Championship
Preston5Bristol City0

Preston North End 5-0 Bristol City

Tom Clarke heads in
Tom Clarke's goal helped Preston on their way to a pivotal win

Preston North End kept up their faint Championship play-off hopes with a five-goal thrashing of relegation-threatened Bristol City.

Tom Barkhuizen's sixth in 11 games put North End a goal up at the break, as the Robins largely foiled the hosts.

The floodgates opened after the break, first when Callum Robinson went down and Aiden McGeady netted from the spot.

Skipper Tom Clarke headed in a free-kick for the third, before Robinson's two close-range strikes capped the win.

Simon Grayson's Preston are five points behind Sheffield Wednesday, who now occupy the final play-off spot, while Bristol City are just a point above the drop zone.

It has been an impressive run of form to put the Lillywhites in contention, with just two defeats from the turn of the year, but with 13 draws from 40 games they might have left it too late to catch the teams above.

Although needing the points for equally important reasons, Bristol City capitulated to their 21st and biggest league defeat of the season.

The best of City's chances came before the break, with David Cotterill, Bailey Wright and Tammy Abraham unable to beat Chris Maxwell in the Preston goal.

It proved costly as the in-form Barkhuizen eventually found a way past their keeper Frank Fielding and once McGeady and Clarke had stretched out the scoreline, Robinson smashed in twice after neat build up play to give Preston's goal difference a boost in the battle for a top-six place.

Preston boss Simon Grayson told BBC Radio Lancashire: "It ended up being a good night for us. First half got the goal, said at half time had to be quicker with the ball, move it around quicker. Key moments change games and Chris Maxwell's save from Bailey Wright was one of those at 1-0.

"From there, we got full steam ahead, got the penalty and then played with confidence and swagger without being too complacent and scored some very good goals.

"It was good for us to get that base to go from, some of the goals we scored and some of the play was exceptional. You saw the players enjoying what they are doing and it's been a great night for us."

Bristol City head coach Lee Johnson told BBC Radio Bristol: "It's devastating, frustrating and I'm angry. The first half we've played some excellent football, I felt we were the better side, and were unlucky to come in 1-0 down.

"But in those moments we need to be tougher. Whether it be balls into the box, finishing, 50-50 tackles. In that 20 minute spell in the second-half we capitulated. We've got to be tougher.

"Nobody can say they've had a good game but it's frustrating because we really weren't that bad in the first half. In my opinion it wasn't a 5-0 game but we got beaten 5-0 and there are three or four really poor defensive errors that cost us."

Line-ups

Preston

  • 22MaxwellBooked at 4mins
  • 5Clarke
  • 27Baptiste
  • 23HuntingtonBooked at 90mins
  • 3Cunningham
  • 29BarkhuizenSubstituted forBeckfordat 78'minutes
  • 12Gallagher
  • 4PearsonSubstituted forJohnsonat 71'minutes
  • 14McGeadySubstituted forHorganat 71'minutes
  • 37Robinson
  • 25Hugill

Substitutes

  • 1Lindegaard
  • 7Horgan
  • 8Browne
  • 9Makienok
  • 10Beckford
  • 11Johnson
  • 24Boyle

Bristol City

  • 1Fielding
  • 7Smith
  • 4Flint
  • 42Wright
  • 3Bryan
  • 31HegelerSubstituted forBrownhillat 73'minutes
  • 21PackBooked at 34minsSubstituted forMagnussonat 57'minutes
  • 32Cotterill
  • 10TomlinBooked at 73mins
  • 11O'DowdaSubstituted forWilbrahamat 57'minutes
  • 9Abraham

Substitutes

  • 8Brownhill
  • 12Taylor
  • 14Reid
  • 18Wilbraham
  • 20Paterson
  • 23Magnusson
  • 33Giefer
Referee:
Andy Madley
Attendance:
10,224

Match Stats

Home TeamPrestonAway TeamBristol City
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home23
Away15
Shots on Target
Home9
Away4
Corners
Home10
Away3
Fouls
Home16
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Preston North End 5, Bristol City 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Preston North End 5, Bristol City 0.

Attempt missed. Lee Tomlin (Bristol City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Aaron Wilbraham.

Booking

Paul Huntington (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Tammy Abraham (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Paul Huntington (Preston North End).

Attempt blocked. Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Bailey Wright (Bristol City).

Jordan Hugill (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Hördur Bjorgvin Magnusson (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jordan Hugill (Preston North End).

Attempt saved. Lee Tomlin (Bristol City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Foul by Aaron Wilbraham (Bristol City).

Greg Cunningham (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Aden Flint (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jordan Hugill (Preston North End).

Attempt missed. Hördur Bjorgvin Magnusson (Bristol City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Lee Tomlin with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Bristol City. Conceded by Greg Cunningham.

Attempt blocked. Aaron Wilbraham (Bristol City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Tammy Abraham.

Bailey Wright (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jordan Hugill (Preston North End).

Attempt missed. Alex Baptiste (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Daryl Horgan with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Hördur Bjorgvin Magnusson.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Jermaine Beckford replaces Tom Barkhuizen.

Attempt blocked. Tammy Abraham (Bristol City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Aaron Wilbraham (Bristol City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lee Tomlin.

Attempt blocked. Daniel Johnson (Preston North End) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Tom Barkhuizen with a cross.

Korey Smith (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Daniel Johnson (Preston North End).

Attempt missed. Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Daniel Johnson following a set piece situation.

Booking

Lee Tomlin (Bristol City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Lee Tomlin (Bristol City).

Daniel Johnson (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Hördur Bjorgvin Magnusson (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jordan Hugill (Preston North End).

Substitution

Substitution, Bristol City. Josh Brownhill replaces Jens Hegeler.

Offside, Bristol City. Hördur Bjorgvin Magnusson tries a through ball, but Tammy Abraham is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Daniel Johnson replaces Ben Pearson.

Substitution

Substitution, Preston North End. Daryl Horgan replaces Aiden McGeady.

Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Frank Fielding.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Brighton40258767343383
2Newcastle39256872333981
3Reading40227115550573
4Huddersfield38225114744371
5Leeds402161352391369
6Sheff Wed401991251401166
7Fulham4017131069511864
8Preston4016131159481161
9Derby401611134640659
10Norwich39169146558757
11Aston Villa401512134239357
12Brentford40168166457756
13Barnsley401411155656053
14Cardiff401410165457-352
15Wolves39149165049151
16QPR40148184653-750
17Ipswich401116134248-649
18Birmingham401113164058-1846
19Burton391111174053-1344
20Nottm Forest40119205466-1242
21Bristol City40118215060-1041
22Blackburn40913184761-1440
23Wigan40810223249-1734
24Rotherham4045313390-5717
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