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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
News
i100(More than you think)
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Arts and Entertainment
John Hurt will voice Prince Bolkonsky in Radio 4's War and Peace
radioRadio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
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

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?