Report: Sunderland 1-2 Bristol City
Saturday, October 28th 2017
Milan Djuric’s second goal of the season ensured a 2-1 win for Bristol City against a struggling Sunderland side.
The Robins were back at the Stadium of Light for the first time in 18 years, where their hosts have not won a game since December 2016.
Bobby Reid headed Lee Johnson’s side ahead before Lewis Grabban scrambled an equaliser just before half time. Djuric, making only his second appearance of the season, then nodded in the winner in the cold and windy North East.
Frank Fielding, Nathan Baker, Bobby Reid and Jamie Paterson all returned to the starting line up following City’s Carabao Cup victory against Crystal Palace last Tuesday. Korey Smith was handed a substitute appearance as he returned from a hamstring injury.
There were early chances for both sides with Marlon Pack sending an effort over the bar from range, as the midfielder looked to make use of the windy conditions. Pack then slipped in Bryan, who found Brownhill lurking on the edge of the box but his shot went wide of goal.
Fielding then showed brilliant quick reactions to flick a close-range John O’Shea strike away for a corner, but it was Grabban who had the best chance for a Sunderland opener. The ball was lifted into his path and he took one touch before attempting to lob the on-rushing Fielding. Unfortunately for the Sunderland striker, the ball wouldn’t drop quickly enough.
The visitors took the lead through Bobby Reid’s ninth goal of the season. Republic of Ireland international Callum O’Dowda swung in a deep corner, which curled toward back post where Reid was waiting, and the number 14 converted the cross with a downward header from a tight angle.
Sunderland looked threatening in their chase for an equaliser and even had calls for a penalty turned down by referee Darren Bond. Darron Gibson saw his shot deflected by Reid and pushed away by Fielding in the build up before Didier N’Dong’s strike was blocked by Eros Pisano, questionably by his arm.
N’Dong almost found success moments later but his rifled shot pinged out for a corner via the face of Aden Flint but poor defending then cost City. A ball into the box was pushed away by Fielding but the Robins could not get the ball out from under their feet. The ball eventually fell to Grabban who stuck the ball into the net on the stroke of half time.
City looked the more likely to score a second and O’Dowda went close by forcing a smart save from Steele and Flint curled an effort just wide of the keeper’s right-hand post.
But it was Bosnian international Djuric, on to replace Paterson, who ensured all three points away from home. Substitute Smith picked out O’Dowda whose cross was met by another far post, downward header, this time from Djuric. It was the tall forward's second goal in as many games after months out through injury.
Reid could have added a third goal late on but placed the ball straight at the grateful Steele, while at the other end Flint was forced into a goal-line clearance as Oviedo threatened to equalise.
Fielding parried away a fierce Billy Jones strike just seconds before the final whistle, as Johnson’s side held out for another win on the road.
City's Sky Bet Championship campaign continues with a trip to Fulham on Tuesday night (7.45pm).
Attendance: 27,317 (1,533 away).