- English Football League - Championship
- Tuesday, September 18th 2018
- The Hawthorns
|West Bromwich Albion||4|
James Crawley reports from The Hawthorns
Report: WBA 4-2 Bristol City
Tuesday, September 18th 2018
City’s unbeaten streak came to an end at the hands of West Bromwich Albion, who ran out 4-2 winners at the Hawthorns.
The Baggies struck three times in the first half, leaving City with a mountain to climb after the break.
Jay Rodriguez netted a brace either side of Dwight Gayle’s strike. City greatly improved in the second half; Lloyd Kelly reduced the deficit but Harvey Barnes restored the host’s cushion before Famara Diédhiou’s curled effort halved the scoreline.
The result sees Lee Johnson's Robins move to fifth In the Sky Bet Championship.
Fresh from scoring the winner against Sheffield United three days earlier, Marley Watkins was restored to Johnson’s starting XI alongside Callum O’Dowda and Matty Taylor, as the head coach looked to kick-off with in a 4-4-2 formation.
An open and attack-minded start from both sides saw Taylor denied by a near-post save from Sam Johnstone, before Niki Mäenpää came racing off his line to block as Rodriguez tried to latch on to a central through ball.
Andreas Weimann came close to chipping City into the lead but Johnstone stood tall to punch the ball away but action at the other end of the pitch soon to turned into a goal.
SPOT-KICK OPENS THE SCORING
Mäenpää initially did very well to block from Rodriguez but as the ball rebounded to Gayle, the Baggies man skipped inside and fell under the challenge of Adam Webster. The referee Jeremy Simpson initially played advantage before quickly pulling play back for the penalty. Up stepped Rodriguez, whose spot kick had the beating of the City keeper, who dived the correct way.
It could have been two-nil sooner but Mäenpää showed quick reactions to prevent Baggies skipper Craig Dawson’s header from creeping in at the back post.
But he was well beaten by Gayle’s shot as West Brom burst forward on the counter. Barnes broke away, slid in Gayle who this time settled himself before striking the ball hard and low into the near corner of the goal.
The home side had pace about their attacks and City were limited to clear-cut chances of their own, with Weimann snatching at an effort which whistled inches wide after bypassing a crowd of players in the box.
It was 3-0 before the half-hour mark with Barnes grabbing his second assist of the evening. This time the Baggies found space down the right and Barnes’ cross fell to the unmarked Rodriguez, who tucked in from close range.
Barnes almost got himself on the scoresheet twice in the minutes that followed, but two curling efforts - one of them a free kick - failed to hit the target.
CITY SUBS INFLUENTIAL
Johnson introdued Diédhiou and Niclas Eliasson after 15 minutes into the second half, and they looked to give City more in their forward play.
And within minutes of the changes, with City piling on the pressure, it was an unlikely goalscorer in Kelly who gave City some hope. Sweden winger Eliasson teased his marker before whipping a ball into the box, and Kelly was in the right place at the right time to steer the ball past Johnstone - his first goal since Boxing Day last year.
West Brom quickly restored their three-goal scoreline when Jack Hunt lost possession deep inside his own half. Gayle won the ball from the right-back and set up Barnes, whose first-time placed shot curled into the top right corner of the goal.
However, Diédhiou struck a right-footed curler from a narrowing angle, which kissed the post on its way beyond the diving Johnstone.
LATE PRESSURE TOO LATE
City soon found more luck out wide and weren’t without their chances before the end and Weimann saw a penalty appeal dismissed, after falling under a challenge from Kyle Bartley. The strike also saw a strike blocked, substitute Jamie Paterson glanced a header over the bar and Josh Brownhill sliced a long-range volley wide before the hosts held on to claim victory.
City will look to get back to winning ways in their third match in seven days, when they travel to take on Wigan on Friday night (September 21st, 7.45pm).
West Bromwich Albion
- Rodriguez (16' pen) , Gayle (24') , Rodriguez (28') , Barnes (63')
- Gareth Barry, Dwight Gayle, Jay Rodriguez
- Kelly (60') , Diedhiou (68')
- Jack Hunt, Marley Watkins, Matty Taylor