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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Tuesday, August 17th 2021

📝 Report: Reading 2-3 Bristol City

A brace from Andreas Weimann inspired City to their first win of the Sky Bet Championship season.

The forward headed City in front as quickly as the fifth minute before Chris Martin doubled the visitors’ advantage after a quarter of an hour of play at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

Reading halved the scores before the interval, but City’s cushion was restored when Weimann played a one-two with Alex Scott before keeping his cool to make it 3-1.

Liam Moore would score with a low drive late on but the Robins withstood the late home side pressure to secure the win.

This was a much deserved first three points of the season - a first win since March - and completed in front of a sold-out away end, as the Robins faithful head back along the M4 motorway all smiles before a return to Ashton Gate on Friday night.

The background

Nigel Pearson named three changes to his team with first league starts for Cameron Pring – making his league debut in the process – Tomas Kalas and Danny Simpson. They came in for Kasey Palmer, Nathan Baker and Zak Vyner, respectively.

Summer signings Rob Atkinson, Matty James and Andy King all started for their third consecutive league games too.

A lot of recent talk had focused on City’s inability to take their chances but the Robins looked to answer their critics with two goals inside the first 15 minutes.

What happened

Weimann had Pearson’s men up and running inside the fifth minute. Kalas’ long throw from the right touchline, a weapon deployed on several occasions on the night, was headed on by Chris Martin and Weimann guided his own header to perfection, as the ball sailed beyond Rafael Cabral.

Another Kalas throw was diverted into the path of Matty James whose strike looked on target but was headed out for a corner, as City began to dominate the early proceedings.

But Reading had looked susceptible from set-pieces and they couldn’t defend against a James free-kick. His ball was clipped across goal by Pring and he found Martin who pounced from close range.

However, Reading halved the scores after a well-worked move down the left. There were questions if the ball had gone out of play but the Royals pressed ahead as no whistle came, and the ball was eventually worked into the box and cutback for Azeez who blasted home.

Kalas would have a chance to restore City’s two-goal cushion but he placed a far-post header straight at Rafael, while at the other end Atkinson was well placed to block a Tom McIntyre shot. Again, Reading had capitalised down the left but the visitors did enough to hold on to their lead come half-time.

Injury forced Andy King off the field minutes into the second half and Han-Noah Massengo would be his replacement; the Frenchman marking his first league appearance of the campaign.

And City soon restored their two-goal cushion and eradicate any nerves of a Reading comeback. They broke forward and Weimann picked out Scott to his right who cut the ball back to the Austrian. He took a touch to evade the dive of the despairing keeper before slotting the ball into the goal, avoiding two Royals players who looked to block on the goal line.

City looked relatively comfortable but breathed a sigh of relief when the referee dismissed George Puscas’s appeals for a penalty. His shot hit Kalas from close range, but the defender’s arms were down and it would have been a harsh call if given.

Instead, the Royals won a corner but captain Moore headed over from the resulting set-piece.

Pearson shifted to a back five with wing-backs when Baker replaced Pring with a little more than 10 minutes remaining, yet there was still a breakthrough for the hosts as they set up a tense finish in RG2.

Moore advanced forward on this occasion, holding off the pressure of Massengo and he placed the ball into the bottom right corner from distance to make it 2-3.

City might have added a fourth on the night but for substitute Kasey Palmer hitting post, with the rebound falling for Weimann whose hat-trick was denied by a Rafael save.

City: Bentley, Simpson, Kalas, Atkinson, Dasilva, King (Massengo 52), James, Scott (Palmer 66), Pring (Baker 77), Weimann, Martin. Subs not used: O'Leary, Vyner, Bakinson, Wells.

Up next

City, who jump to 12th in the standings, head back to BS3 for a Friday night encounter under the lights against Swansea City (7.45pm KO).

🎤 Post-match reaction

📸 MATCH ACTION

📊 Bristol City in numbers

  • Goals: 3
  • Shots: 8
  • Possession: 32.6%
  • Passes: 266
  • Pass success rate: 61%
  • Aerials won: 40
  • Tackles: 19
  • Clearances: 25
  • Interceptions: 9

Best Opta rating: Chris Martin 8.99

  • Goal: 1
  • Assist: 1
  • Shots: 1
  • Key passes: 1
  • Passes: 38
  • Touches: 50
  • Aerials won: 16

ON THE BALL

  • Most passes: Martin 38
  • Best pass accuracy: Andreas Weimann 84.2%
  • Most touches: Jay Dasilva 56

DEFENSIVE DUTIES

  • Most tackles: Dasilva 4
  • Most interceptions: Danny Simpson 3
  • Most clearances: Tomas Kalas 7

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