- English Football League - Championship
- Wednesday, January 1st 2020
- Ashton Gate
James Crawley reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol City 0-4 Brentford
Wednesday, January 1st 2020
City felt the pain of going down to ten men as Brentford collected the three points BS3 on New Year’s Day.
Bryan Mbuemo stroked the ball in to give the Bees an early advantage, while City’s afternoon was made all the harder when defender Ashley Williams was dismissed for a mistimed tackle on Ollie Watkins.
Saîd Benrahma ensured Brentford would extend their lead before the break, while Watkins was at the double in the second period to round off a poor start to 2020 for the Robins.
The result sees Johnson’s side 11th in the Sky Bet Championship table.
Korey Smith returned to the City starting line-up, replacing Ádám Nagy in Lee Johnson’s only starting XI change from three days previously.
But it wouldn’t be a repeat performance from that 3-0 win over Luton, in fact it panned out to be an opening 18 minutes to forget for the home side.
Brentford were ahead inside the sixth minute after a long punt from goalkeeper David Raya. The route-one pass was controlled by Watkins, who bundled his way through in the area, and despite the best effort of Williams and Tomas Kalas, the ball broke kindly for Mbeumo who struck the opener from close range.
Things turned from bad to worse when Williams was shown a straight red card. He had not long been shown the yellow for an off-the-ball incident but his challenge on Watkins was deemed a sending off offence, as he brought the Bees forward down on the edge of the area.
With the man advantage, Brentford soon doubled their lead though Bentley did all he could to prevent it. The former Bees shotstopper parried the initial strike from Mathias Jensen, denying Watkins on the follow up but couldn’t help the ricochet which fell invitingly for Benrahma.
Taylor Moore’s introduction for Niclas Eliasson saw a change of shape as Lee Johnson looked for a way back into the game. His winger Marley Watkins had been a positive in City’s ranks though and nearly got on the scoresheet as City looked to halve the deficit. The chance came after Famara Diédhiou held up play, he played in Watkins who managed a shot on target but Raya equal to it.
Jay Dasilva struck a low shot which was comfortable for Raya, while Christian Nørgaard went close with a scissor kick but the Bees were largely in control at the break.
City looked to grow in confidence after the brea but Thomas Frank’s side would have the better of the chances with Watkins. His headed inches wide from a Benrahma cross, while Andreas Weimann’s error played in the forward and only the recovering Kalas ended up putting the striker off when he looked to take the ball around Bentley.
Johnson looked for fresh legs with 20 minutes remaining, bringing on Nagy for Watkins with hope still in the contest.
Still the Bees had a buzz about them and a block from Kalas forced another goal-bound Watkins header out for a corner, from which Bentley produced a good save at his near post to deny Ethan Pinnock.
City’s final change came in the form of Rodri for Weimann with City needing to find a way back into the game, however they were dealt another blow moments later as Brentford struck their third. Bees substitute Jan Žamburek latched on to a ball in the penalty area and his squared pass was perfect for Watkins, who tapped home from close range.
And the pair would combine again with just minutes left on the clock. Watkins met his teammates’ cross once more, forcing a save from Bentley initially, though the forward made no mistake with the rebound.
City return to BS3 on Saturday with the arrival of Shrewsbury Town in the Emirates FA Cup third round.
- Niclas Eliasson, Marley Watkins, Andreas Weimann
- Mbeumo (6') , Benrahma (26') , Watkins (82') , Watkins (90')
- Mathias Jensen, Josh Dasilva, Bryan Mbeumo