Championship
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West Bromwich Albion 4-1 Bristol City: Baggies win to return to top of table

Hal Robson-Kanu scored as West Brom regained the Championship leadership
Hal Robson-Kanu scored as West Brom regained the Championship leadership

West Bromwich Albion earned their biggest win of the season as they beat Bristol City to go back top of the Championship.

First-half goals from returning full-back Kieran Gibbs and Matheus Pereira set Albion on course to stretch their unbeaten run to eight games - and their goal tally to 35 in 18 matches.

Famara Diedhiou's left-foot finish on 80 minutes briefly gave City hope, but the Baggies took just two minutes to restore their two-goal cushion through Hal Robson-Kanu.

And Charlie Austin added another on 87 minutes as Albion hit four goals for the third time in six home matches for their fourth straight victory.

Slaven Bilic's Baggies now lead second-placed Leeds United by two points again, but have opened up a seven-point gap on the play-off pack, while Lee Johnson's City remain seventh, still just a point outside the top six.

Albion boss Bilic rang the changes as he brought back midfielders Jake Livermore and Romaine Sawyers, and defender Nathan Ferguson after suspension, while also picking fit-again Gibbs for his first start since 24 August.

And the former Arsenal and England full-back had a dream return when he scored on 10 minutes - his first goal since April, making him the 14th different Albion player to score this season for the Championship's top scorers.

The influential Grady Diangana got away with a foul in the build-up but there was no doubt about the quality of the final ball when he instinctively backheeled from close to the byline to bamboozle the Robins defence for the on-rushing Gibbs, who was left free to drill home from eight yards.

Diangana was then involved in Albion's second goal too, being fouled by Bailey Wright on edge of box - and Pereira exacted full punishment.

With almost breathtaking deftness, the on-loan Brazilian floated a beautiful left-foot curling free-kick over the wall and into the top right corner, to leave flat-footed City keeper Daniel Bentley helpless.

City, who had Korey Smith making his first start since 19 April after seven months out with a broken foot, remained a threat.

Ashley Williams had a goal disallowed for offside before Diedhiou finally clawed one back. But Albion finished strongly to confirm the Robins' first defeat in six games.

In-form ex-Wales international Robson-Kanu hit his fifth goal in seven league games for the Baggies before Austin tapped in from Matt Phillips' cross to round things off.

Albion head coach Slaven Bilic told BBC WM:

"We played really good. To win 4-1 against a side like Bristol City, it had to be a good performance. They are a very solid team. But we made them not solid enough.

"I was very proud of the way we managed the game. We showed resilience and quality without the ball, but to attack with the numbers we do give more players the chance to score goals.

"The only negative is that we should have scored more goals. But playing like this will give us the chance to win many more games.

"We showed physicality, shape, one against ones, pace, skill, crosses, second balls - everything. We slaughtered them on second balls and that's what pleased me."

Bristol City boss Lee Johnson:

"We came with ambition but we didn't start. We were shy on the second balls and we weren't aggressive enough. I apologise to our fans because they don't deserve that.

"Disappointing is an understatement. One thing you have to do at a place like this is earn the right to play. But I take full responsibility - it's my team, my identity, and we didn't do enough.

"I don't think it was a lack of effort but we were found wanting in too many areas against an albeit good side. We're hurting after a loss and we've taken a bit of a pride bashing.

"In one sense, West Brom looked like a Premier League outfit, which was a good test for us, but we should stand up to that better than we did."

Line-ups

West Brom

  • 1Johnstone
  • 36Ferguson
  • 5Bartley
  • 6Ajayi
  • 3GibbsSubstituted forFurlongat 70'minutes
  • 19Sawyers
  • 8Livermore
  • 10Phillips
  • 12Costa PereiraSubstituted forAustinat 83'minutes
  • 29DianganaSubstituted forEdwardsat 77'minutes
  • 4Robson-Kanu

Substitutes

  • 2Furlong
  • 7Krovinovic
  • 15Austin
  • 18Barry
  • 21Edwards
  • 23Bond
  • 26Hegazi

Bristol City

  • 1Bentley
  • 5WrightSubstituted forEliassonat 45'minutes
  • 29WilliamsBooked at 52mins
  • 6Baker
  • 32Lopes Pereira
  • 8Brownhill
  • 4Nagy
  • 7SmithBooked at 56mins
  • 11O'DowdaSubstituted forRoweat 40'minutes
  • 45PalmerSubstituted forDiédhiouat 45'minutes
  • 14Weimann

Substitutes

  • 9Diédhiou
  • 15Watkins
  • 18Semenyo
  • 19Eliasson
  • 25Rowe
  • 33Mäenpää
  • 42Massengo
Referee:
Geoff Eltringham

Match Stats

Home TeamWest BromAway TeamBristol City
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home15
Away9
Shots on Target
Home7
Away1
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home12
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, West Bromwich Albion 4, Bristol City 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, West Bromwich Albion 4, Bristol City 1.

Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Hal Robson-Kanu tries a through ball, but Charlie Austin is caught offside.

Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Korey Smith (Bristol City).

Goal!

Goal! West Bromwich Albion 4, Bristol City 1. Charlie Austin (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Charlie Austin (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Darnell Furlong.

Attempt missed. Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Nathan Ferguson with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Charlie Austin replaces Matheus Pereira.

Goal!

Goal! West Bromwich Albion 3, Bristol City 1. Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Matt Phillips with a cross.

Goal!

Goal! West Bromwich Albion 2, Bristol City 1. Famara Diédhiou (Bristol City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal following a corner.

Attempt blocked. Famara Diédhiou (Bristol City) header from very close range is blocked.

Corner, Bristol City. Conceded by Semi Ajayi.

Attempt blocked. Andreas Weimann (Bristol City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Kyle Bartley.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Kyle Edwards replaces Grady Diangana.

Kyle Bartley (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Famara Diédhiou (Bristol City).

Romaine Sawyers (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Famara Diédhiou (Bristol City).

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Darnell Furlong replaces Kieran Gibbs.

Foul by Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion).

Niclas Eliasson (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Daniel Bentley.

Attempt saved. Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Matheus Pereira.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Nathan Baker.

Attempt blocked. Grady Diangana (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matt Phillips with a through ball.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Pedro Pereira.

Foul by Nathan Ferguson (West Bromwich Albion).

Tommy Rowe (Bristol City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Matheus Pereira tries a through ball, but Hal Robson-Kanu is caught offside.

Foul by Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion).

Nathan Baker (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jake Livermore (West Bromwich Albion).

Korey Smith (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Korey Smith (Bristol City) is shown the yellow card.

Matheus Pereira (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Korey Smith (Bristol City).

Foul by Nathan Ferguson (West Bromwich Albion).

Niclas Eliasson (Bristol City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1West Brom18116135191639
2Leeds18114324101437
3Fulham1895429181132
4Nottm Forest1795324131132
5Preston189453122931
6Swansea188642318530
7Bristol City187832625129
8Brentford188372214827
9Hull187562923626
10Sheff Wed187562317626
11Cardiff186752625125
12Millwall186752224-225
13Blackburn187382426-224
14Derby186661924-524
15Birmingham187381823-524
16QPR187382736-924
17Charlton186572523223
18Reading175391922-318
19Huddersfield184682026-618
20Middlesbrough183871623-717
21Luton1852112533-817
22Wigan1844101628-1216
23Stoke1842121931-1214
24Barnsley1816111837-199
View full Championship table

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