Bristol City 2-0 QPR: Robins comfortably beat QPR despite Nathan Baker dismissal
By Press Association
Last Updated: 27/01/18 7:22pm
Goals from Famara Diedhiou and Joe Bryan gave 10-man Bristol City a 2-0 Championship victory over QPR at Ashton Gate.
Club-record signing Diedhiou put the Robins in front with a glancing header from Ryan Kent's left-wing corner just before the interval.
And Bryan wrapped up the points after 66 minutes with a clinical left-footed finish from inside the box after Diedhiou's shot had been brilliantly saved by Alex Smithies.
The home side had to play with 10 men from the 32nd minute when centre-back Nathan Baker was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Rangers midfielder Josh Scowen just inside the City half.
Scowen beat Baker to the ball with both players at full pace and was sent flying by the weight of his opponent's ill-judged challenge.
The first half-hour had seen little to trouble either goalkeeper. After their Carabao Cup exploits, the Robins did their best to make a fast start, but were met by committed and well-organised visitors, though Smithies had to deal with a 21st-minute free-kick from the right by Bryan, which just needed a touch from a team-mate.
The first half looked set to end goalless when Jamie Paterson won a free-kick on the left side of the box and Kent's ball into the near post was headed out for the corner that saw Diedhiou break the deadlock.
All QPR's hard work came undone when they failed to track the £5.3million striker's run to meet Kent's cross and his well-placed header gave Smithies no chance.
Ian Holloway reacted by sending on Matt Smith as a substitute for Alex Baptiste at the start of the second half, giving the big striker a chance to face one of his former clubs.
A 55th-minute foul on Smith by Aden Flint gave Rangers a free-kick from a central position just outside the box. The ball was played into the path of Jack Robinson, whose fierce shot was blocked by a defender.
A spell of Rangers pressure followed, but City broke out quickly through Kent on 62 minutes and, when he found Korey Smith, it required a brilliant diving save from Smithies to keep out a low drive.
Rangers did their best to get back into the game, Nedum Onuoha firing just wide with a first-time shot in a crowded box, but the home side remained dangerous going forward as Johnson gave a debut to new striker Lois Diony in place of the excellent Diedhiou in the closing stages.
Lee Johnson: "The lads showed fantastic character in what could easily have been a case of 'After the Lord Mayor's Show' for us following the Manchester City game.
"My gut feeling over the sending-off was that it was a yellow card, but I don't see it as the type of challenge we could win an appeal over. I felt we controlled the game, despite being a man down and I couldn't be happier with my squad, especially as we still have five or six players coming back from injury."
Ian Holloway: "It was probably my worst result ever. That was not my team out there today. We will never have a better chance of beating Bristol City considering the effort they put in against Manchester City in midweek.
"Our performance was unacceptable and we will have a big meeting on Monday because I can't put up with that. To see them out-running my players after what they had done against Manchester City was hard to take.
"When we did get on top we were nothing like clinical enough. I have nothing but praise for Lee Johnson and his team for what they are building, but we are better than that."