Report: Bristol City 4-1 Crystal Palace
Tuesday, October 24th 2017
Bristol City are into the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup for the first time in almost 30 years, after coming from behind to secure a comfortable 4-1 win against a struggling Crystal Palace.
Bakary Sako had given the visitors the lead early on, following an impressive start from the top-flight team.
However, substitute Milan Djuric set up Matty Taylor for the equaliser before scoring himself five minutes before half-time.
Thunderous strikes from Joe Bryan and Callum O’Dowda - the Ireland international’s first goal for the club - ensured an emphatic victory as the Robins responded to their weekend defeat.
City have now beaten three Premier League opponents as part of their cup run, which sees them progress beyond the fourth round for the first time since 1989.
Lee Johnson made five changes to the side which lost 3-0 against Leeds United. Luke Steele was handed a start between the sticks, with World Cup-bound Hordur Magnusson at left-back and Eros Pisano awarded his first appearance since injury.
Famara Diédhiou partnered Taylor up front, after the club successfully appealed the number 10’s red card from the weekend.
Palace dominated the early chances and struck the upright through Lee Chung-Yong, before Steele parried a curling effort from Sako.
Sullay Kaikai saw a looping cross land just wide of Steele’s far post before the keeper blocked a deflected strike from the winger.
It took City 20 minutes before registering their first effort on goal, when Aden Flint poked a shot straight at Wayne Hennessey but the away side went ahead just moments later. Ruben Loftus-Cheek played in Sako and the striker cooly slotted the ball past Steele.
Lee Johnson was forced to take Diédhiou off after a 50/50 challenge with Patrick van Aanholt and so Djuric entered the fray to make his first appearance of the season.
And the tall striker was in the mix when a long ball was played towards him and flicked on into the path of Taylor. Van Aanholt got himself into a muddle and played a short headed pass towards his keeper but Taylor reacted quickly, taking one touch to control the ball before smashing it beyond Hennessy to level the score.
The tide was beginning to turn and Djuric fired the hosts ahead with half-time looming. Hordur Magnusson, who has featured in every minute of City’s Carabao Cup campaign, lifted a long throw into the box and the Bosnian international chested it down before smashing his effort into the net.
The Eagles almost drew level shortly into the second half but for a fantastic diving save by Steele. A Sako cross from the right was flicked goalwards by Loftus-Cheek but City’s summer signing tipped the ball away brilliantly as the shot looked destined for the bottom corner.
But it was City who had their tails up and Bryan added the third with a thunderous strike. He was in acres of space on the left as he latched on to a Taylor pass and drove the ball beyond Hennessy with an effort from the edge of the box that clipped the underside of the bar.
O’Dowda then opened his account for the club with a spectacular drilled volley on the edge of the penalty area. It was a poor Palace clearance and O’Dowda took one touch to flick the ball up before lashing it into bottom left corner.
Hodgson’s men had little response to City’s emphatic display but Flint was forced to block a low Sako strike, before Steele tipped away a close range Jason Puncheon strike as the minutes ticked by.
But the hosts' lead never really looked threatened and after three consecutive matches at BS3, City will travel to Sunderland when their attentions turn to the Championship on Saturday (3pm).
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