FREEMAN ‘BOMB’ FIRES UP BOSSES
LUKE Freeman’s stunning 72nd-minute goal brought glowing praise from both ends of the dugout.
City head coach Lee Johnson described the perfectly struck leftfooted volley from just outside the box as “worth the entrance price on its own”.
And Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy admitted: “The shot was unstoppable. We were on top and playing well when a flying bomb hit the roof of our net.”
Freeman may never score a better goal, with McCarthy adding: “I was right behind it and it was in from the moment the ball left his foot.”
City already led through a 31stminute penalty from the impressive Lee Tomlin, who netted with a low shot from the spot after Ipswich goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski had clumsily brought down Tammy Abraham.
The striker was heading away from goal and had lost control of the ball, but Bialkowski made contact and handed City a rare first-half lead.
Ipswich created few clear chances but almost levelled on 54 minutes when David McGoldrick’s goalbound shot from a narrow angle was deflected onto a post by goalkeeper Frank Fielding.
Johnson admitted that was an important moment, but felt that Freeman’s strike was worthy of settling any game.
He said: “It was a sensational goal. It is a really difficult skill to get the ball to dip from the position Luke struck it.
“Believe it or not, the lads do practice such things in training and enjoy it because it is something different.
“It was a really steady and professional team display. We have had to come from behind so often, but here we got ourselves in front and looked really solid.
“We haven’t got what we deserved from recent games. Now we are three points off the play-offs and looking up the table again.”
McCarthy had no complaints about the spot-kick and was happy enough with his side’s efforts.
He said: “The difference between the teams was a penalty and a worldie. They started well, but we got to grips with that.
“It was a penalty. Tammy Abraham has reacted quicker than any of our players to the situation. The referee told me that he waited to see if the ball had gone out of play before pointing to the spot. I’m not sure about that explanation, but in the end he got it right.
“I have no complaints about our display. We need to be more effective in the final third, but other than that I felt we competed well against a good side. At 2-0 they had a couple more chances. But up to that point we had been doing well and goals change games.”
The only incident of note before the penalty had seen City striker Aaron Wilbraham booked for a lunging late challenge on Christophe Berra in the sixth minute.
A first-half goal has been a rarity for City this season and it lifted their performance. Tomlin had a fierce right-footed effort headed over his own crossbar by Ipswich defender Adam Webster and Abraham saw a shot blocked after skilfully making space for himself.
Abraham headed over from a Scott Golbourne cross and City ended the first half on the front foot, with Fielding not having been seriously tested. The Robins continued to look dangerous after going 2-0 up and merited the three points.
PENALTY SHOUT: Bristol City’s Tammy Abraham is fouled by Bartosz Bialkowski