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Birmingham 2-0 West Brom: Mejbri inspires derby win
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Nick Mashiter
Press Association
Hannibal Mejbri, back, celebrates his audacious opening goal (Simon Marper/PA)
Hannibal Mejbri, back, celebrates his audacious opening goal (Simon Marper/PA)

Hannibal Mejbri silenced West Brom as the Manchester United loanee inspired Birmingham’s 2-0 derby win.

The midfielder bagged his first senior goal with an audacious free-kick before setting up Krystian Bielik’s clincher.

Goalkeeper David Button was at fault for both as the Baggies’ play-off charge suffered a dent after Carlos Corberan’s new deal.

The manager signed a two-year extension to commit to the Hawthorns until 2027 following interest from his former club Leeds but Albion could not mark it with victory.

The former Huddersfield boss had catapulted the Baggies from second bottom to sixth in the Championship but they were unable to consolidate their position.

In contrast, Birmingham had won just three league games in three months but sealed back-to-back victories to move 10 points clear of the drop zone.

Fans marched from the city centre to St Andrew’s as protests against owners Birmingham Sports Holdings continued but they were at least given an early goal to ease their anger.

The hosts were bright and, when Lukas Jutkiewicz cleverly bought a free-kick off Conor Townsend 30 yards out on the right after 10 minutes, Hannibal took charge.

Button was expecting him to swing it into a crowded area but instead, the 20-year-old embarrassed the goalkeeper by curling around the one-man wall to find the bottom corner.

First to everything, Blues rattled Albion but were initially unable to build on their lead, although Button had to turn Tahith Chong’s fierce drive behind.

The Baggies struggled to match Birmingham’s intensity and, while Daryl Dike briefly gave the hosts cause for concern when he charged down John Ruddy’s clearance, they were second best.

Marc Albrighton’s shot deflected wide but was never troubling Ruddy and there was no zip from a side who had won 11 of their previous 16 games.

Corberan looked agitated on the bench and his mood would have only darkened seven minutes after the break.

Albion conceded a cheap corner and Hannibal’s delivery was missed by a flapping Button for Bielik to nod in.

Ruddy turned John Swift’s drive behind as the Baggies tried to respond but there was no way back.


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