Bristol City enjoyed a fine win against Ipswich at Portman Road
LEE JOHNSON watched his Bristol City side blow Ipswich away at Portman Road with a confident 3-1 win that sees them maintain their unbeaten run and remain in the top six going into the international break.
Bristol took the lead in the second minute when Josh Brownhill’s deflected shot found its way past Bartosz Bialkowski, and Famara Diedhiou headed in the second just after the half-hour to double the lead.
Ipswich did find a way back into the game before the break through Martyn Waghorn, but Bobby Reid ended any late hopes of an Ipswich comeback with only two of the 90 minutes remaining, much to the joy of the Bristol City manager.
“I was delighted because this is a really difficult place to come, especially with the form that Ipswich are in,” Johnson said.
“There was a lot of talk about the threat of their front four and two attacking midfielders. But in the first half we dealt with it and played some good stuff. We had the lion’s share of opportunities and possession and we worked our socks off.
“The goal could have had the potential to kill us with the timing of it and allow Ipswich to build their confidence and stature in the game, but in the second half we showed our steel.”
Ipswich were forced to make a change from their initial starting XI with Tristan Nydam replacing Tom Adeyemi after he sustained a hamstring injury in the warm-up. The 17-year-old midfielder had an unfortunate early impact as Brownhill’s shot cannoned off his back and in for the opener.
The Bristol attack continued when Reid cut in past Luke Chambers to hit a low drive inside the box, but the outstretched foot of Jordan Spence lifted it onto the bar and away from goal.
The Robins continued to threaten down the wings and it was no surprise when the lively Jamie Paterson put a perfect lofted ball into the box for Famara Diedhiou to rise and head in expertly.
Ipswich needed a lifeline going into the break and Jonas Knudsen’s well-measured ball into the path of Waghorn allowed the striker to sidefoot in off the underside of the bar through a crowded box.
Mick McCarthy’s side failed to push on after the break and a second deflected goal proved their undoing. Reid’s shot following a corner went into a crowded box and took a heavy deflection off Knudsen to take it past Bialkowski.
This was the first time Ipswich had lost to Bristol at Portman Road since September 1978, but McCarthy wasn’t willing to blame two deflected goals for the defeat, instead admitting they were second best.
“It was frustrating,” he admitted. “I’m not going to sit here and say we were unlucky in the game overall because they deserved to win. They were better than us.
“We were unlucky in terms of two of the goals we conceded, and after three minutes it knocked the wind out of our sails.
“Goals change momentum in games and how things work and they got one after two minutes.
“We were a threat in the first half and not so much in the second half and that’s probably because they were 2-1 up and they’ve got real pace and threat up front.”
The Robins have now won four of their last six in the league and move up to fifth, leapfrogging Ipswich who fall two places to eighth after a fourth defeat in their last six.
FAM-TASTIC: Famara Diedhiou scores City’s second goal