Report: Bristol City 2-0 QPR
Saturday, January 27th 2018
Famara Diédhiou marked his first start for three months with a goal to help City record their first win of 2018.
Joe Bryan added a second goal as ten-men City, after Nathan Baker's first-half dismissal, held out to beat QPR 2-0 at Ashton Gate.
The win lifts the Robins up to joint-third in the Sky Bet Championship.
New loan signing Loïs Diony was named on the bench, just days after completing his temporary move to BS3 from Saint-Etienne.
Head coach Lee Johnson made three changes in all compared to the side which started against Manchester City on Tuesday night, with Hordur Magnusson, Josh Brownhill and Liam Walsh all handed a place on the bench.
Despite mis-placed passing from both teams early on it was City who made the brighter start overall, with QPR withstanding a lot of home pressure.
Joe Bryan saw a shot blocked with appeals from the home supporters calling for a penalty but play continued as Rangers cleared.
Diédhiou was then put through with a delightful ball from Reid but the Senegalese forward took one too many touches before Jack Robinson got back to clear.
The away side continued to be under the cosh, City’s gameplay mimicking the high intensity tactics they displayed against Manchester City earlier in the week, but they were unable to make their early dominance count.
Bryan struck a free kick which had to be punched clear by Alex Smithies in the R’s goal and on the half-hour mark Paterson whipped in a teasing ball across the face of goal but Diédhiou was unable to stretch far enough to make contact with the ball.
EARLY BATH FOR BAKER
City suddenly found themselves with a new gameplan after Nathan Baker slide in late on Josh Scowen and received his marching orders from referee Keith Stroud.
Half chances fell Rangers way in the aftermath but nothing to worry Luke Steele, while at the other end Paterson struck a fierce volley towards goal which R’s captain Nedum Onuoha bravely blocked.
And even with ten men the home side still threatened to break the deadlock and they did just that, courtesy of Diédhiou as he flicked on a Ryan Kent corner. The Liverpool loanee’s set piece from the left was glanced into the far corner via the striker’s head to give City a half-time lead.
There were emotional scenes in the celebrations as he ran over to head physio Steve Allen and the rest of the coaching staff; Diédhiou grateful for the work they have done in getting him back to full fitness after sustaining knee ligament damage back in October.
Rangers made an attacking change at the break with former City man Matt Smith introduced and it was the visitors who went closest as Araminde Oteh’s low strike fizzed beyond Luke Steele's far post.
Moments later Smith won a free kick after his heels were clipped by Aden Flint; Robinson’s shot was blocked with the referee ignoring calls for an alleged handball in the box.
Now it was QPR’s turn to pile on the pressure as they worked a number of balls into the City area, with the home side having to weather the storm.
They did just that though and Kent showed a burst of energy by motoring up field following a QPR corner. He picked out Korey Smith whose pass was blocked initially but the midfielder tried to find the bottom corner with a follow-up shot, which Smithies had to turn around the post.
BRYAN ADDS SECOND
QPR would come to rue the fact that they failed to make the most of possession at 1-0 when City doubled their lead through Bryan. Smith won the ball back for City, high in the QPR half before sliding a pass into Diédhiou. Smithies denied the striker but Bryan raced into the box to net City’s second goal of the game, with a shot which glanced off the left-hand post.
R’s to their credit tried to fight back instantly but Steele stood firm to deny Oteh at the other end just moments later.
The game soon petered out in terms of clear-cut chances but City were able to cheer on new signing Diony as he was replaced Diédhiou for the final 15 minutes.
Rangers almost halved the deficit though when Onuoha got a flick on to Massimo Luongo’s shot but the ball rolled agonisingly wide of Steele’s post, with the keeper saving well to deny a Smith header right at the end.
The full-time whistle would confirm City's first victory of the calendar year, with Lee Johnson's squad now preparing to take on Bolton Wanders at the Macron Stadium next Friday (February 2nd, 8pm kick-off).