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📝 Match report: Bristol City 0-0 Celtic

The Robins High Performance Centre hosted its first-ever match as City opened their pre-season fixture schedule with a goalless draw against Celtic.

It was a game of few chances, but in truth this was a night for the players to test their stamina and put into practice the hard work that has been shown on the training pitches in the last few weeks.

Celtic bossed the ball for large parts of the game as the evening sun settled over the HPC, making this a perfect night for football. But City produced a strong defensive performance and increased the tempo with fresh legs in the second half.

Max O’Leary had little to do but for a couple of near-post saves in either halves, while Andreas Weimann hit the post, before Callum O’Dowda headed agonisingly wide late on.

In the end City would do enough to hold the Scottish giants, runners up in the Premiership last season, to a draw in this pre-season encounter which coincidentally would be the first-ever meet between the two sides.

THE BACKGROUND

Weimann was back in a City shirt for the first time since last October, while Chris Martin was to make his first appearance since January due to respective injury-hit campaigns in 2020/21.

There were also first outings for new signings Matty James, Andy King and Rob Atkinson, who all played 60 minutes as planned.

WHAT HAPPENED

There was plenty of possession for the visitors, but the Celts lacked that biting edge before City carved out the game’s best opportunity through Weimann.

It came from a James corner which was flicked into the path of City’s number 14. It was somewhat of a swipe and hope but the ball crept through a crowd of bodies, missing everyone, but pinged back off the post.

Albian Ajeti then got himself in behind City’s defence and forced O’Leary into a save with his feet at the near post.

There was nothing to separate the teams at the break but much like the opening 45 minutes, Celtic were largely in control of the ball once the second half got underway.

Ajeti would slip the ball into David Turnbull but a strong hand from O’Leary denied the shot at the near post once again, before the hour-mark rang the bell for changes.

City introduced ten changes to the team as planned, with only O’Leary keeping his place on the field and it seemed to inject some fresh energy into the game.

Tyreeq Bakinson threw himself into the challenges early on and it was the midfielder who flashed a shot on goal but was frustrated to see his effort blocked.

There would be little to separate the sides as the game progressed but there was still time for O’Dowda to go agonisingly close to opening the scores, only the Irishman guided his header a whisker wide of the post.

UP NEXT

The final whistle soon followed to confirm a clean sheet on the night for the Robins. Nigel Pearson’s side return to the HPC on Tuesday afternoon when they host Portsmouth (July 20th, 2pm KO).

The match will be streamed live on Robins TV.

City Starting XI (0-60 mins): O’Leary, Simpson, Baker, Atkinson, Dasilva, King, James, Pearson, Palmer, Weimann, Martin.

City XI (60-90 mins): O’Leary (Wiles-Richards, 76), Vyner, Moore, Pring, Nurse, Massengo, Bakinson, Janneh (Edwards, 76), O’Dowda, Bell, Conway.

Sub not used: James Morton

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🎤 Post-match reaction

Hear from Assistant Coach Keith Downing and the returning Andi Weimann...

Keith Downing

Andi Weimann

📸 MATCH ACTION

Steve Lansdown and Marina Dolman officially open the HPC
Chris Martin leads the City team out
Boyhood fan Andy King on the ball
Andi Weimann strikes the post
Up for the challenge: Martin tussles for the ball
Nathan Baker launches an attack
On come the changes
Kasey Palmer is tracked by Liam Shaw
Callum O'Dowda on the charge
Owura Edwards got a run-out

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