- English Football League - Championship
- Saturday, March 9th 2019
- Ashton Gate
James Crawley reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol City 0-1 Leeds United
Saturday, March 9th 2019
An early Patrick Bamford goal gave Leeds United the three points on a bad day at the office for City.
The forward struck inside the opening ten minutes as he met former City man Luke Ayling’s headed cross.
Lee Johnson’s side’s forward play was limited, an off-day perhaps, as the visitors nullified the Robins to little, even with a trio of attacking changes in the second half.
The Whites were forced to defend late on but the ball failed to break in the host’s favour, the closest they would come was a Marlon Pack shot which Kiko Casilla blocked.
Antoine Semenyo was handed his first City start as one of four changes to the starting XI, with Jay Dasilva, Max O’Leary and captain Bailey Wright also returning, ahead of Andreas Weimann, Lloyd Kelly, Niki Mäenpää and Jack Hunt, respectively. New keeper signing Stefan Marinovic was named on the bench.
It was a lively start in BS3 with the visitors taking the lead inside ten minutes. Ezgjan Alioski pinged a pass to the unmarked Ayling who cushioned his header towards Bamford who tucked the ball into the far corner.
The striker looked to have injured himself in the process but after being attended to Leeds’ medical staff, he was soon back on the field.
A woeful backpass just minutes later presented City a cheap corner and Jamie Paterson’s delivery was perfect into the mix, but it curled inches away from a waiting player in red and white.
The half continued to ebb and flow as both sides played their expected high-pressing game, forcing the opposition into mistakes. Judging by Leeds’ intensity, it was apparent City would need to keep up the fight for the full 90 minutes, as Lee Johnson had warned in the week.
Just over half an hour played though and the Whites almost found success down the City left again, this time Pablo Hernandez’s cross steered wide by Jack Harrison.
As the first-half neared its end, City finally cut through a solid Leeds setup when Paterson wriggled forward. He found Pack in space who slotted the ball to the onrushing Famara Diédhiou but the striker was quickly surrounded and any hope of a shot cancelled out as the crowd urged him to shoot first time.
From fast pace to a slower tempo, that was the obvious change in City’s play after the break but it wasn’t looking likely to break through Leeds. Marcelo Bielsa’s side were looking to break quickly and in just a couple of passes went from defence to attack, only for the onrushing O’Leary to beat Bamford to the through ball.
The young City keeper was called into action again moments later after tricky footwork from Harrison saw the Leeds man weave his way into the penalty area before picking out Tyler Roberts, who saw his first-time effort saved.
Semenyo and Callum O’Dowda would depart, with Matty Taylor and Weimann replacing them in a double-attacking switch by Johnson - almost immediately the move saw City create in the final third. Paterson initially did well to pick out the run of Pack in the box, his shot was saved by the legs of Casilla but unfortunately the ball wouldn’t rebound to a City man before Leeds could clear the danger.
With 20 minutes remaining City were far from out of the contest and forced another shot on goal when Diédhiou helped on a punt downfield. Taylor managed to get on the end of it and looked to chip the ball over Casilla but the striker couldn’t get enough height on the shot.
Kasey Palmer would be the last City change of the afternoon as they looked to push forward, forcing Leeds to defend in the final 10 minutes.
A packed Ashton Gate roared at the announcement of six minutes additional time but while City kept Leeds at arm’s length, they were unable to force an equaliser.
The Robins return to BS3 on Tuesday night where they will be aiming for better fortunes against Ipswich Town.
Match sponsor: Pertemps
- Callum O'Dowda, Antoine Semenyo, Marlon Pack
- Bamford (9')
- Jack Harrison, Mateusz Klich, Patrick Bamford