- English Football League - Championship
- Sunday, December 29th 2019
- Ashton Gate
James Crawley reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol City 3-0 Luton Town
Sunday, December 29th 2019
Marley Watkins’ first goal of the season helped City on their way to a comfortable and fully deserved lead over Luton Town at Ashton Gate, as the Robins signed off 2019 and the decade in perfect style.
Watkins headed in from a Niclas Eliasson cross in an electric start to this Sky Bet Championship fixture, before Famara Diédhiou converted a penalty just minutes before half-time.
Luton had been completely shut out while the Robins dictated every element of play and Andreas Weimann’s near-post finish tucked home City’s third goal of the afternoon.
It meant City would return the same scoreline back on the Hatters, after the sides met earlier in the campaign. Lee Johnson’s men now climb to eighth in the Championship standings heading into a promising 2020.
Left-back Jay Dasilva made his first start since the opening day of the season, as he lined up in a back four for City. The defender stepped into Johnson’s side in place of Tommy Rowe, in one of three changes to the starting XI from Boxing Day.
Watkins made his fourth appearance of the campaign, his first start since October against Cardiff City, and Eliasson played out wide with Taylor Moore named among the substitutes.
The home side were quick off the mark in a first half they would dominate. In fact it would take only four minutes to get on the scoresheet when Dasilva broke forward to feed Eliasson, who stood up a perfect cross for Watkins, who nodded the ball into the opposite corner at the far post.
It was the winger’s third goal in City colours and his first of the season.
City were in the mood and only a big save from the Luton keeper to push away Josh Brownhill’s right-footed first-time effort denied them doubling the advantage. Jack Hunt brought the ball forward down the right, Ádám Nagy was his overlapping decoy and so he opted for Brownhill in the middle, who lurked on the edge of the area. His shot looked destined for the top corner but for a diving save from James Shea.
Brownhill would try his luck with a 30-yard free kick but it was narrowly over the bar as City continued to dominate proceedings in BS3.
Eliasson was another player in the mood after his tenth assist of the season, and between him and Watkins the pair almost replicated the opener, only this time Watkins’ far post header was scooped away from danger by Shea.
Weimann dragged a shot wide moments later and there was a growing sense of how many it could well be for City, if they could take their chances more frequently.
And they would get another goal before the break, this time from the penalty spot. Hunt had powered down the right but went down under the challenge of Kazenga Lualua. Diédhiou stepped up and calmly placed the ball to Shea’s right to send City into party mode.
It had been all one-way traffic but Luton were more involved after the interval and forced their first meaningful shot on goal which Bentley managed to block. The ball looked to be trickling over the line however, and City had Hunt to thank as he hoofed the ball away for a corner, despite being under pressure from a Hatters player.
City were soon up the other end though and won a long-range free kick which Brownhill delivered into the Luton penalty area. It was perfect for the head of Diédhiou but placed straight into the hands of the grateful Shea.
It wouldn’t be long before they grabbed a third though, with Weimann exchanging passes with Hunt. The Austrian forward latched on to the right-back’s low cross and found the back of the net with the coolest of near-post flicks.
Johnson rang the changes as the half progressed with Rowe, Korey Smith and Rodri introduced for Dasilva, Watkins and Diédhiou, respectively, as City looked for fresh legs and a change of tactics to see the game out.
Rodri went close to pouncing on a late chance but Shea was quick to the ball, before Weimann’s chip wouldn’t drop quickly enough, though the chances wouldn’t matter as City ended the game with the win – their first over Luton Town since April 2001.
City return to action in BS3 on New Year’s Day when they host Brentford.
Photography by JMPUK.
- Watkins (4') , Diédhiou (44' pen) , Weimann (66')
- Jay Dasilva, Marley Watkins, Famara Diédhiou
- Luke Bolton, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Kazenga LuaLua