- English Football League - Championship
- Saturday, December 22nd 2018
- Pride Park Stadium
James Crawley reports from Pride Park Stadium
Report: Derby County 1-1 Bristol City
Saturday, December 22nd 2018
Bristol City extended their unbeaten run to five games with a share of the points away to Derby County.
Jamie Paterson’s marvellous dink spread some early festive cheer among the way support, before Frank Lampard’s Rams drew level through Martyn Waghorn at Pride Park.
Mäenpää was in fine form as City dealt with their fair share of pressure but would be denied the chance to retake the lead when Diédhiou hit the woodwork, before Scott Carson kept out his overhead kick in the second half.
The result leaves City just seven points from the play-offs as they head into Christmas.
Head Coach Lee Johnson named an unchanged starting XI for the trip, with two changes on the bench in Adam Webster and Hakeeb Adelakun returning to the squad.
Hosts on the offensive
In a wet start to the game, as the heavens opened in the East Midlands, it was the home side with the early momentum. Florian Jozefzoon drilled a shot on goal but Eros Pisano stood firm to block, with the right-back making his presence known in the early exchanges.
Mäenpää held on to a Harry Wilson snap shot, before he was quickly across with a diving save to keep out Mason Mount’s effort from the edge of the area.
Andreas Weimann, up against his former team, then bore down on the Rams goal but dragged his low shot well wide, before City opened the scoring with their first shot on target.
They took the lead through Paterson, who would share his delight with the travelling supporters. It came after Marlon Pack’s attempted pass was deflected in the creative forward’s path via Rams’ captain Richard Keogh. Paterson took one touch before delightfully dinking the ball over the onrushing Carson.
The hosts had a glorious chance to equalise but the experienced David Nugent could only hit the ground in frustration instead of the target when his close-range header looped over the bar.
Only the woodwork denied the Robins from taking a 2-0 lead just after the half-hour mark after Josh Brownhill intercepted and slipped a pass to Diédhiou. The striker, making his 50th league appearance for the club, went for the top corner with a shot which glided through the air, only to ping out for a goal kick via the crossbar.
Derby back in the game
The hosts were level shortly after, courtesy of Waghorn. Frank Lampard’s side find space down the left wing and Mount’s cross was inch perfect for his teammate who struck the ball over the line from close range.
Johnson introduced Webster at the break, who was involved in the play almost immediately, following the restart. Jayden Bogle got to the byline, just keeping the ball in play and his low ball across goal was stabbed away by Webster.
Fikayo Tomori headed over as the hosts looked to pick up where they left off, but could count themselves lucky for not falling behind.
It was a let-off for the Rams when City broke away with Diédhiou whose ball down the left wing spots the sprinting Weimann. The Austrian‘s cross found its target in the unmarked Paterson but his volley was timed all wrong as he scuffed his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
City soon started to show their tenacious side, as they began to close down the hosts with a more pressing style of play. It was opening up more opportunities when they won the ball back.
Paterson had another chance but couldn’t keep his header down from Pisano’s cross, while at the other end Mäenpää got fingertips to a low, driven strike from Mount.
And the City keeper was motionless when Wilson fired millimetres wide of the far post with just 15 minutes remaining. City were hanging on with the fresh legs of Niclass Eliasson looking to give Johnson’s side more pace going forward, they just needed to find more ways of creating on the break.
Paterson’s tricky run almost looked to cause the home side a problem but he rode the first of one challenge, before a hard tackle on Eliasson in the box. The referee wasn’t interested pointing to the spot although neither play indicated a foul.
There was a nervy atmosphere as the match entered the final ten minutes, with City on the offensive more and more. First, Diédhiou blazed over before timing an overhead kick to perfection, after good work from Callum O’Dowda, but superb quick reactions from Carson kept the ball out of the Derby net.
It would be a tale of two keepers though as Mäenpää used his fingertips to deflect Keogh’s shot away from danger.
And he was at it again as the game entered stoppage time, getting down quickly to his left with a smart save to deny the unmarked Bogle.
And with that, City had done enough to earn the point, ahead of two league games as they see out the calendar year, the first of those coming on Boxing Day.
- Waghorn (37')
- David Nugent, Martyn Waghorn
- Paterson (24')
- Nathan Baker, Andreas Weimann, Jamie Paterson