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Dave Barton

Dave Barton writes

Posted Saturday, July 21st 2018

Report: Rayo Vallecano 1-0 Bristol City

Alex Moreno’s 90th-minute strike for Rayo Vallecano saw City’s Spanish tour end in defeat at Marbella Football Centre.

It looked as if the friendly would end goalless after City’s trialist keeper Niki Maenpaa made a superb close-range save to deny Joni Montiel’s downward header after Andreas Weimann hit the crossbar for the Robins.

However, Moreno weaved his way to the six-yard area and smashed the ball home to secure victory for the Secunda Division Champions in virtually the last kick of the game.

NINE CHANGES TO THE STARTING XI

Only Joe Bryan and Niclas Eliasson started from the midweek 2-2 draw with Real Balopédica Linense, while club captain Bailey Wright led out the team for his first game of pre-season after recovering from a back injury.

And it was City who had a livelier start, as Matty Taylor forced a corner inside the opening 60 seconds from his narrow angled shot.

But that was the last action the striker saw as he was heavily tackled by Ba and was replaced by Famara Diédhiou after just five minutes.

The lively Eliasson beats his marker

PLENTY OF POSSESSION

City enjoyed plenty of possession but struggled to create any clear-cut changes until Bryan cut inside, darted through a crowd of players and released Diédhiou, but the Senegalese’s shot was straight at keeper Alberto.

Rayo Vallecano threatened several times as the half wore on, and their best opportunity came from a free kick on the edge of the box, which Kakuta struck low into the strong-standing wall.

City almost broke the deadlock before the break when Weimann made an eye-catching solo run down from a central position.

The summer signing powered forward and fed the overlapping Korey Smith, but Alberto’s feet denied the midfielder’s first-timed effort, which was deserving of a goal.

Moments later, Eliasson's sudden change in pace won City a free kick on the angle of the box, which Marlon Pack curled into the side-netting.

CITY RING THE CHANGES

Lee Johnson opted to make a triple half-time substitution with Eros Pisano, Josh Brownhill and Nathan Baker replacing Bryan, Marley Watkins and Wright respectively.

Rayo Vallecano striker Sergio Moreno started to cause the Robins problems after the interval, with two threatening runs into the box from the right channel, but City continued to defend stoutly.

City's summer recruit strikes the upright

WEIMANN DENIED BY THE CROSSBAR

Weimann thought he’d managed to find a breakthrough in the 65th minute when he escaped his marker to guide Pring’s inviting cross goalwards, only to see his effort cannon against the upright.

Instead, it was the Spanish opposition who would depart the venue victorious courtesy of Moreno’s powerful finish from a closing angle at the near post.

Johnson’s squad return to Bristol tomorrow following the conclusion of their seven day warm-weather training camp, and will prepare to face AFC Bournemouth at Ashton Gate on Friday evening (July 27th, 7pm) in their final pre-season friendly before the new campaign kicks-off.

Rayo Vallecano: Alberto, Mario, Akieme, M N Dorado, Gorka, Alex Moreno, Trejo, Sergio Moreno, Kakuta, Embarba. Substitutes: Javirru, Morro, Santi, Ba, Jonathan, Martin, Beltran, Lass, Mena, Guerra, Mendi. 

Bristol City: Niki Maenpaa, Joe Bryan (Eros Pisano 45), Adam Webster, Bailey Wright (C, Nathan Baker 45), Jack Hunt (Cameron Pring 57), Niclas Eliasson, Korey Smith, Marlon Pack, Marley Watkins (Josh Brownhill 45), Andreas Weimann (Jamie Paterson 79), Matt Taylor (Famara Diédhiou 5, Djuric 79).