- English Football League - Championship
- Saturday, February 22nd 2020
- Ashton Gate
|West Bromwich Albion||3|
James Crawley reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol City 0-3 West Bromwich Albion
Saturday, February 22nd 2020
Hal Robson-Kanu’s brace after Callum Robinson’s fortunate opener helped table toppers West Brom to the three points at Ashton Gate.
City could count themselves somewhat unlucky in the first half, with West Brom enjoying the rub of the green for their first two goals.
Robinson – a former Robins loanee - grabbed the first after the ball rebounded off his face, while Robson-Kanu was quick to react after Dan Bentley spilled a shot.
Tempers flared when Romaine Sawyers was dismissed for an off-the-ball incident though the visitors were quick to strike a third goal as Robson-Kanu capitalised on a defensive error.
The 3-0 result leaves City seventh in the Sky Bet Championship, three points adrift of Fulham.
O'Dowda back in starting XI
Lee Johnson rang the changes after the previous 1-0 defeat at Leeds United, making five changes to his starting XI as Callum O’Dowda earned his first in start two months.
Filip Benković and Jack Hunt returned in a defensive reshuffle, which saw Tomas Kalas and Nathan Baker move to the bench. Ádam Nagy replaced Han-Noah Massengo in midfield and Nahki Wells partnered Famara Diédhiou in attack.
The home side started well too and they moved the ball around quickly and positively with the league leaders under pressure.
However, it came with little threat on Sam Johnstone’s goal and City were soon having to defend a wave of Baggies corners with every block or clearance cheered by the home supporters.
Matheus Pereira would soon see West Brom’s first sight of goal with a well-struck volley which looked goal bound but Hunt got his body in the way to block the strike.
When your luck's in...
But for all of City’s good play, Slaven Bilić’s men took the lead in fortuitous circumstances just after half-an-hour of play. Robinson was played through on goal and while Bentley did well to block the shot, the ball ricocheted straight off the West Brom man’s face and rolled over the goal line.
Suddenly the Robins were up against it and Baggies skipper Jake Livermore fired just wide before seeing another effort pushed away by Bentley.
And minutes later, the visitors doubled their lead through Robson-Kanu. Livermore was in the mix of it again, seeing his initial low shot saved by Bentley. Yet, to the keeper’s dismay, he was unable to hold on to the ball which fell kindly to Robson-Kanu who tucked the ball into the net.
O’Dowda went closest to halving the deficit just before the break as City stretched their opponents. Wells managed a cross from the left and his cross was flicked goalwards by the Republic of Ireland international’s studs, but the ball skimmed wide.
Baggies on top
The second half started much like the first had ended, with the visitors on top. Chances went missing in their search of extending the lead with Robson-Kanu and Livermore misfiring, while Lee Johnson opted for a double change on the hour-mark, with Jamie Paterson and Andreas Weimann on to replace O’Dowda and Niclas Eliasson, respectively.
Wells would see sight of goal with two long-distance free kicks though both sailed over, with another effort steered wide, while Bentley was called into action at the other end to thwart Robinson.
An off-the-ball incident saw Sawyers shown the red card, meaning the Baggies would have to see out the remaining 13 minutes with ten men, but if City had hoped of making the most of their man advantage, the away side quickly raced up the other end with Robson-Kanu grabbing their third.
Ashley Williams was the man at fault as he misjudged a header back to his goalkeeper and his fellow Welshman rifled the ball low past Bentley into the far corner.
City will hope for better fortunes on the road, with a Tuesday night trip to Huddersfield Town next.
- Callum O'Dowda, Niclas Eliasson, Ádám Nagy
West Bromwich Albion
- Robinson (32') , Robson-Kanu (36') , Robson-Kanu (79')
- Filip Krovinovic, Callum Robinson, Matheus Pereira