.

The Australian’s shot squirmed under Hamer and he regained his feet to ram gleefully home in front of the Tilton Road end.

Read Brian Dick’s Blues Player Ratings Here

What Lee Bowyer said

“It was between [Deeney] and Robbo it was a difficult decision but I know what it’s like to play for your boyhood club,” Bowyer said after the game.

“For him to captain his boyhood club, I know that would mean a lot to him. I know he is a leader anyway, a winner, a fighter. I believe it was the right decision to make.

“I try not to make big deals out of things like that, I didn’t even tell him. Someone else would have told him. I don’t want to put more pressure on him so I have left him out a little bit.

“There’s so much pressure, I have been in this situation. You are going to play for your boyhood club, you want to show everyone how good and amazing you are.

“Then sometimes you can go the other way because you try too hard but this week in training he has been excellent, a little bit sharper. Maybe that weight off his shoulders has been lifted.

“He deserved to be captain because he is a leader, a winner all those things, and I know it might mean the world and give him and us as a team that little bit more of an edge. And it paid off.”

Read More of Lee Bowyer’s Reaction To Blues’ Win Over Swansea Here

What Russell Martin said

“We were tired, there’s no doubt about it,” the Swansea City manager told Wales Online.

“We lacked the intensity that we had in the previous two games.

“I thought we had a lot of control in the first half without really threatening, I don’t think they threatened at all either, really.

“It’s been physically and emotionally a really tough week.

“They looked dangerous, they looked a threat and it was just energy, we couldn’t match that energy…”

Read More Of Russell Martin’s Reaction To Blues’ Win Over Swansea Here

What the fans said

@AdamPease12: What an afternoon, you can’t get much better than this!! Deeney in front of the home crowd with a goal, McGree late winner. Can’t get a better day at the office. KRO

@Mikeivory1: Deeney MOTM, goal and assist, won everything today. Special shout out to Graham at right wing back too

@LeeMarkoKRO: Well done Bowyer, Deenery and McGree well done Blues… that’s what I like to see, fight and passion wins you games

@outofcontextbirmingham: Pinch me

@DeanWSmith: What difference a win makes!! Colossal second half performance and the local boy came good with a great goal!

@gazgetgnarley: Second half performance was brilliant. Was nice to see the team press together and not as individuals.

See More Reaction From The Blues Fan Base Here

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