Lightning strikes twice, tactical switches, Ashton Gate and a peep at Pringle - five talking points from Bristol City 2 Ipswich Town 1
A look at a few of the talking points coming out of Ipswich Town’s 2-1 loss at Bristol City.
Lightning strikes twice
The Blues were beaten by two identical goals at Ashton Gate.
Twice Luke Freeman swung dangerous corners into the box, twice Aden Flint got ahead of Christophe Berra and twice he was able to head home at the far post.
The former Swindon and Alfreton man is always a danger in the opposition box and scored 15 times as the Reds won League One last season, but should the Blues have done more to prevent lightning from striking twice?
The game was the featured contest on Channel 5’s highlights show last night where former Charlton boss Alan Curbishley questioned whether a man should have been on the far post, with Mick McCarthy insisting it’s something he’s never been in the habit of doing.
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Making a switch
McCarthy started the contest in the West Country with wing backs, Foley on the right, Knudsen on the left, but after a little over 20 minutes switched to a more familiar 4-4-2.
In truth the personnel McCarthy was able to put on the field, with eight out injured or suspended, suited the wing back formation but what followed was a confused first-half performance from the Blues where they struggled to get into any sort of rhythm.
Things improved in the second half, with substitute Brett Pitman providing a spark, but his consolation was as good as it got.
A peep at Pringle
A solid if not spectacular start from the new loanee, who showed glimpses of what he’s all about as he completed nearly 70 minutes at Ashton Gate.
He kept the ball well, looked to move it around and wasn’t scared to shoot, without ever really threatening.
An encouraging start.
Proving his worth
Another defeat, but another afternoon where keeper Bartosz Bialkowski pushed his cause to retain his place once Dean Gerken returns from injury.
The Pole made a stunning save to keep things at 0-0 in the first half as he got down low to his left to flick a Korey Smith shot over the bar, after it took a nasty deflection off Pringle.
The stop drew comparisons with Gordon Banks’ iconic save from Pele in 1970 and, while it isn’t quite in that league and certainly won’t go down in history in the same way, it was still very impressive.
McCarthy will have a tough decision to make in the coming weeks.
The changing face of Ashton Gate
Bristol City appears to be a club on the up, especially if you use their ever-improving stadium as an example.
Anyone who has been to Ashton Gate previously couldn’t help but be impressed with the new stand behind the goal, which used to be the rickety old away end, and now includes a bright concourse and a busy sports bar.
A new, currently under construction, main stand is also set to open next season, which will ensure what has always been an atmospheric stadium is a modern and vibrant one too.
What got you talking?