The Sky Blues recorded an important 3-1 win over Bristol City, with Leo Ostigard, Matty Godden and Viktor Gyokeres on target in a dominant display.
Ostigard had given City the lead with a calm finish on nine minutes, following a Sam McCallum long throw, before Godden doubled the Sky Blues’ lead from the penalty spot in the second-half. A late Nakhi Wells goal tested the team’s resilience, 10 minutes from time, but Gyokeres combined with Callum O’Hare and Tyler Walker to restore City’s two-goal advantage, late on.
A much-rotated team took to the field under the sun against Bristol City, in a vital match for the Sky Blues. Opting for two strikers, Mark Robins’ side were keen to start on the front foot and succeeded in causing havoc in the Bristol box less than five minutes into the game, as Kyle McFadzean looped a loose ball over the crossbar, after ‘keeper David Bentley had misjudged Matty James’ free-kick.
City’s determined start was rewarded on nine minutes, as Leo Ostigard put the Sky Blues ahead with a crucial goal to boost the team’s survival hopes. Sam McCallum launched the ball into the penalty area from a long throw, disorientating the Bristol defence once more. Latching on to Tyler Walker’s blocked shot, Ostigard kept his composure to slot the ball into the corner with an unlikely side-foot volley.
The Sky Blues’ dream start looked set to continue when Callum O’Hare played the ball to Godden on the left side of the box, at the end of a City counter-attack. Cutting inside his marker, Godden appeared to have found the far corner with a finessed finish, but was denied by a superb save from Bentley, who somehow pushed the ball away and on to the post.
With both the front two of Godden and Tyler Walker finding half-chances throughout the first 45 minutes, O’Hare was keen to follow their example. Reacting first after Bentley had pushed the ball on to the woodwork, he fired a vicious drive wide; less than a minute later, receiving possession from another McCallum throw, he allowed the ball to roll across his body before unleashing a blistering half-volley from 25 yards, which dipped and swerved wide of goal.
However, Bristol provided the Sky Blues with a real scare, 10 minutes before the break. Antoine Semenyo found the incoming Nakhi Wells with a low cross from the byline, just six yards out. His snapshot forced an instinctive save from Marko Marosi to keep City ahead. Famara Diedhiou then attempted to score from the rebound, but McFadzean put his body on the line to deny the equaliser.
HALF-TIME: SKY BLUES 1-0 BRISTOL CITY
The game took a more stop-start rhythm after the interval, with frustrated Bristol manager Nigel Pearson making three changes within the first 10 minutes of the second-half, as the visitors looked to challenge the Sky Blues’ dominance.
City had whipped several dangerous crosses into the box, but it was Bristol who engineered the first big chance after the break. Subs Sam Pearson and Kasey Palmer exchanged passes on the right, before Palmer played a teasing low cross that evaded everybody, including the oncoming Han-Noah Massengo, who narrowly failed to get a touch on the ball at the far post.
Yet, only two minutes later and the Sky Blues had doubled their lead. Tomas Kalas brought down Walker after a clash of legs in the box and it was Matty Godden who stepped up for City. Blasting the ball beyond Bentley from 12 yards, Godden, who recently returned from injury, netted his 5th league goal of the season to help ease the nerves and put the Sky Blues on the verge of a huge victory.
Not content with a two-goal lead, Godden was close to a quick-fire brace after a goal-mouth scramble from a Sky Blues corner. Bristol had multiple chances to clear the ball out of danger, after McFadzean had looked to meet the ball at the near post, but the away side’s mishit clearances only found Godden, whose thunderous shot was deflected over the bar.
Having been dominant throughout the day, a brief mistake allowed Britstol back into the game. McFadzean underhit a backpass to Marosi and it was Nakhi Wells who pounced on the ball to halve the Sky Blues’ lead to set up a tense end to the game.
With their resilience being tested, City sub Viktor Gyokeres responded by restoring the team’s two-goal lead. Tyler Walker picked up a loose pass along the Bristol defence, before laying the ball to O’Hare in the box. Surrrounded by Bristol shirts, O’Hare held his nerve before finding Gyokeres in space at the far post to calmly stroke the ball past Bentley.
FULL-TIME: SKY BLUES 3-1 BRISTOL CITY
Goals: Leo Ostigard (9’), Matty Godden (64’), Nakhi Wells (80'), Viktor Gyokeres (87')
Yellows: Famara Diedhiou, Tyler Walker, Kasey Palmer, Liam Kelly
Sky Blues Xl: Marko Marosi (GK), Josh Eccles, Josh Pask, Kyle McFadzean, Leo Ostigard, Sam McCallum, Liam Kelly (C) (Hamer, 90’), Matty James, Callum O'Hare, Tyler Walker, Matty Godden (Gyokeres, 78’).
Subs: Ben Wilson (GK), Jordon Thompson, Julien Dacosta, Jamie Allen, Jordan Shipley, Will Bapaga, Amadou Bakayoko.
Bristol City XI: Daniel Bentley (GK), Steven Sessegnon (Rowe, 65’), Tomas Kalas (C), Adrian Mariappa (Palmer, 55’), Zak Vyner, Danny Simpson, Han-Noah Massengo, Adam Nagy (Lansbury, 46’), Nakhi Wells, Famara Diedhiou (Conway, 65’), Antoine Semenyo (Pearson, 55’).
Unused Subs: Max O’Leary (GK), Tommy Rowe, Alex Scott, Ryley Towler, Tyreeq Bakinson, Tommy Conway.