‘He deserved it’: Gary Johnson’s infamous Michael Chopra trip relived ahead of Bristol City and Cardiff clash

When Michael Chopra wheeled away to celebrate scoring in the FA Cup clash 13 years ago, he didn’t expecting to be eating snow on the turf quite so suddenly.

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It's a cold January evening at the Ashton Gate Stadium and Cardiff City star Michael Chopra is laying face down in the snow by the touchline.

The striker had just scored his first goal in almost four months to give the Welsh side the lead against Bristol City in the FA Cup clash in 2010 and whilst celebrating by running the length of the pitch, had been hacked down by Robins boss Gary Johnson.

This weekend the Severnside Derby returns and whilst a lot has changed over the past 13 years, that moment has become footballing folklore and will no doubt be discussed by fans at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Cardiff legend Chopra netted in the 76th minute of that match in January 2010 and probably didn't quite realise he was about to be part of Bristol City legend when approaching Johnson, then 54, on the touchline.

The manager stuck his leg out to bring down the forward who slid along in the snow before spinning and trying to square up to the smirking opposition boss.

Speaking after the incident, Johnson said: "'If he wants to celebrate he should do it on the pitch.

"There was no malice in it, but I found myself with 10 Cardiff players all rushing towards me and I had nowhere to go so I stood my ground."

It's something the former City boss is clearly proud of and has been asked to confirm or deny if the trip was on purpose in interviews since.

Michael Chopra hits the turf at Ashton Gate (Image: Getty Images)Michael Chopra hits the turf at Ashton Gate (Image: Getty Images)
Michael Chopra hits the turf at Ashton Gate (Image: Getty Images)

He once admitted: "Yeah, I tripped him up, don't worry about that.

"I felt it was a little bit disrespectful and because I saw it early I manoeuvred myself into a nice position. I was always a sneaky little tripper as a midfield player.

"I remember my mum saying, 'you always used to trip people up when you was a kid'. I thought he deserved it personally."

The derby will no doubt be a more mature affair this Saturday as The Bluebirds boss Sabri Lamouchi looks for revenge after a 2-0 defeat at Ashton Gate in August.

Nine points currently separate the two clubs in the Championship with City also holding a game in hand.