- English Football League - Championship
- Saturday, October 5th 2019
- Ashton Gate
James Crawley reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol City 1-0 Reading
Saturday, October 5th 2019
Famara Diédhiou’s first-half header ensured City would head into the international break on the back of three points.
He rose to meet Niclas Eliasson’s 12th minute cross and compound more misery on Reading’s slow start to the season.
City looked in control for much of the fixture though the Royals had their moments, but not enough to really cause the home side problems in BS3.
The 1-0 scoreline means City head into the break unbeaten since the opening day and rise to sixth in the Sky Bet Championship table.
Johnson made four changes from the team which kicked-off a 1-1 draw against Brentford in midweek, with Pedro Pereira restored to the starting XI.
So too were Niclas Eliasson, Callum O’Dowda and Diédhiou, with Jack Hunt, Antoine Semenyo and Kasey Palmer all named on the bench. Nathan Baker was absent due to illness.
But even without their towering centre-back, City started brightly and Weimann went close to breaking the deadlock early on. Tommy Rowe’s reverse pass found O’Dowda down the left, whose clipped ball at the byline was nodded into Weimann’s path by Diédhiou but the Austrian couldn’t keep the ball on target.
However, Diédhiou made no mistake in burying a downward header just minutes later. Weimann was involved again, bringing the ball forward deep into Reading’s half before laying a pass to Eliasson on his right. The winger whipped in an inch-perfect cross for City’s Senegal frontman whose header had Rafael Cabral well beaten.
It gave Ashton Gate a major lift and City were beginning to show how confident and comfortable they were in possession, with each pass soon being cheered by the home support.
However, The Royals soon began to show glimpses of their threat and Oviemuno Ejaria flashed a shot wide, before Daniel Bentley – not for the first time this season – produced a great block to deny Yakou Méïté when one-on-one.
After what had been a composed first half for the Robins, Diédhiou looked to turn provider as they hunted a second goal. O’Dowda was this time on the move and he latched on to a Diédhiou pass before shooting at Cabral.
José Gomes’ side had a bit more bite about them though and Ashley Williams made a brave block in front of a Méïté effort with Bentley diving at full stretch, before George Puskas came ever so close to tapping in an equaliser at the far post, but he couldn’t stretch far enough to meet Ejaria’s pass across the box.
It was a let-off and a sign that a second might be needed to see out the result and the Robins nearly doubled their advantage through Han-Noah Massengo. It came from a great piece of skill from Diédhiou who flicked the ball past Michael Morrison, laying it off to Massengo to his right but the young Frenchman couldn’t keep the shot down.
It would be the last action for Diédhiou, who along with Eliasson was replaced by Semenyo and Hunt.
There were hearts in mouths though when City survived a goalmouth scramble. It came from a Reading corner, after good defending from Williams, and with the ball delivered towards the back post, it was eventually poked wide for a goal kick.
Palmer was introduced for O’Dowda in City’s final change with five minutes remaining, and Johnson’s side had a job to do to ensure the victory. First Méïté headed over before Bentley showed superb reactions to tip away a fierce strike from Lucas Boyé.
Palmer should have made it 2-0 as the game entered added time, curling a shot straight at Cabral but they held out for the next few minutes to see out the result.
City will travel to face Luton Town on their return from the international break, before a return to the Gate to host Charlton Athletic.
Match sponsor: Vans365
Photography by JMPUK.
- Diédhiou (12')
- Callum O'Dowda, Niclas Eliasson, Famara Diédhiou
- Michael Morrison, Pelé, George Puscas