Deeney at double for Watford

Troy Deeney scored twice as Watford beat Birmingham 4-0 at St

Andrew’s to move above Leicester into third place in the

Championship.

Deeney finally got the better of Jack Butland with a free header

in the 38th minute after the England goalkeeper, back on loan with

City following his deadline-day move to Stoke, had denied the

visitors with a couple of fine saves.

Butland could have done better with Watford’s second on the

stroke of half-time having failed to keep out man-of-the-match

Ikechi Anya, although it was no more than the lively winger and the

Hornets deserved following an impressive and intricate attacking

display.

A well-worked counter-attack saw Anya claim his second assist of

the afternoon as he set up Deeney shortly after the hour mark,

before Almen Abdi fired home a fourth late on, with the

Hertfordshire side further strengthening their position as top

goalscorers in the Championship.

Birmingham, however, were booed off the pitch at full-time and

saw their recent resurgence clinically ended to remain in a

relegation scrap.

The game’s first real chance came after 22 minutes but Deeney

could only head wide Abdi’s corner from six yards.

Matej Vydra’s neat turn and half-volley was gathered well by

Butland at the second attempt before the City goalkeeper superbly

saved with his legs from Abdi.

Butland was again called into action to routinely collect

Vydra’s free-kick although Blues were probing well at the other

end, with Chris Burke particularly lively.

But it was Watford that broke the deadlock and never looked

back.

Nathaniel Chalobah, so commanding in midfield, flicked the ball

out to the right for Anya and he crossed for the unmarked Deeney to

head home from six yards in front of the Tilton Road Stand.

And the lively Anya doubled Watford’s advantage just before

half-time, teasing Paul Robinson – yet again – before drilling

straight through Butland.

The home side went in search of a quick route back into the game

at the start of the second half, Peter Lovenkrands denied from

close range before Wes Thomas agonisingly came within inches of

connecting with Paul Caddis’ cross.

But it was Watford, so clinical going forward, who added a third

shortly after the hour mark as a well-worked move finished with

Anya squaring for Deeney to convert.

There was still time for Abdi to add a fourth in the closing

stages after Butland had parried Cristian Battocchio’s effort to

the edge of the area.