Disheartening. The Baggies came out for the first half unorganised throughout; the defensive third was in disarray, and the midfield were weak.
It only took two minutes for Bristol City to capitalise on an aimless arrangement of passing. Jake Livermore was dispossessed in front of the back four and left the hosts’ attack with an easy attempt on goal, which proved successful.
Soon after came the second. A header into the box from a City player caused chaos for the Albion defence, and Andreas Weimann got on the end of it.
Three minutes after Conor Townsend lost his man and a lucky Jack Hunt found himself in a free pocket of space at the back post with an easy header to convert. Sam Johnstone was left with no chance.
James Shan made a few changes, and his men managed to snatch a goal back straight after half-time from a Dwight Gayle header, which gave the away fans hope of a comeback.
West Brom then managed to bag a second. Bristol City were unable to deal with a long throw and gifted Jay Rodriguez a shot on goal from three yards out, and he couldn’t miss.
However, it wasn’t to be. West Brom had few chances after that and despite Shan’s efforts to turn the game around at half time, the first 20 minutes of turmoil was enough to seal the game for Bristol City.
Here’s how we rated the Baggies players:
Sam Johnstone: 5
Let down by his defence, but didn’t do anything special.
Mason Holgate: 5
Worked hard, provided some chances in the attacking third, however, needs to work harder in defence.
Craig Dawson: 6
Lacked spatial awareness and was caught in possession too many times. Did the basics right, but nothing else.
Kyle Bartley: 2
Awful! Did not know what he was doing or where he was most of the time; it was clear that he hasn’t played much recently. He lacked pace and urgency.
Conor Townsend: 3
Poor. Caught ball-watching and lost his marker for the second and third Bristol City goals. Kieran Gibbs back, please.
Rekeem Harper: 6
Didn’t show much in the first half, then was taken off for more experience in the second half.
Jake Livermore: 3
Lost the ball in the centre of the pitch while under high pressure, leading to the first goal.
Stefan Johansen: 6
Good delivery to allow Gayle his 18th goal of the season. Has brilliant vision, just needs to work on physicality.
Kyle Edwards: 6
Did not have a bad game. Created chances and showed some skill. Was taken off at half-time.
Dwight Gayle: 8
Scored the goal after half-time with a neat header. At the centre of almost every Albion chance. Great asset.
Jay Rodriguez: 7
Worked hard. Was rewarded by a bobbling ball in the six-yard box that was tapped in. Needs more help from the players around him.
Tosin Adarabioyo: 4 – Hardly inspired upon his introduction to the game.
Hal Robson-Kanu: 6 – Worked hard but failed to find many openings.
Kieran Gibbs: 7 – Far more composed than Townsend on the left-hand side.