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Report: Derby County 0-0 Bristol City

City are off the mark in 2018 after an action-packed affair against Derby County.

The Robins had their fair share of defending to do, with exceptional goalkeeping ensuring the game would end 0-0 at Pride Park in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

The result lifts City up to fourth in the Sky Bet Championship, one point ahead of Aston Villa.

Hordur Magnusson returned to Lee Johnson’s starting XI, with Liam Walsh rested on the bench - the head coach's only change to the side which kicked-off against Norwich City last weekend.

Famara Diédhiou marked his return as he was named in the 18-man squad for the first time in three months, after recovering from a knee injury.

It was a cagey opening to the game, with both teams needing time to warm into the tie on one of the coldest nights of the season.

But the Robins faithful were doing all they could do get behind the players and they almost had the perfect view when Jamie Paterson struck a half-volley over Scott Carson’s goal; the first real chance for the away side.

City were having to be patient in possession but Bailey Wright, an injury doubt earlier in the week, picked out Josh Brownhill in the box. His shot was deflected but the pressure continued via some head tennis in the Derby box and when the ball was eventually whipped into the box, Paterson could only poke his effort off target.

Johnny Russell blazed over at the other end shortly after, as he latched on to a City clearance following a corner.

The away side then had Frank Fielding to thank with a top-drawer save as he dived to his right to tip away a low free kick from Matej Vydra.

City failed to clear the resulting corner and Vydra sent a looping header goalwards but the heroic Aden Flint was in the right place at the right time to clear off the line.

Russell smashed the crossbar with another free kick before the first half concluded and Fielding was forced to parry a close-range effort from the Rams player, before Curtis Davies headed over the bar.

Luke Steele and Diédhiou entered the fray as Johnson made two half-time changes and City certainly began to press higher up the pitch immediately after the restart.

That being said, Vydra had the best of the early chances but he placed his shot straight at Steele, after latching on to a David Nugent through pass.

Diédhiou was picking up a fair amount of touches in the initial stages as Derby found themselves with more defending to do.

But the Rams remained a threat themselves and it took two brilliant Steele saves to keep the match level: first the former Manchester United keeper denied Lawrence from a tight angle before tipping a Vydra shot wide when faced one-on-one with the in-form forward.

At the other end, Joe Bryan was presented with a half chance as he struck a volley narrowly wide of Carson’s goal, before the home side could only watch on as Russell squandered another opportunity, flicking an Andreas Weimann cross wide of Steele’s far post.

City survived a penalty scare late on when Rams debutant Cameron Jerome tumbled under pressure from Flint but the referee dismissed the protests and booked the frontman for diving.

Korey Smith tried his luck from range as City looked to steal the show but his effort was guided just wide of Carson’s goal, as the sides settled for a share of the spoils.

City now prepare for the visit of Manchester City, in their Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at Ashton gate on Tuesday night.