Bristol City Monthly Review: October

Bristol City v Barnsley - Sky Bet Championship
BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM – APRIL 22: Detailed view of a Bristol City Logo during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Barnsley at Ashton Gate on April 22, 2017 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

After a mixed September City would be hoping October would be different and help mount a play off place.

Rotherham United (A)

City travelled away to Rotherham hoping to build on the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa. It The hosts started the better of the two, breaking down City’s defence on more than one occasion. It looked to be a tough game from the off and if City were to come away with any points they needed to be clinical. For much of the first half it was all Rotherham, the danger coming from the wings with teasing balls into the box, but luckily for City they couldn’t finish. City did have chances and would be disappointed not to be ahead after Josh Brownhill’s first time cross was volleyed in by Famara Diédhiou; only to be ruled out for offside.

After the restart both teams had eyes for goal, it was the hosts that came closest. Smith heading his effort over the bar. Watkins and Taylor were brought on to add a much needed attacking presence. Not long after the chances kept coming, Diedhiou’s effort saved calmly by the keeper, then doing well to tip Watkins low driven effort away.

Watkins would again come close after having nearly two stabs at goal, his first shot not getting enough power; before the ball rebounded back to him he looked certain to score but he couldn’t get his header away. It was the same story for City as the game finished 0-0, crucial chances not taken and a disappointing result against a side who are predicted for relegation.

Sheffield Wednesday (H)

Back at BS3 City hosted Sheffield Wednesday in the hopes of an improved performance from their drab 0-0 draw with Rotherham United. Right from kick off it looked to be an open game with both sides squandering golden opportunities. Sheffield Wednesday first coming close; Adam Reach played through one on one with the keeper, prompting Maenpaa to come off his line and deal with it. City then began to bombard the Wednesday half and should of been 2-0 up in as many minutes. First Famara Diedhiou found himself isolated eight yards out only to be denied by a fantastic save from the Wednesday keeper. Then Lloyd Kelly’s angled effort looked to be in only to be denied by the far post. Adam Reach had been hot on everyone’s lips in the last few weeks with his speculative efforts, he nearly did it again just before half time; Maenpaa reacting well to clear wide.

After the restart it was Wednesday who started on top, Barry Bannan who had been making a nuisance all game saw his clever chipped effort saved by Maenpaa. City did grow into the game and were close to going ahead if not for a key intereception from Jay Silva’s cross. It was from this interception the owls countered, Barry Bannan’s cross field ball controlled well Joao who did well to out muscle Nathan Baker and finish past the keeper. Minutes later the visitors doubled their lead, Joao with his second of the game after receiving the ball in the box the Portuguese forward side stepped his man and smashed his effort past the helpless Maenpaa.

There was hope for City after Callum O’Dowda was fouled in the box the referee awarded a penalty to which Matty Taylor calmly finished, 2-1. From this point on it was all City as they looked to pull things level, but for all their pressure it would not prevail as the full time whistle blew. A 2-1 defeat.

Brentford (A)

City made the two hour journey up the M4 to fellow play off hopefuls Brentford. It would be a first managerial game for Thomas Frank in charge of the bees after Dean Smith’s departure to Aston Villa. It would also be a league debut for young City keeper Max O’Leary after Nikki Maenpaa was sidelined and Frank Fielding ill to play.

Brentford started brightlty and should of gone ahead, top-scorer Neal Maupay unable to tap home from close range. It was again the home side coming closest, this time Romaine Sawyers drilled effort inches wide from O’Leary’s goal. The hosts were and on top and a goal was soon imminent, to make things worse Nathan Baker was forced off after just 20 minutes due to a head injury; Jay Da Silva was subbed on.

The Robins were suddenly growing into the game and had much more possession in their counter-parts half. City were getting chances and finally broke the deadlock, or so they thought. City were adjudged offside and the goal was ruled out. O’Leary was forced into a smart save shortly after, Ollie Watkins with a strong effort before Maupay’s rebound sailed over the crossbar. Winger Eliasson looked lively for City keeping up the good form that has brought him many fans this season. He was involved this time after his inswigning cross was headed home by Matty Taylor, but again it was ruled out for offside. Just before half time Brentford would have one more go, a Sawyers long-range free kick prompting a fine diving save from the young o’Leary and leave the fans amazed. Half time 0-0.

Second half was much of the same, Brentford had chances but were being kept out by some fantastic saves from O’Leary. The game was flipped on its head after Mepham was red carded after a second booking offence for bringing down the surging Eliasson. It was now City on top and Brentford had to be alert. Brentford should of gone ahead after Ollie Watkins was denied by the woodwork. The game was open throughout and going into the final ten minutes it was anyone’s game.

It would be City who would clinch the victory. A dogged affair from both sides really showed the desire to win, but City’s fighting attitude paid off as Jay Da’Silva’s cross found the unmarked Eliasson who volleyed home in front of the travelling fans to spark wild celebrations. Full time Brentford 0- Bristol City 1. It was City’s first win at Griffin Park since 2009.

Hull City (H)

After a last gap victory on Saturday secured a 1-0 win over Brentford spirits were high for City. A win here could see them climb into the play off places and even touching distance from the automatics. Hull have had a poor start to the season and find themselves in and amongst relegation.

It was Hull that started, less than a minute gone and they could of been in front albeit a magnificent save from young keeper Max O’Leary. It set the tone for the game. City did have their chances, first Niclas Eliasson’s trickery beating two Hull players before his curling effort was palmed away to Diédhiou. The striker not able to follow up on the rebound. Josh Brownhill then saw his effort from outside the penalty area ricochet off the post. Although City did dominate the first half they looked poor on the ball not being able to string there passing play together under constant pressure from Hull. Half time 0-0.

Second half things started brightly for City, they got much more of the ball and certainly played with purpose. It was Hull who came closest, Tommy Elphick heading inches wide from a corner. Marlon Pack nearly put City in front with a long range driven effort, the keeper doing well to react. City grew more and more into the game and it looked to swing in the home sides favour.

Matty Taylor was brought on with 10 minutes left and already looked lively. With seven additonal minutes added on City pressed for a winner. With 3 minutes gone City found it. The lively Taylor bursting forward and releasing a firm shot for keeper Marshall to palm away, but only as far as the pouncing Diedhiou who headed home past the recovering Hull defender. Full time 1-0 City. A vital win and another last minute winner!

Stoke City (H)

A packed out Ashton Gate saw City host newly relegated Stoke City. Stoke have surprised many this season struggling to adjust to life in the Championship. City would be hoping to make it three wins in a row and climb further up the table into the play off places.

The game was flat from the off but both sides had chances. First Famara Diedhou’s shot saved comfortably by Jack Butland before Tom Ince’s volleyed effort was dragged wide. City came closest after Diedhou’s header was denied by the upright. Minutes later it was the visitors that were ahead. Darren Fletcher reacting quickest to a loose ball in the air and volleying home from close distance. Stoke showed their class after this, they had a lot of pace and were hard to stop on the counter, fortunately for City they couldn’t capitalise on their efforts as the first half finished Bristol City 0 – 1 Stoke City.

Second half a much needed performance was needed, the midfield looked slow at times and City were struggling to make passes. Lee Johnson opted for a change and Liam Walsh was brought on, Walsh added a clear attacking threat and very nearly put City ahead after his long range effort was fumbled by the England keeper before clutching the ball to stop it going over the line. City were on top and the chances kept coming, Jack Hunts low cross cleared away by the Stoke defence to prevent Walsh from getting a foot on it.

The onslaught continued and again City would be denied by the woodwork. Diedhou’s header crashing off the crossbar before Marlon Packs effort was blocked in the goalmouth scramble that followed. In the closing stages Butland proved why he was England keeper, two fine close range saves prevented City getting an equaliser. First Marlon Packs headed effort was saved followed by Eliassson’s effort inside the penalty area. There was to be no late goal this time around, it finished Bristol City 0 – Stoke City 1. A frustrating game for City but a much improved second half, if Butland was not in goal it would have been a certain draw.

Summary

An overall good month for City, a poor start away to Rotherham was not the ideal start, these are the games they must be winning if they have any chance of finishing in the play off places. A couple of last minute winners and an away victory at Brentford in 9 years is certainly a positive, a draw against Stoke would definitely of been deserved and that could of affected things going into the next month.

Advertisements

Bristol City Monthly Review: September

Bristol City v Barnsley - Sky Bet Championship

With City making a decent start to the season a tough set of fixtures faced them throughout September, could they maintain their play off push.

Blackburn Rovers (H)

Tony Mowbrays Blackburn were the visitors at BS3. Blackburn boasted an unbeaten record and were 5th in the league. City went into the game with back to back victories; both coming away from home.

Similar to their visit to Swansea it was City who started well, there was clear attacking intent from the off. Weimann coming closest to score; his header wide of the Rovers goal. Jack Hunt then saw his driven effort saved by David Raya. It was all City at this point, but Rovers did find themselves ahead after 13 minutes. Charlie Mulgrew’s delivery from the corner missing out everyone bar the goal to put the visitors in front and stun the home side. Moments later it could of been 2-0 to the visitors if not for the woodwork, Kasey Palmer’s effort hitting the bar from a tight angle.

City were awarded a free kick seven minutes from time, up stepped Josh Brownhill who curled the ball around the wall and into the goal, 1-1. The teams went in level and both could of had more. From the restart City looked sharp and nearly went in front, Matty Taylor’s low effort palmed away by the keeper. It was a sign of things to come and on 55 minutes City went in front. Eliasson cutting in off the wing found Taylor with a perfect cross who then chested down to the onrushing Marley Watkins who tapped it away, 2-1 City.

With just over 20 minutes to go Famara Diedhiou was brought on, his first return since serving a six match ban for spitting. The striker marked his return with a goal merely 5 minutes after coming on. Andreas Weimann passing it out to Diedhiou who made no mistake in tucking his low effort pass the keeper. Blackburn’s attacking threat had gone and City made sure to maximise this, Marlon Pack’s looping header finding the back of the net making it 4-1 to City and finishing the game off. A good win from behind and 3 more points on the board.

Sheffield United (H)

Back at home City faced fellow play off competitors Sheffield United. City were looking to make it 4 wins in a row.

City started quickly and attacked strongly at the defence, United keeper Dean Henderson being called into action multiple times early on. United grew into the game and should of gone ahead, David McGoldrick squandering more than one opportunity. United were again in front of goal, this time Billy Sharp being prevented a shooting opportunity thanks to Thomas Kalas’s last ditch tackle.

The teams went into the break at 0-0 and it looked like the second half would continue to play out this way. Lee Johnson opted for an attacking change in the second half, Marley Watkins and Callum O’Dowda entering the field. The changes worked as City found themselves on the ball much more, working it well in the wings and pressing their opposition to create chances, but again they couldn’t finish.

It looked to be one of those games where they couldn’t find the net, as much as they wanted to. Persistence prevailed and City were in front with less than 10 minutes to go. Both substitutes being involved, O’Dowda’s weighted cross met with a looping header from Watkins over the keeper. 1-0 City. It was to be the only goal of the game and gave City a well earned three points against a side who will no doubt be in and amongst the play off places.

West Bromwich Albion (A)

Away from Ashton Gate City travelled to newly relegated West Brom. The “Baggies” sat 3 points behind City and would be hoping to stop City’s winning run extending to 5 games.

City started well and dominated the match for the first 15 minutes, they should of been 1-0 up after Matty Taylor’s near post effort was saved by West Brom keeper; Sam Johnstone. It would not be the first time Johnstone would be called into action. At the other end City keeper Maenpaa was also tested, Jay Rodriguez released into the area and found himself one on one with the keeper, Maenpaa did well coming of his line to block his effort.

City’s lack of clinical finishing came back to bite them after West Brom were awarded a penalty after 15 minutes. Maenpaa did well to stop the initial shot from Rodriguez, but the ball fell to Dwight Gayle, but before he could release the trigger; he was brought down by City defender Adam Webster. The referee wasted no time in pointing to the spot. Maenpaa guessed the right way but it was not enough to stop the hosts from taking the lead.

Less than 10 minutes later the hosts doubled their lead, breaking on the counter West Brom worked well down the wing and played a simple low cross into the box for the onrushing Gayle; who had time to settle and dispatch his finish into the net. City were playing well and creating play, but were getting shown up by West Brom’s counter attacking play. It again prevailed for the hosts as they made it 3-0 after 30 minutes, strong play out right from Harvey Barnes holding of the pressure of City full back Hunt , he then delivered a cross into the box, this time it was Rodriguez who tapped home from close range. A nightmare first half for City.

After the restart City added much needed width to their attack, with Niclas Eliasson coming on, a strong presence was also added with Famara Diedhou on up top. It was an instant response for City who worked well down the wing. Eliasson’s whipping delivery was met by Lloyd Kelly who poked him, City pulled a goal back and there was now hope amongst the large travelling support. But this hope was short lived as West Brom added another, Jack Hunt losing possession deep inside the City half, Gayle then played it to the onrushing Barnes who scored with a fine first timed effort. There was a late consolation for City, substitute Diedhou with a fine curling effort licking the post before rippling the net.

City were showed up by the counter attacking quality that West Brom had, it was one to learn from, but it did end City’s winning run of 4 games.

153B2FF0-CCCF-4BBB-AD5C-57CF63A0EA05

Wigan Athletic (A) 

Back on the road City travelled to the DW Stadium hoping to rectify their midweek defeat.

It was an open game from the start with Weimann chasing down a back pass, but his first touch let him down to allow the Wigan defence to rectify their mistake. Wigan were in protest of a penalty after they felt Jack Hunt had brought down Michael Jacobs in the box, but the ref waved play on. As the game went on Wigan grew stronger and the chances kept coming, first Michael Jacobs fizzing shot sailed narrowly wide over the goal. Jacobs was involved again as his low drilled cross was cleared by Kelly.

After the restart Wigan continued to look on top, Windass’s looping header going over the crossbar. Moments later Windass sent a cross into the box for Nick Powell to guide into the top corner and put the hosts 1-0 up. To make things worse City were to lose defender Thomas Kalas after a collision. Johnson brought on attacking presence to help gain an equaliser but for all the possession they could not muster up a goal. The game finished 1-0 to Wigan and was a deserved defeat.

Aston Villa (H) 

Under the lights out of form Villa were the visitors to a sold out Ashton Gate, City  were looking to put behind the two away defeats and push up the league table. The match was selected for TV coverage and the atmosphere was loud from the off. City looked comfortable and should of gone ahead through former Villa man Weimann, the striker not able to head in from Josh Brownhill’s delivery. Villa did put the ball in the net through former City loan star Tammy Abraham, but it was ruled out after a foul on the keeper.

Josh Brownhill put City in front with a fantastic strike, after the ball had rolled to his feet from some intricate play from City, the midfielder drilled his effort beyond the helpless Nyland. 1-0 City. Taylor nearly doubled the score line shortly after but his shot failed to trouble the keeper. Just before half time Villa were awarded a free kick, Conor Hourihane’s cross met by Bjarnsonn to put the visitors level at the break.

Villa started much better in the second half and City were under the cosh, a scramble in the box before City could clear was a sign of things to come. John McGinn hoping to replicate his wonder strike against Sheffield Wednesday, but Maenpaa did well to tip it away. City grew into the game and managed to work the ball around well, Johnson brought on Diedhou and Paterson in hopes of finding a winner. With momentum on their side City looked to nick it, Niclas Eliasson’s corner met by Adam Webster; but his header went over the crossbar. Webster then had his own heroics to perform after blocking a dangerous cross from the Villa right to stop the visitors nicking it themselves.

The full time whistle was blown and it finished 1-1, either sides could of nicked it so a point was a fair result. City finished the month sat in 8th place.

Summary

A promising start to the month for City with key wins against a side who will no doubt be up there, but the defeat against Wigan was probably the most frustrating, these are the sides we should be beating especially if we are to aim for the play off places. The defeat to West Brom proved to highlight the lack of quality in the City XI. We are still missing a creative midfielder and a real out and out goalscorer.

Player of the Month: 

Josh Brownhill – The midfielder has come into his own and is beginning to settle nicely in the Championship, he seems to be the only midfielder wanting to run at the opposition and always has his head up when looking for a pass.

jmp_bristol_city_v_blackburn_rovers_rt0421
Josh Brownhill celebrates his free kick equaliser in the 4-1 home victory to Blackburn Rovers

MATCH PREVIEW: West Bromwich Albion vs Bristol City

City travel away to West Brom in the midweek match. City will be looking to make it 5 wins on the bounce after last weekends 1-0 win over Sheffield United.

Watkins sheffield utd
Marley Watkins celebrates his goal in the 1-0 victory over Sheffield United

Albion will be looking to improve on their 1-1 draw with Birmingham City. The hosts sit 8th in the table and if results go their way will see them leapfrog the visitors.

TEAM NEWS: 

West Bromwich Albion:

Midfielder James Morrison is expected to miss the match following his groin injury which ruled him out of Friday’s game. Wes Hoolahan could make his debut for the baggies after signing a short term deal with the club.

Birmingham City v West Bromwich Albion - Sky Bet Championship
Wes Hoolahan pictured in his new club colours after his arrival on Friday

Bristol City:

Eros Pisano is the latest addition to City’s injury list. The defender picking up a hip problem in training. Nathan Baker could start for the robins after shaking off injury problems; it would only be his third league appearance this season.

Prediction:

A tight game to call with both teams looking to pick up three points in the battle for the play off places. I think West Brom will just edge it with a 2-1 victory.

Bristol City Monthly Review: August

Bristol City v Barnsley - Sky Bet Championship

City’s 2018/19 campaign is in full swing, with six league games and one Carabao cup game played, it was time to review how the Robins season had started.

Nottingham Forest (H)

Opening day action, Aitor Karanka’s Nottingham Forest were the visitors. Forest had recruited well in the summer window; 13 new additions. From young potential European talent; to key experienced players. They had been tipped to be one of the promotion pushers so this was by no means an easy game.

It was a bright start from City, backed by a vocal Ashton Gate they had the game from the off and deservedly went in front thanks to a debut goal from summer signing Andreas Weimann; it only took the Austrian 5 minutes to score and get off the mark at BS3. It was all City for the opening 45 minutes and they would of been frustrated not go in at 2-0 after Marlon Pack’s header  was cleared off the line.

After the restart it was Forest who started the better and similar to City it was rewarded; Murphy heading the visitors level after 46 minutes. From then on it was a dogged affair, Forest created chances but could not finish, City’s new keeper Maenpaa called into action more than once. City weathered the storm and were unlucky not to win the game when a penalty shout was ruled out right at the death, Mo Eisa went down in a crowded box but the referee did not agree, the full time whistle was blown seconds later to share the points at BS3; Bristol City 1 -1 Nottingham Forest.

Bolton Wanderers (A)

Away from BS3, City were at Bolton Wanderers in hope of gaining a result on the road. The first half started lively with City squandering key chances, there was even a penalty appeal on Josh Brownhill. After a neat one two with Paterson the midfielder was brought down in the box by Mark Beavers; protest from the City players, but the ref waved play on allowing Bolton to clear. Eliasson nearly broke the deadlock; his shot hitting the post from a tight-angle free kick.

Like the first half City started brightly, instant pressure from the Robins meant the chances kept coming, but again they could not finish. Against the run of play Bolton attacked, a dangerous cross prompting Maenpaa to tip over. The resulting corner then gave the hosts the lead; Josh Vela’s delivery met by Will Buckley with a right-footed finish. 1-0 Bolton. Minutes later it was to get worse for the visitors; a Nathan Baker foul lead to a quick free-kick, Pawel Olkowski picking out Josh Magennis to give the hosts a two goal lead.

City still attacked in hope of sparking a comeback. The attacking prowess was to pay off; Marlon Pack with a perfectly weighted pass to release Weimann who made no mistake in finishing past the Bolton keeper, 2-1 Bolton; game on. 10 minutes from time City found themselves level thanks to Jamie Paterson, cutting in from the left the midfielder found his first time effort nestle into the bottom corner. It was nearly a perfect comeback after City could have won the game at the death, Mo Eisa’s shot deflected wide of the goal. It finished 2-2, a hard earned point for City.

Plymouth Argyle (H) Carabao Cup Round 1

City kicked off their Carabao Cup heroics with a repeat fixture of last seasons competition to Plymouth Argyle. Last time out it was a rampant victory for the hosts 5-0, sparking a run seeing them get all the way to the semi-finals of the competition and nocking out numerous Premier League teams in the process (Manchester United even).

City started well dominating possession, but similar to their previous fixtures could not find the back of the net. Plymouth had their chances and thanks to Chelsea loanee Jay Da Silva the visitors were kept out.  But it wasn’t long until the visitors were ahead, Yann Songo’o with a powerful header from six-yards out to put it beyond O’Leary to give the breakthrough.

Second half began very evenly, both teams having a fair chunk of possession and squandering chances. City did get a goal back; or so they thought. Korey Smith’s driven effort finding the target, only to be ruled out for a controversial offside decision. City dominated the remaining half but couldn’t find that elusive equaliser. The game finished 1-0. City were out, there were to be no more cup heroics.

Middlesbrough (H)

After their shock cup exit to Plymouth, City hoped to bounce back with a league victory against promotion favourites Middlesbrough. It was a day that saw the return of Aden Flint after his big money move at the start of the season. City were playing with a make shift defence due to key injuries and it looked to be a hard day for the Robins with the visitors having an unbeaten start to the season and sitting in the top two.

Boro started the first half well pressing City a lot, so much so it took them just over 10 minutes to open the scoring; Jack Hunt’s misjudged pass finding Martin Braithwate who reacted quickly to slide the ball past the keeper and give the visitors a lead. Not the ideal start for City. Things got worse just after the half hour mark, Stewart Downing’s cross picking out Assombolonga who made no mistake in finishing, 2-0 to the visitors.

After the restart City played with real intent, key efforts on goal just 10 minutes after the restart looked to give the hosts a lift. The game grew open from this point on and both teams missed chances in front of goal. City began to dominate play again and nearly equalised after a Eros Pisano header hit the post, 10 minutes later Brownhill hit the crossbar with his speculative free kick effort from a central position. Despite the hosts dominance in the second half it finished 2-0 Boro to give Lee Johnson’s side their first league defeat of the season.

Queens Park Rangers (A)

City travelled to QPR in the midweek kick off in hopes of recovering from Saturdays home defeat. QPR were desperate for a win after a 7-1 thrashing away from home, they also found themselves in the relegation places. For City it would always be a tough game, they had not won at Loftus Road in over 40 years.

The away side started brightly and nearly found themselves in front, Eros Pisano’s ball  played wide to Taylor who delivered a deep cross to Eliasson at the back post, his volleyed effort fizzing wide. The left flank of QPR’s defence seemed to be shaky and it was here where City looked to exploit it. Taylor latching onto the ball in that pocket of space he dribbled at goal cutting inside before drilling a low effort into the far corner ;1-0 City.

Second half, City again started strong and it only took them 6 minutes from the restart to put themselves 2-0 up. Taylor again getting involved, his disguised pass finding the overlapping Eliasson who whipped a delightful ball into the danger area to find Weimann who nodded home. QPR did little to threaten the City defence but did have a key opportunity to claw a goal back, Washington taking it round the keeper and squaring it to Eze, his shot blocked on the line by the recovering Webster to keep the hosts out.

City added a third on 90 minutes when Ingram’s poor kick was intercepted by Taylor who found Brownhill, his effort saved from the keeper but only as far as Weimann who tapped in the rebound to score his second of the night and add more misery to QPR. The game finished 3-0 and it was City’s first three points of the league campaign, it was also their first victory at Loftus Road for 41 years, a good evening on the road.

Swansea City (A)

IMG_6157[1]

Another away game saw City make the short trip over the bridge to newly relegated Swansea City. It was a much anticipated game for the visitors, so much so that they took a sell out away end (containing myself).

Thomas Kalas was thrown straight into the starting XI in defence after his loan singing move from Chelsea. It was to add much needed cover after City had only one recognised centre half playing the previous games.

Backed by the sell out away end City looked well up for it, and they were. It was a dream start, after 31 seconds they were ahead sending the away fans wild (We hadn’t even finished singing the national anthem!). Eliasson’s persistence on the right allowed him to put a low cross into the box where Andreas Weimann scrambled the ball home. It was his fifth goal of the campaign, the same he had scored at Derby all last season.

Swansea struggled with City’s pressure and looked to pounce on any mistake. They did have their chances  however, Bersant Celina’s free kick cleared off the line by Jack Hunt. Swansea tried to work it down City’s right hand side but struggled to get past Lloyd Kelly on numerous occasions. Kelly has been instrumental after filling in for the departed Bryan. City themselves could of doubled their advantage only to be denied by the Swans keeper from close range. Swansea nearly equalised close to half time after Celina’s long range effort sailed inches wide of goal, another close scare for the visitors.

Second half it was Swansea who had the better of possession and worked well with it. Chances were coming for the Welsh side but they couldn’t find the back of the net; Ollie McBurnie’s overhead kick dipping over the crossbar. City grew into the game as it went on , Kelly also growing further into the game attacking wide and causing much havoc along the left flank. His persistence earned City a free kick in dangerous territory which resulted in debutant Kalas shooting inches wide. It was Kelly at the heart of it again when his low cross was met by Weimann who took the ball around Mulder, forced wide he spotted Taylor, picking him out he shot first time to force a save from the Swansea keeper.

Swansea got back into the game and dominated the last 20 minutes, City did well to survive the onslaught. Goalscorer Weimann also showing his defensive ability after he headed an effort off the line. Then City keeper Maenpaa  was called into action, Matt Grimes driven effort tipped over the bar. Swansea piled on the pressure in injury time but it would not be enough as the game finished 1-0 to City and give them their second consecutive win since December of last year. It was also two consecutive clean sheets on the road.

Player of the Month: 

Queens Park Rangers v Bristol City - Sky Bet Championship
Lloyd Kelly shows his delight after the full time whistle vs QPR

Lloyd Kelly – Since the departure of Joe Bryan to Fulham, Kelly has come into his own at LB, for a player of his age he shows considerable confidence when under pressure and can certainly handle himself. This is evident in the last two away games helping to earn consecutive clean sheets. The youngster also likes to drive forward similar to that of Bryan, this was most notable in the Swansea game where he created numerous chances. If he keeps playing how he is he will be a pivotal role in City’s campaign this season.

Summary

A solid start for City who find themselves floating around the play off places. If the team churns out the performances similar to the QPR and Swansea games then they will have no issue in finishing in the top half and even pushing for the play off places. It is however early days and my biggest concern will be if they can deliver when they need to, we lost vital games last season against fellow play off contenders; especially in the latter part of the season. But this is a side that looks good and definitely is doing the right things at the minute so who knows.

COYR!

 

All images taken from Credited sources: Getty Images

MATCH PREVIEW: Bristol City vs Blackburn Rovers Preview

Bristol City v Brentford - Sky Bet Championship

Bristol City host Blackburn in the televised Sunday clash. Both teams will be hoping to add to their strong starts to the season. Blackburn are currently unbeaten in the league and sit in 5th occupying the play off place, whilst City have recorded back to back wins since December of last year; both wins coming away from home (QPR 0 – Bristol City 3, Swansea City 0 – Bristol City 1) will help give the Robins a strong boost going into the game.

Blackburn having bolstered their squad with the addition of striker Ben Brereton from Nottingham Forest, the striker will be hoping to relish the chance of a dream debut. For City there is a much anticipated return of striker Famara Diedhiou after serving his 6 game ban for spitting.

Key Man:

Bristol City – Andreas Weimann, the Austrian forward has hit the ground running since his arrival, 5 goals in 5 games sees him sit joint top lead goalscorer. He will certainly be looking to add to his tally and it is important Blackburn keep him under control.

Weimann
Andreas Weimann celebrates after his second goal against QPR

Blackburn Rovers – Bradley Dack, the midfielder has certainly made the step up to the Championship, the midfielder has the ability to unlock the defence with a splitting pass and also has an eye for goal already bagging himself 3.

Prediction:

Both teams will be up for the fight but I can see City edging it mainly thanks to home advantage, I predict a 2-0 victory for the Robins to potentially leapfrog their opposition; results permitted that is.

ALL IMAGES FROM GETTYIMAGES

 

MATCH PREVIEW: QPR vs Bristol City

Lee Johnson’s side visit QPR in the midweek fixture and will be hoping to come away with all three points after defeats to; Plymouth Argyle in the League Cup and Middlesborough in the Championsh last Saturday.

Callum O’Dowda reacts to the League Cup defeat to Plymouth Argyle

It will be a tough game for the visitors, City have a poor record at Loftus Road, their last league victory taking place more than 40 years ago. Add to it a QPR side in desperate need of a win, 0 points from 9 and last weeks 7-1 thrashing at the hands of West Brom, QPR will certainly be looking to bounce back.

City will also be wanting a victory to give their first win of the season and kick start their League campaign, the sharks are starting to circle for Johnson, fans unhappy with the teams recent performances.

Lee Johnson and his coaching staff look on during the Championship clash with Middlesbrough

City are without centre half Nathan Baker having to settle with fullbacks to do the job, target man Famara Diedhiou is also missing; serving the rest of his six game ban.

With QPR needing a result and wanting to give something back to the fans after the horror show they had at the weekend, I predict a tight edgey game from the off but I can see QPR just edging it 2-1.

Bristol City FC 18/19 Prediction

imageWith City’s 18/19 Championship campaign less than a week away I thought I would take a look at the season ahead and give my predictions for it.

Last seasons finish was nothing short of disappointing taking into the account not only our league position but our form before the new year. It was hard to take the final standing of 11th. I felt after the Wolves game the players could just not come back from that, especially in the league, throw in a cup run by which was no means short of magnificent the players did not look the same. City will be hoping to improve on last season and there is no reason why they can’t aim for playoffs.

TRANSFERS

With Reid having the season of his life it was not surprising to see clubs coming in for him. No sooner had the season finished it was constant paper talk, a move looked imminent it was just unclear as to who would capture his services, so when Cardiff announced it him it was a hard one to take. From a fans perspective it was probably not ideal to sell to a local rival; however on the financial view £10 million (reported fee) was a good bit of business for a player who only made the move to striker that season and is yet to prove his worth in the Premier League.

Another big loss was the departure of fan favourite Aden Flint to Middlesbrough. Now i’m not gonna lie when I say the bloke is a City legend, he gave it his all for the shirt and provide us with some fantastic memories over the way. His no nonsense defending and eye for goal was pivotal for us during his 5 year stay and was not surprising to see him leave. We were lucky to keep him as there was strong links at the start of the season for a move away to Birmingham, just as well he didn’t. In my opinion I thought it was a good business from City with not letting him leave for nothing ,£7 million (reported fee).

City quickly searched for replacements and settled on Derby striker Andreas Weimann, I feel this is a good singing due to the experience, he has played in the Championship for numerous clubs so knows what it takes at this division. He has an eye for goal and will be vital in City’s campaign this season. Another arrival Adam Webster was brought in as replacement for Flint, the former Ipswich Town man is much younger than his counterpart and after seeing him in pre-season I feel is a much better natural defender than Flint, he is also very good on the ball, an asset that is much needed for the modern day centre half. What is yet to be determined is his eye for goal, I just don’t think Flints goal scoring presence can be replaced.

Jack Hunt was brought in from Sheffield Wednesday, again another good singing who knows the division inside out and will provide much needed competition in the RB spot.

Other arrivals include the signing of highly rated young winger Hakeeb Adelakun from Scunthorpe United. The youngster was brilliant for the Irons in there League One  campaign last season, pacey, skilful and eye for goal time will only tell if he can make the step up for City. Another youngster Mo Eisa signed from Cheltenham Town, Eisa was one of the standout players in League Two last season scoring 23 goals in it and even being nominated for the League Two young player award. It seems city have signed a real talent at a bargain reported fee of £1 million. Similar to Hakeeb it will be a case of waiting to see how he handles the step up.

Although not a signing Marlon Pack put pen to paper on a new three-year deal to extend his stay at BS3, he is a key part of the squad and too a fan-favourite for city. He has had his ups and downs for us but he has certainly proved his worth over the last few years, lets not forget this is a bloke that held the midfield against Manchester United and earned praise from Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola!

All in all I think City have done well in the transfer window and have certainly provided food for thought with the signings but we are still missing key elements. A creative midfielder is a must someone who can really create something when we need it (think Lee Tomlin on a good game).

We most certainly need a new keeper, Fielding last season was too inconsistent and cost us many a points, he can produce a fantastic save and then next let in a easy effort, his distribution was questionable last season and although he has been a good servant to us, I feel a much younger or more experienced keeper is needed.

Prediction

I feel this season will really be a case of one way or another, if the players gel well and we start strongly like we did last season than things will be looking up, it will be after the new year where we will begin to worry, we can not afford to lose leads like we did last season, something I feel Johnson has learnt, all be it taking him more than one occasion to learn. If however we start poorly and do not grind out strong performances then things will start to slide and we could well and truly be on our way for a relegation battle, when you look at how toxic it was two seasons ago it is not a position either the club or Lee would want to be in.

I ultimately think we will finish in 9th Place, an improvement on last season which as fans we would take. With the attacking football we can play and the support we provide there is no reason we can’t beat anyone; we certainly proved that last season… well for half of it!