- English Football League - Championship
- Tuesday, August 20th 2019
- Pride Park Stadium
James Crawley reports from Pride Park Stadium
Report: Derby County 1-2 Bristol City
Tuesday, August 20th 2019
Two first-half goals were enough to seal City their first win at Pride Park for eight years.
Former Derby man Andreas Weimann kept a cool head to finish from close range and Josh Brownhill pounced just before the break to give Lee Johnson’s men the half-time advantage.
The Rams pushed for a way back into the game but City dealt with everything thrown at them until Jack Marriott came off the bench to pick out the top corner late on.
It led to a tense finale but Daniel Bentley was in fine form to keep out a shot destined for the bottom-corner, in one of the last kicks of the game.
City’s last victory here came on April 20th 2011 and it proved to be worth the wait, with the familiar chants of ‘Johnson says bounce around the ground’ bellowing from one corner of the ground well after the full-time whistle.
The City head coach made just one change from the win over QPR, with Han-Noah Massengo in to replace Ádám Nagy who picked up a knock to his ankle during Saturday’s fixture. It meant Bentley kept his place after a team-of-the-week display, at the base of an adaptable 3-5-2 formation. Brownhill captained the side again from midfield and Benik Afobe, fresh from scoring his first goal for the club, partnered Weimann up front.
Massengo, making his first Championship start, was busy in breaking up the play while Kasey Palmer looked lively too and it was his bobbling shot which led to the opener.
A cross was headed out to the edge of the area by Afobe, into the path of the former Chelsea man whose mis-kicked effort rolled invitingly to Weimann. The striker kept his cool so close to goal, turning on the ball with a wonderful piece of skill to take Rams keeper Kelle Roos out of the equation and he buried the ball into the far corner.
There wouldn’t be many clear-cut Robins chances as the first half progressed and the home side looked for a response with the Pride Park fanbase on their case.
With the intensity increasing, Derby carved an opportunity through the middle of City’s defence but with Mason Bennett through one-on-one, Bentley stood his ground to tip the ball away for a corner.
From the resulting set piece, a header was sent back across face of goal but the ball rolled away from Derby’s players ready to pounce, while Max Rowe darted down the right wing, crossing for Keiran Dowell who had time but saw his shot blocked by a wall of red.
And between Bentley and Taylor Moore, City thwarted Phillip Cocu’s side again, blocking a low shot from Tom Lawrence at the far post before captain Brownhill left his mark.
Again, City caused problems from the wide positions and a low Hunt cross was dummied by Weimann, allowing the ball to run into the path of Brownhill who buried the ball into the Rams goal with a first-time strike.
The atmosphere levels cranked up another notch for the second period with Derby desperate to close the scoring gap sooner rather than later, but their early chances were wasted; Lawrence firing a free kick narrowly over, before Dowell dragged a shot well wide.
The counter attack had suited Johnson’s men well in the first half and it was another swift move which nearly led to a third when Weimann found the defence-splitting run of Afobe but the forward couldn’t get the ball out from his feet when presented the chance to shoot.
Johnson would make two substitutions just minutes apart with Callum O’Dowda Palmer’s replacement and Famara Diédhiou on for Afobe around the hour-mark and Republic of Ireland international O’Dowda soon showed his trickery, cutting inside in the Rams box but fizzing a ball across the face of goal.
City would soak up the Rams pressure and with the clock ticking there would be a defensive change with Pedro Pereira introduced for the departing Jack Hunt.
But the visitors were finally broken with six minutes of regular time left on the clock. Pride Park was on its feet with Bentley beaten by a top-corner strike. Florian Jozefzoon laid the ball to Marriott and the striker managed to turned and shoot with his left foot from the right side of the penalty area. It was a shot any striker would be proud of and Bentley had no chance of keeping it out.
City’s shotstopper would pull off one huge save in the final moments to tip away a low shot from Bennett, though the final whistle would follow soon after to confirm the away side the three points.
Next for the Robins is a trip even further north when they face Hull City on Saturday (August 24th, 3pm KO).
- Marriott (85')
- Scott Malone, Matthew Clarke, Mason Bennett
- Weimann (16') , Brownhill (46')
- Jack Hunt, Kasey Palmer, Benik Afobe