- English Football League - Championship
- Tuesday, February 12th 2019
- Ashton Gate
|Queens Park Rangers||1|
James Crawley reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol City 2-1 QPR
Tuesday, February 12th 2019
City fought from behind to beat QPR 2-1 under the lights at Ashton Gate, in dramatic style too with a stoppage-time penalty.
Matt Smith struck to give the visitors a half-time lead but the Robins battled back in an attack-minded second-half and were level courtesy of Niclas Eliasson’s curler.
The hosts threw everything going forward and their efforts were rewarded at the death with Famara Diédhiou’s cooly struck penalty late on securing a ninth-straight victory for the Robins.
The Tuesday night win sees Lee Johnson’s side stretch the unbeaten run to 15 games.
Head Coach Johnson made two changes from the side which beat Blackburn Rovers just three days earlier with Eros Pisano, fresh from his goal at Ewood Park, restored to the starting XI, as was Lloyd Kelly ahead of Bailey Wright and Jay Dasilva, respectively.
It was an energetic start from the home side under the lights in BS3 who went inches from taking the lead through Josh Brownhill. The midfielder made a surging run from deep, skipped past one challenge before unleashing a dipping shot which looked destined for the bottom left corner, but ended up narrowly wide.
However Johnson was forced to change his side after just 17 minutes when Andreas Weimann came off with what appeared to be a back complaint, with Eliasson his replacement.
The winger got to show his creativity almost immediately too, when Jamie Paterson intercepted a loose header. He fed Eliasson whose teasing cross just evaded a City player in the box, while at the other end, a Kelly error led to a Luke Freeman shot which rolled wide.
City were largely in control as the half progressed and looked to the wide areas for more attacking threats, however two moments of panic in the QPR defence ended up in soft fouls on Joe Lumley; the first another Brownhill effort this time deflected off Diédhiou, before a looping cross which the QPR keeper failed to catch.
The R’s wet close on 37 minutes but the quick reactions of Frank Fielding kept the visitors at bay. Former City players Luke Freeman and Smith combined, Freeman whipping in a left-footed ball into the box and Smith’s downward header pushed away by the City’s keeper. Smith would have another chance only a minute later but couldn’t keep his header under the bar.
The Hoops were almost in again and once more had Fielding to thank for keeping the scores level as he got behind yet another Smith header, while at the other end Brownhill did well to battle for possession before sending a curling effort not far wide of goal.
However, as the board went up to indicate two minutes of stoppage time, QPR did have the ball in the back of the net. Nahki Wells was the man who managed another header which on this occasion hit the post and with Fielding on the floor, Smith was on hand to tap in the opener.
Jay Dasilva replaced Kelly for the start of the second half to support the left-sided attacks but with plenty of football to be played, there was no reason to panic yet.
City were back out in high spirits too and ten minutes after the restart had a glorious chance to draw level but Diédhiou’s close-range header from Eliasson’s perfect delivery pinged off the statue-like Lumley in the R’s goal.
Steve McClaren’s side were being pegged back in their own half and the crowd were right behind the Robins as they threatened to create with Diédhiou going close to getting on the end of a handful of dangerous crosses.
With the score still in QPR’s favour, Johnson looked to attack over defence with Matty Taylor introduced for the departing Marlon Pack.
But it was his earlier substitution in Eliasson who finally undone the R’s with a pinpoint effort to get Ashton Gate off its feet.
Jamie Paterson floated a brilliant diagonal pass to the Sweden winger who took once touch to trap the ball, another to cut inside and a third to curl the ball into the far corner.
City’s pressure was telling and they thought, if only for a second, they had taken the lead just moments later but a second goal was disallowed for a foul.
But as the board went up to indicate five minutes of stoppage time, this time a foul on Diédhiou was awarded as City won themselves the latest of penalties t round off an all-out attack second-half performance.
The Senegal frontman would be the man to take it and his spot kick was expertly struck to the keeper’s left, with Lumley diving in the opposite direction, to seal the late win.
City may not have been at their absolute best at times but had done enough to secure their ninth win in a row and rise above Middlesbrough in the Sky Bet Championship table, who have a game in hand.
Johnson’s side return to BS3 on Sunday to face Wolves in the Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round.
Photography by JMPUK.
- Eliasson (73') , Diedhiou (93' pen)
- Lloyd Kelly, Marlon Pack, Andreas Weimann
Queens Park Rangers
- Matt Smith (45')
- Grant Hall, Nahki Wells, Matt Smith