Bristol City 3-1 Barnsley: Famara Diedhiou scores on debut for City
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 05/08/17 6:52pm
Bristol City strolled to a comfortable 3-1 opening-day victory as Bobby Reid and Famara Diedhiou put brittle Barnsley to the sword at Ashton Gate.
Last season City relied on the goals of Tammy Abraham and the creativity of Lee Tomlin to secure their Sky Bet Championship status. But with Chelsea youngster Abraham heading to Swansea for more loan experience in the Premier League and playmaker Tomlin joining Cardiff, Lee Johnson's side required new blood up front.
They appear to have found it in the form of Senegal striker Diedhiou, a £5.3m club-record addition from Angers in France, and Reid. The 24-year-old local lad was pushed into a more advanced position during pre-season and it worked to good effect.
Against opponents who have sold key personnel in the summer and might well be heading for a relegation battle, Reid scored twice and set up Diedhiou for a debut goal inside the opening half-hour. Barnsley managed a stoppage-time consolation through substitute Ryan Hedges, but utter humiliation was only prevented by the Tykes' Welsh goalkeeper Adam Davies.
It seemed as if it would be an even affair early on, but once City struck after 17 minutes there was no way back for Barnsley. Diedhiou out-muscled Angus MacDonald to reach Eros Pisano's ball over the top, and although the striker was denied by the alert Davies, Reid emphatically dispatched the rebound.
The same combination was responsible for doubling City's lead after 25 minutes when Jamie Paterson slid a clever pass to Reid and his cross was met by the head of Diedhiou, rising above Andy Yiadom at the far post.
Five minutes later City were out of sight when Joe Bryan cut inside to deliver a low shot which Davies could only divert into the lurking Reid's path.
Barnsley were better after the break following the introduction of Adam Hammill, but Reid almost completed his hat-trick in the final stages before Hedges had the final word.
Lee Johnson: "The lads love and Bobby and Fam, you can see they have struck a good relationship off the pitch as well as on it because they are two good people. They were both excellent and their work rate and energy made it easier for the midfield and the defenders.
"If you are going to lose 26 goals it's important to replace that, but you don't have to replace it with one particular player. Fam is actually very selfless, but he definitely wants to score goals. The leap for his header and leap was unbelievable, it's a great start for him."
Paul Heckingbottom: "In that first 10 minutes, we both hit the bar and there was nothing in it. But the first goal changed the nature of the game.
"When we look back over that spell, every chance they created there was something fundamentally wrong. Our problem is that even with 11 new players we are still way short of where we want to be."