Report: Millwall 0-3 Bristol City
Saturday, January 23rd 2021
City will meet Sheffield United in the Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round after a convincing 3-0 win over Millwall at the Den.
Famara Diédhiou won and converted a first-half penalty when he was brought down by former City keeper Frank Fielding.
Millwall saw a chance headed off the line by Tommy Rowe as they went close to an equaliser but Nahki Wells and Antoine Semenyo struck in the second half to put an end to the contest in South London.
Wells doubled City’s lead with a deflected free kick, and turned provider for Semenyo who grabbed his third goal of the season after powering through the middle and calmly slotted the ball past Fielding.
City and Millwall last met in the FA Cup in November 1997 - their only meeting in the competition prior - with the Robins victorious 1-0 that day. And while the scoreline was different, the outcome would be the same on this occasion. The result sees City advance to the next round where they face Premier League opponents in the Blades, who beat Plymouth Argyle 2-1 in their respective FA Cup Fourth Round tie.
Dean Holden named six changes for the FA Cup clash in South London, with a fourth appearance of the season for Max O’Leary in goal. Adrian Mariappa and Taylor Moore returned to defence in place of Jack Hunt and Alfie Mawson. Tyreeq Bakinson replaced Ádám Nagy in central midfield, while Semenyo and Wells brought some fresh firepower to the attack with Chris Martin and Hakeeb Adelakun rested from the start.
City were certainly more of a creative force compared to their midweek outing, no doubt offering a response after that disappointing display at Norwich just days earlier.
It was an entertaining opening 10 minutes in particular with City quickly in behind the Millwall defence through Semenyo’s pace, but he slipped just as he looked to get a shot away, before Wells dragged an effort wide of Fielding’s righthand post. At the other end, Mason Bennett saw a shot pushed away at the near post by O’Leary.
O’Leary was returning to the starting XI for the first time since October but looked alert and sharp, again showing his worth to deny Troy Parrott and Leonard Ryan who stung the shotstopper’s palms after robbing the Robins in midfield.
But City would open the scoring just after the half-hour mark when Vyner slid a pass into Diédhiou. Fielding came off his line but brought down the striker, who stepped up confidently against his former teammate and tucked the ball into the bottom left corner from 12 yards.
Left-back Rowe would have to be well placed to clear a Ben Thompson header off the line from which City countered. Millwall recovered but finally the ball was swung back into the Millwall penalty area by Mariappa whose cross was glanced just wide by Diédhiou.
The visitors would end the half the stronger and only a fine stop from Fielding denied Holden’s men from doubling their advantage as half-time beckoned. Semenyo had been fouled with the resulting free kick in a promising position for Wells, who struck the ball confidently, but Fielding parried it away.
However, there was nothing Fielding could do when Wells was presented another free kick opportunity 12 minutes into the second half. It wasn’t struck as well as it deflected off the wall, however the ball looped beyond the helpless Millwall keeper and into the net to double the away team’s advantage.
City thought they had a third goal not long after but Wells was flagged offside as the ball trickled into the net.
Millwall conjured up some pressure in response but were dealt a sucker punch when Semenyo raced through to add to City’s lead at the other end. It was initially a hit and hope ball forward from Wells but Semenyo took the ball down perfectly before using his pace to get into a one-on-one situation with Fielding and he coolly placed the ball beyond the Millwall keeper.
O’Leary was called into action to deny a Thompson bullet header in his bid to keep a clean sheet, before substitute and former City loanee Matt Smit headed over.
Holden would freshen things up with a triple change in Han-Noah Massengo, Martin and Adelakun introduced for Palmer, Diédhiou and Semenyo, respectively, while young Owura Edwards was later summoned to make his club debut, replacing Vyner.
And the side had enough to keep the Lions at bay, record the away clean sheet and earn their place in the fifth round.
Now the Robins prepare to return to Sky Bet Championship action when they face Huddersfield Town at Ashton Gate on Tuesday (January 26th, 7pm KO).
Photography by JMPUK.