- English Football League - Championship
- Saturday, December 14th 2019
- Ashton Gate
James Crawley reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol City 0-2 Blackburn Rovers
Saturday, December 14th 2019
Bristol City were unable to deliver some pre-Christmas cheer at Ashton Gate as Blackburn Rovers struck twice to seal a 2-0 win in the Sky Bet Championship encounter.
Blackburn were quick to open the scores, Bradley Johnson blasting the visitors into the lead after only two minutes.
City had a handful of half chances, notably Ashley Williams and Niclas Eliasson saw goal-bound efforts deflected wide, before Adam Armstrong pounced to double Rovers’ advantage late in the second half.
Famara Diédhiou went closest to halving the deficit but he was unable to reach a Jack Hunt cross, before the full-time whistle sounded in BS3.
Lee Johnson named two changes to his starting XI, both in defence with Tomas Kalas and Pedro Pereira brought into the team ahead of Nathan Baker and Hunt, respectively.
But it was far from the start City would have wished for as they were caught out quickly by a Blackburn corner, from which Tony Mowbray’s side took a second-minute lead. It was a low corner from Lewis Holtby who found Johnson with his ground pass, who fired a shot into the roof of the net with a first-time effort.
Forward came the Robins though, and a neat touch from Eliasson allowed him to exchange passes with Tommy Rowe, before forcing a shot inside the area which was deflected wide.
The crowd’s reaction showed many thought it had gone the right side of the net but it wasn’t to be though now City had Blackburn on the back foot. Williams soon went close, latching on to Andi Weiman’s cut back but again a vital block saw his shot head out for a corner.
There was soon a moment of bafflement and confusion when a member of Blackburn’s medical team ran on to the pitch to attend to a player, though the ball was still in play, the referee had not indicated for him to enter the field of play and it did not appear to be a head injury.
Still City stayed focused and almost forced an equaliser when Eliasson cut on to his left foot to produce a trademark cross for the unmarked Williams at the backpost but the Welshman’s header was off target.
But Dan Bentley would have to produce two smart saves to deny Sam Gallagher from range, followed by Johnson’s drive, all before Lewis Holtby drifted a shot wide, as City held on to enter the break still the one-goal behind.
Johnson made a double switch to get City going, with the forward-thinking Hunt on in place of Pereira, while Callum O’Dowda replaced Ádám Nagy.
And a turn of Pace from Hunt got the crowd on their feet when he played a one-two with Eliasson, he got into the box and flashed a ball across the penalty area with the sliding Diédhiou just a whisker away from making vital contact.
Johnson’s final roll of the dice saw Sammie Szmodics replace Rowe with 20 minutes remaining, the attacking midfielder making his first appearance since the end of October.
But Blackburn would double their lead with a substitute of their own. It came when Han-Noah Massengo was robbed of possession by Johnson, he slid in Adam Armstrong who kept a cool head to finish low past Bentley with a little over 10 minutes of play remaining.
City were unable to battle back late on and the result leaves them 7th in the table ahead of next Sunday’s trip to Sheffield Wednesday.
Match sponsor: CSW Lofts
- Pedro Pereira, Tommy Rowe, Ádám Nagy
- Johnson (2') , Armstrong (77')
- Lewis Holtby, Ben Brereton