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📝 REPORT: Bristol City 0-1 Fulham

Harry Wilson’s 105th-minute goal ended City’s Emirates FA Cup involvement but not before the Robins had produced arguably their best performance of the season.

With the Third Round game forced into extra time after a goalless 90 minutes, a short corner saw Wilson’s cross beat everyone and end up in the far corner of the net.

It was a cruel blow for the Robins, who showed intensity and intent to encourage manager Nigel Pearson ahead of next Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship re-match against the Lillywhites at Craven Cottage.


BACKGROUND

Pearson made five changes to his starting XI that beat Millwall last Sunday with Rob Atkinson, Han-Noah Massengo, Andy King, who skippered City from the base of midfield, Chris Martin and Nahki Wells all getting the nod.

City were able to name nine players on the bench but were without the injured George Tanner and Tyreeq Bakinson, who has returned to train after an isolation period following a positive Covid test.


WHAT HAPPENED?

City started with a high level of energy to their game which saw them dominate the ball in the early stages.

The hosts went close to finding yet another early opener when Wells’ free-kick from the edge of the area flashed inches over.

Fulham would then create a chance of their own as two former City stars in Joe Bryan and Bobby Decordova-Reid combined with the latter heading over Max O’Leary’s bar.

Midway through the first period Massengo tried his luck with an audacious right-footed volley, which for a brief moment looked to have Paulo Gazzaniga in trouble, but thankfully for the towering goalkeeper it landed on the roof of the net.

Martin then latched on to a neat through ball from Ayman Benarous to force Gazzaniga into a smart stop at his near post and keep the scores level heading into the break.

Rodrigo Muniz had the first attempt on goal of the second half with an acrobatic shot inside the City area that flew just over the bar.

City grew into the second period and began to probe the Fulham 18-yard area as Cameron Pring fired a low shot directly at Gazzaniga, before Benarous went close to picking out Callum O’Dowda, however Michael Hector was on hand to intervene.

As the game entered the final 15 minutes City had back-to-back chances as Wells headed on target from Alex Scott inswinging corner, as well as O’Dowda lifting the ball over the bar from inside the box.

With stalemate at the end of 90 minutes, the game went to 30 minutes of extra time with Pearson bringing on Tommy Conway in place of Wells.

And the front man almost got on the scoresheet when Semenyo slotted the ball through and Conway took the ball past Gazzaniga but the angle was too narrow for him to do anything but hit the side netting.

City had to defend as Fulham pressed and Pring blocked Mitrovic’s shot for a corner only for the resulting short set-piece fall to Wilson whose cross beat everyone to find the far corner of the net.

The Robins threw everything into an equaliser but also needed Max O’Leary to be at his cat-like best, saving against Tom Cairney and Neeskens Kebano.


TEAM

O’Leary, Pring, Atkinson, Kalas, O’Dowda, Pring, King © (Dasilva 70), Benarous (Palmer 76), Massengo, Scott (Weimann 106), Martin (Semenyo 88), Wells (Conway 90).

Subs (not used): Bentley, Wiles-Richards, Vyner, Bell.


POST-MATCH REACTION

🎥 NIGEL PEARSON

🎥 TOMAS KALAS

UP NEXT

City hit the road next weekend to face Fulham (Saturday, January 15th, 3pm) with three league points on the line at Craven Cottage, and the Robins will have a strong away following for their trip to West London after selling out their allocation of 1,687. 

UP NEXT AT HOME

The Robins' next home game is the Severnside Derby as Cardiff City make the journey across the bridge to take on City at Ashton Gate (Saturday, January 22nd, 12:30pm).

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