Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Bristol City: Barry Bannan and Lucas Joao dent Robins' top six hopes
Last Updated: 22/04/19 7:51pm
Bristol City's play-off hopes were dealt a blow after their 2-0 Sky Bet Championship defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.
First-half goals from Barry Bannan and Lucas Joao were enough to give the Owls all three points at Hillsborough.
City boss Lee Johnson made one change to his starting line-up, as Nicolas Eliasson replaced Korey Smith. His opposite number Steve Bruce, on the other hand, made six changes to his side.
The Owls had a brilliant chance to take the lead inside four minutes. Bannan's in-swinging corner found Tom Lees at the far post. He nodded the ball back to Gary Hooper - but his header flew just over the bar.
Minutes later, Joao threatened an opening goal. The Portuguese forward worked his way into the area before his low, curling effort was stopped well by a diving Max O'Leary.
Bannan opened the scoring in the 17th minute with a stunning left-footed drive from 25 yards out. The Scotsman unleashed a spectacular strike which arrowed into the top corner, leaving O'Leary no chance.
The visitors were struggling to create many openings but when Jay Dasilva combined with Famara Diedhiou on the edge of the box, Dasilva found himself through on goal with a chance to score - but his shot was scuffed wide.
Six minutes before the interval Bannan turned provider, clipping a delightful ball over the defence to Joao, who calmly lifted the ball over O'Leary to double the Owls' lead despite Dasilva's best efforts to clear.
Dasilva came close again for the visitors before half-time. His cross missed every man in the box but found its way to the far post and hit Cameron Dawson's upright before bouncing away from danger.
The visitors came out in the second half inspired to claw their way back in the game.
After Josh Brownhill's throw-in found its way to Andreas Weimann, whose header was matched by Dawson, Weimann carried the ball across the box and fired a shot narrowly wide.
Joao nearly grabbed a second goal with a strike emulating Bannan's in the first half - but his long-range effort skimmed the bar.
The Robins had two big opportunities to halve the deficit as the game entered the closing stages.
O'Leary's long kick was brought down well by Diedhiou, who then struck a powerful effort which Dawson was equal to.
That save did not clear the danger, however, as Brownhill was found unmarked in the box - but he hesitated before seeing his effort saved well by Dawson.
Steve Bruce: "I couldn't wish for anything more from them. There were a lot of tired bodies. We had a few mistakes towards the end but overall, I was able to make the changes and freshen the side up and it paid off.
"Barry [Bannan] is a very good footballer and going forward, you always want your good players. He's been here a few years and made himself a crowd favourite and to be a favourite at a big club like this you must have ability and he's got it in abundance."
Lee Johnson: "It's disappointing, definitely an opportunity missed. We thought we could have taken the game to Sheffield Wednesday, but we didn't do enough in the first 15 minutes. We weren't bright enough, we weren't sharp enough and we couldn't stop Bannan dictating things. But after that I thought we were the better side that played the better football.
"We can't keep giving ourselves a mountain to climb by gifting the opposition the first 10 minutes. We were trying to win from the start. We wanted to win the game, at half time I wanted a couple to raise their intensity, which they did, but we didn't have that killer instinct."