West Bromwich Albion 4 Bristol City 1: Bednar fires Albion to the summit

True to his lugubrious demeanour, Tony Mowbray is keeping any excitement he might be feeling about his side's prospects well concealed even after West Bromwich Albion treated a Hawthorns full house to a vibrant display of attacking football, returning to the top of the Championship, putting four goals past a promotion rival for the second time in 11 days.

He left it to Bristol City manager Gary Johnson to lead the applause after the West Country side on level points at kick-off had been taken apart as emphatically as Charlton Athletic were in Albion's last home match.

"For a 30-minute spell in the second half they were super and sometimes you just have to give credit to the opposition," Johnson said. "They showed us why they are a Premiership side in waiting."

A low-key Mowbray said it was "the right result" on the basis of his team's 24 attempts on goal, although perhaps he was still digesting Saturday's defeat at Stoke. Albion's slick, attacking play lacked only an end product in the first half but that shortcoming was remedied by the blitz of goals that followed Roman Bednar's opener two minutes into the second half.

The Czech striker's seventh goal in as many matches was followed by a spectacular 25-yard shot from Robert Koren and two in four minutes by leading scorer Kevin Phillips.

Bednar again displayed the finishing quality that may turn his year-long loan from Hearts into a permanent move. His back-to-goal play was of a high order too.

The 24-year-old beat City goalkeeper Adriano Basso with a deft near-post flick to convert Carl Hoefken's short cross from the right.

Once behind, City tended to lose shape and concentration, although Lee Trundle drew a good save from Dean Kiely at 0-1. Koren doubled Albion's lead before Phillips, making his first start in more than seven weeks after a knee ligament injury, took advantage of Jamie McCombe's dithering to slot home the third goal with Basso stranded out of position.

The loss of captain Louis Carey through a weekend injury had required a defensive reshuffle for City and Johnson conceded it may have been a factor.

Phillips raised his season's tally to 13 after James Morrison finished an incisive break along the right by cutting the ball back to his team-mate, who showed no lack of sharpness following his lay-off. City substitute Darren Byfield denied Kiely a clean sheet five minutes from the end when his volley from a headed clearance bounced over the goalkeeper's head.

Goals: Bednar (48) 1-0; Koren (67) 2-0; Phillips (71) 3-0; Phillips (75) 4-0; Byfield (85) 4-1.

West Bromwich Albion (4-4-2): Kiely; Hoefkens, Pele, Cesar, Robinson; Gera, Greening, Koren, Morrison (Beattie, 80); Bednar (Miller, 70), Phillips (Albrechtsen, 85). Substitutes not used: Steele (gk), Barnett, Beattie, Albrechtsen.

Bristol City (4-4-2): Basso; Orr, Fontaine, McCombe, McAllister; Sproule (Skuse, 79), Elliott, Johnson, McIndoe (Noble, 79); Trundle, Showunmi (Byfield, 52). Substitutes not used: Vasco, Weale (gk).

Referee: M Atkinson (West Yorkshire).

Booked: Bristol City: McIndoe, Fontaine.

Man of the match: Bednar.

Attendance: 27,340.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

Hanging with the Hoff

Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

Hipsters of Arabia

Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

The cult of Roger Federer

What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

Malaysian munchies

With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
10 best festival beauty

Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

A Different League

Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce on Boxing

Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf