Jude Bellingham proved Birmingham’s lucky omen in an impressive win over Reading, but it was a player on the opposite end of the experience scale who stole the show.
The England superstar was on hand to bid farewell to his beloved boyhood club, two years after leaving them for Borussia Dortmund and England stardom.
And the teenager saw veteran Troy Deeney, making his 600th appearance in professional football, at the center of a searing display from the Blues, who killed the game with three goals in the opening 36 minutes.
Troy Deeney opened the scoring for Birmingham before adding a second in the 23rd minute
All three goals, starting with Deeney’s opener after 63 seconds, were the result of terrible defensive slips by visitors Paul Ince.
Juninho Bacuna’s curling cross was sent into the box by Reading’s Mamadou Loum and Deaney took deft control before burying the 175th goal of his career.
It set the tone for a frantic first half and former Walsall and Watford striker Deeney didn’t have long to wait for goal number 176.
The striker had a brilliant first half of powerful centre-forward play against Reading
Jude Bellingham made a triumphant return to St Andrews after a solid World Cup with England
After 23 minutes, Deeney played a neat brace with Tahith Chong, received his back heel and was quickly knocked down by the long Naby Sarr.
The 34-year-old City striker made no mistakes from the spot, with a right-footed strike into the bottom corner of the resulting penalty.
Birmingham had scored just three goals twice this season but reached that mark well before the break after Reading produced their most sloppy defense yet.
Manchester United loan midfielder Hannibal Mejbri launched a quick but hopeful free kick, catching Reading’s back three off guard.
Amadou Mbengue swung his boot in vain but Chong was clear to round Joe Lumley and convert into the far corner.
Ince’s side, looking for a win to lift them into the play-offs, at least forced home keeper John Ruddy to make three good saves in the first half; of Andy Yiadom, Yakou Meite and the manager’s son Tom.
Tahith Chong’s goal 10 minutes before the break secured Birmingham City all three points
But the second half began with Deeney nearly claiming his first hat-trick in eight years when his effort was cleared off the line by Tom McIntyre.
There was also another chance for Chong, who was rounded well around the post by Lumley, and Deeney missed another good opener, with a slashed shot in the 70th minute.
A successful night for City and their famous fan continued with Bellingham watching his 17-year-old brother Jobe come on in the 76th minute.
But Reading at least claimed some late consolation.
After 82 minutes, Andy Carroll’s shot was blocked by Rudd and fellow countryman Lucas Joao headed the rebound over the line.
And in the last of five extra minutes, Ince junior was rewarded for a spirited display when his well-hit low effort flew into the far corner of Ruddy’s goal.
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Source : BBNWORLDNEWS