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?
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

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee