West Brom 4-2 Bristol City: Jay Rodriguez scores twice in Baggies victory
Jay Rodriguez scored twice as Dwight Gayle and Harvey Barnes also struck for West Brom
Last Updated: 18/09/18 11:01pm
Jay Rodriguez struck twice as West Brom clinched a thrilling 4-2 win over in-form Bristol City.
Dwight Gayle also netted as the Baggies scored three times in 12 first-half minutes to end the Robins' four-match winning streak.
City were run ragged by Leicester loanee Harvey Barnes and were 3-0 down before the break after missing three fine early chances.
Barnes added a fourth for the Baggies while Lloyd Kelly and Famara Diedhiou grabbed consolations for the visitors, who created enough chances to take a point.
Albion, top scorers in the Sky Bet Championship, have now netted 20 times in eight games and sit third, a point behind Brentford in second.
City dropped to fifth but defeat was harsh in an open game after Albion rode their luck and could have been 3-0 down inside 10 minutes.
Just 13 seconds in Sam Johnstone's smart save denied Callum O'Dowda and the goalkeeper then saved Matty Taylor's low effort a minute later.
It was a rapid start from the Robins but the hosts nearly caught them out when Niki Maenpaa raced off his line to thwart Rodriguez.
But the Robins conjured another early chance in a breathless opening 10 minutes when Johnstone parried Andreas Weimann's attempted lob.
Albion were fortunate but, against the run of play, took the lead from the spot after 16 minutes.
Matt Phillips' cross caused chaos in the Robins' area and Maenpaa saved from Rodriguez with the ball falling to Gayle.
He checked inside but Adam Webster took the striker down and, after referee Jeremy Simpson played advantage and Maenpaa saved Barnes' effort, the official gave the penalty.
Rodriguez buried the spot-kick with minimal fuss and Albion doubled their lead eight minutes later.
The Baggies had grown in confidence, in contrast from their nervy start, and Barnes' barnstorming run was rounded off by Gayle's neat near-post finish.
Albion then capped a devastating 12-minute spell when Rodriguez added his second, and sixth of the season, tapping in Barnes' cross from five yards.
With no need to push on the Baggies were content with their lead after the break but were punished when Kelly touched in Niclas Eliasson's cross on the hour.
But three minutes later Barnes grabbed his third goal of the season when he expertly steered Gayle's centre into the top corner.
The visitors refused to go quietly but, despite Diedhiou's fine curling effort making it 4-2, could not complete a fightback.
Darren Moore: "[Barnes] is a good player. We're really pleased to have him here. He's displaying the talent we brought him here for. The West Brom fans can see him for the player he is. We saw last season, when he was at Barnsley, a talent there and a perfect fit of what we're trying to achieve.
"He's definitely gelling and he's got a wonderful eye for goal and he presents a threat. I'm hoping he's enjoying his football and he'll continue to improve under us."
Lee Johnson: "I didn't feel it was a game we deserved to be 3-0 down in but a quality counter attack and some poor defending cost us.
"Not enough went for us, due to us not performing the basics well enough. That's where we need to improve but we've had three clean sheets in four. Is it an off day or the opposition's quality? It's difficult to say."