- English Football League - Championship
- Tuesday, April 9th 2019
- Ashton Gate
|West Bromwich Albion||2|
James Crawley reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol City 3-2 West Bromwich Albion
Tuesday, April 9th 2019
Three goals in an electric opening 20 minutes stretched City’s unbeaten run to five matches.
Josh Brownhill scored the first inside two minutes, while Andreas Weimann doubled the lead with a close-range finish.
Jack Hunt got off the mark in City colours with a back-post header with Ashton Gate rocking at half-time.
West Brom pulled two goals back courtesy of their dangerous duo Dwight Gayle and Jay Rodriguez to set up a nervy end but City held on to secure their first win over the Baggies since 2010.
Nathan Baker earned his first start since January, with returns to the starting XI for Niclas Eliasson and Weimann, while Bailey Wright, Jamie Paterson and Matty Taylor were rested on the bench.
Head Coach Lee Johnson demanded an intense start and that’s exactly what he got as City pressed the Baggies high up the pitch. Jake Livermore was robbed of the ball by Marlon Pack and the on-field captain fed Brownhill, who played a nice one-two with Weimann before sliding the ball past Sam Johnstone after just two minutes.
And City were almost two goals to the good moments later when they caught West Brom napping deep in the own half again. It was Pack again who won possession back for the Robins and the ball rolled kindly for Famara Diédhiou, whose flicked pass found Eliasson but the Sweden winger’s effort glided narrowly over.
West Brom had been strangely quiet in the opening 15 minutes and were under threat when Adam Webster fed Weimann, who dinked his way through on goal before winning a throw-in, from which City would double their lead. Brownhill’s initial ball into the box was blocked but cleared only as far the number eight and his headed ball back into the box was stabbed home by Weimann.
Just three minutes later the Robins were in pandemonium once more with Hunt netting his first goal for the club. Jay Dasilva needed two attempts to cross the ball but his second was stood up perfectly for Hunt, who arrived at the back post to head the ball into the Baggies net.
The right-back, who had earlier been booked, was replaced shortly after with Eros Pisano entering the BS3 pitch in his place.
With a little over half-an-hour played, Max O’Leary received his first test of the evening when Kyle Edwards tried to pick out the top corner with a speculative free kick, but the young City shotstopper expertly tipped the troublesome ball over his crossbar. The keeper would deny Gayle a minute later when he blocked the forward’s strong volley with his legs.
Only the legs of Johnstone would prevent City’s fourth when Eliasson ghosted in at the far post. Weimann had shown strong running as he powered forward before floating a cross for the winger, who looked to get on the goals action but for the Albion keeper. West Brom’s number one kept out Baker’s headed effort moments later as City kept on the pressure, but this time Johnstone flung out a strong hand to keep the scores as they were, with City heading in at the break in a dominant mood.
But just as the hosts had struck early in the first half, West Brom found themselves with a goal of their own two minutes after the restart. It came from a free kick, from which Stefan Johansen curled a ball into the penalty area and Gayle headed the ball beyond the diving O’Leary.
The Robins looked unfazed by that goal and remained positive in their play, soon forcing the ball back in Albion territory. Diédhiou missed the target with a header, while only the post prevented Dasilva from scoring, following a powerful forward run from the left-back, before Diédhiou had claims for a penalty turned away.
City kept up the pressure with a curling effort from Diédhiou, while Brownhill tricked his way into the box and only a deflection helped the ball roll wide of Johnstone’s goal.
Johnson then had O’Leary to thank as his keeper made himself big to produce a good stop and deny Gayle’s effort at the back post.
However, the visitors huffed and puffed and grabbed their second goal of the night moments later, when City failed to clear a corner and Rodriguez had the easy task of blasting the ball in from close range.
The away side could sense they weren’t out of the game and City were forced to defend their own half more as the match progressed, while the energetic Taylor was introduced to hurry and press the tiring opposition late on.
O’Leary had one more save to make as he held on to a Kieron Gibbs header with his life, while Lloyd Kelly replaced Dasilva in stoppage time to help Johnson’s men see out the contest.
The Robins return to Sky Bet Championship action on Saturday when they travel to a sold-out Aston Villa at Villa Park (3pm KO).
Match sponsor - Toogood International
- Brownhill (2') , Weimann (16') , Hunt (19')
- Jay Dasilva, Jack Hunt, Andreas Weimann
West Bromwich Albion
- Gayle (47') , Rodriguez (74')
- Conor Townsend, Rekeem Harper, Kyle Edwards