Bristol City v Cardiff City verdict: Semenyo scintillating as Chris Martin finds his shooting boots
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James Collins put the Bluebirds in front but Chris Martin quickly responded, scoring two minutes later as the two sides went into the half level. Martin found the net again for his second goal of the match, as well as Andi Weimann who now has had his best season on record with 13 goals. A late stoppage-time header from Max Watters found the net but City were able to see out the remaining few minutes.
The win puts them 16th in the league and now they are only nine points off of the playoffs whilst there is now a 14-point gap between them and 22nd placed Peterborough, who occupy the last relegation spot.
With much to discuss from the match, we take a look at the key talking points from a memorable Severnside Derby victory.
Martin finds his shooting boots again
Earlier in the week, manager Nigel Pearson said that the transfer priority had shifted from signing a striker to a defender.
The City fan base is split when it comes to whether he should start but today he delivered A brace on a match that had significant importance is a good way to build up your rapport with fans.
He scored his first goal since scoring from the spot against Coventry City back in October and the first at home since the opening day draw against Blackpool.
A second then followed in the second-half with the striker positioning himself well to strike a low driven shot past the goalkeeper.
Martin’s out of contract at the end of the season but will be playing for his future now for the remainder of the campaign.
Andreas Weimann is by far the top scorer in this side and other players need to chip in now. Martin has done enough to get himself into the starting eleven, now it’s up to him to stay there.
Injury issues begin to creep in
It’ll be assessed more after the aftermath of this match but both Andy King and Robert Atkinson were brought off early today, both owing to injuries.
The two players went off with what looked like non contact injuries and given King has only just returned back to the fold, it’s one that will need to be watched over closely.
Interestingly Joe Williams was back on the bench today but rather than sub off King as a like-for-like substitution, he brought on Jay Dasilva, pushing up Alex Scott into the midfield.
Nigel Pearson’s given an indication that he wants a defender before the January transfer window is out and with Atkinson injured, there will be more of an effort to get a deal done over the line in the last full week of the month.
In his post-match press conference, he confirmed that defender Timm Klose has been training with the club.
"Yeah it is but I won’t comment on anything else,” he said, keeping his cards close to his chest.
Semenyo is becoming an important player for Robins
After his brace against Fulham last week where he put in a strong performance but was unfortunately on the losing side, this week he has his just rewards. Semenyo didn’t find himself on the team sheet but played a huge part in the victory today with two assists.
He had the beating of former Robins defender Aden Flint every time, causing him problems each time City went on the counter-attack.
Since returning from his injury, the 22-year-old over time has quickly increased his importance in the team when he’s played. Today he played in an attacking three along with Weimann with Martin in the nine position and he has also done well as a winger.
In his post-match press conference, his performance was praised by Pearson, who has spotted a clear improvement in the last year.
"He has learned a lot in the last 12 months, I think he’s come quite a long way,” he said.
“He must be very difficult to play against. He’s got pace and power and he uses it well."
With three goals and four assists in the six weeks he’s been back, there is a hope that he can maintain this form.
Another set of boos for former players
A few weeks ago it was Bobby De Cordova-Reid and Joe Byran, now it’s Aden Flint and Marlon Pack.
Flint and Pack made their return to Ashton Gate for the first time with spectators.
They may have both joined in 2019 but weren’t afforded the opportunity to play against their former club with spectators.
Given who they are playing for now it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they were booed as the rivalry is fierce.
Flint had a difficult time having to deal with Semenyo, who had the beating of him a few times.
Despite the boos throughout the match, Marlon Pack applauded the supporters of the home side. After the match, he spent a good number of minutes posing for photos and signing autographs for his former supporters