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📝 REPORT: West Bromwich Albion 3-0 Bristol City

City fell to a 3-0 defeat against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns.

First-half goals from Jordan Hugill and a Kyle Bartley header put the hosts 2-0 up in a first-half controlled by the Baggies.

Karlan Grant added to the scoreline in the second half to make it 3-0, with City unable to find a reply against a resilient West Brom side.

The Baggies remain second in the Championship table, whilst City sit in 16th.

THE BACKGROUND

The Robins made one alteration to the side that started against Nottingham Forest in midweek, with Han-Noah Massengo replacing Alex Scott in midfield.

City were looking to use the West Bromwich match as an opportunity to bounce back from their midweek defeat to Forest, but the Robins knew they would have to be at their best if they were to overcome the Baggies, who were yet to taste defeat at home in the Championship this season.

Professional Development Coach Alex Ball was assisting the team at the Hawthorns following the departure of First Team Coach Paul Simpson on Friday.

WHAT HAPPENED

After a 15-minute delay to kick-off due to an unfortunate medical emergency involving a supporter, the game got underway, and it took five minutes for the first goal of the game, with West Brom grabbing the opener.

A quick-passing move from the Baggies finished with Darnell Furlong drilling a ball to the back post, and Jordan Hugill was on-hand to tap past Bentley and put the hosts in front.

The Robins responded instantly when Nahki Wells latched onto a long pass from kick-off and placed the ball excellently past Sam Johnstone, but as the forward ran towards the corner in celebration, the linesman raised his flag for offside.

Wells was onside from Thomas Kalas’ original pass, however the referee had judged Weimann to have got a touch on the through ball – therefore leaving Wells in an offside position.

The hectic start continued in the west-Midlands with West Brom having two big chances to double their lead. Hugill sent an effort wide of the goal from a couple of yards out just minutes after City’s disallowed goal, and the striker then blasted over again from close range, with Baker doing well to put the striker off when taking aim.

Unfortunately for Baker, he injured himself in the process, and after a lengthy period receiving treatment the defender was forced off the pitch, with Cameron Pring coming on in his place.

The pressure on the City goal continued from West Brom, and the Robins had the post to thank just before the half-hour mark when Robert Snodgrass’ curling effort from outside the box rattled the inside of the post.

Hugill was a big threat going forward for the hosts in the opening stages of the game, and the striker had his fourth chance when he latched onto George Tanner’s short back pass, but Dan Bentley made himself big as he charged the shot down – deflecting the effort wide for a corner.

Manager Nigel Pearson had spoken in the build-up to the game about the aerial threat that West Brom pose, and it was Darnell Furlong’s long throw into the box which handed the hosts their second goal of the afternoon.

Furlong’s long throw was sent towards a cluster of bodies at the near-post, and Kyle Bartley headed past Bentley with a glancing effort as the Baggies entered the break 2-0 up.

Half-time

Bentley was called into action twice in quick succession after the restart – the first to deny Karlan Grant as he smothered the striker's effort for a corner, and the second from the resulting set-piece when he scampered across his goal line to hold Bartley’s downward header.

The Robins then had their first chance of the half as Jay Dasilva was played through on the left side of the box, but his drilled effort was blocked for a City corner.

The resulting corner was cleared out to Danny Simpson on the halfway line, but a poor back pass from the substitute was intercepted by Grant, and the striker curled his shot around Bentley to add a third for the hosts.

The Robins didn’t back down though, and they almost pulled a goal back when Chris Martin's header was denied brilliantly by Johnstone.

A positive run forward by Massengo saw the Frenchman skip through the West Brom midfield and find Wells on the left. The Bermudan bided his time before finding Martin at the near post, and the strikers bullet header was stopped by Johnstone with a strong right-hand, resulting in another corner for the Robins.

It was a much-improved display by City in the 15 minutes following the third goal, with the play in the final third starting to have some end product as Martin, Wells and Weimann all began to find each other around the box on multiple occasions.

Matty James tried a long-range effort as the Robins looked for a way back into the game, but the midfielders driven shot had a little too much elevation behind it as the ball flew over the bar.

Substitute Callum O’Dowda then came extremely close to pulling a goal back for the Robins when he met Martin’s back-post cross with a brave diving header, but he could only look on as his header into the ground looped over the bar.

Weimann had a header go over the bar in the final couple minutes of the match, but the Robins couldn’t find a goal in the remaining minutes as the contest finished 3-0 to the hosts.

THE TEAM

City: Bentley, Tanner (Simpson, 34), Kalas, Atkinson, Baker (Pring, 23), Dasilva (O’Dowda, 64), James, Massengo (Bakinson, 87), Weimann, Wells, Martin. Unused subs: O’Leary, Scott, Bell.

Report by Lewis Barton

🎥Post-match reaction

📸 Match Action

📊 Bristol City in numbers

• Possession: 44.6%`
• Shots: 6
• Passes: 256
• Pass success rate: 59%
• Tackles: 13
• Clearances: 30
• Interceptions: 10
• Aerial duels won: 28
• Best Opta rating: Pring (7.50)

ON THE BALL

• Most passes: Atkinson - 41
• Best pass accuracy: O’Dowda (100%) Dasilva (77.8%)
• Most touches: Pring - 64

DEFENSIVE DUTIES

  • Most tackles: Pring - 4 
  • Most interceptions: Pring - 4
  • Most clearances: Atkinson - 11

City are back in action on Saturday when we face Barnsley at Ashton Gate (October 30th, 3pm). There's also Halloween-themed hospitality not to be missed - full details here.

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