REPORT: BRISTOL CITY 0 ALBION 4
- Jamie Murphy, Sam Baldock and Tomer Hemed on target for Albion
- Albion remain fourth in the Championship
- The Seagulls record their biggest win of the season to date
- Brighton are two points behind second -placed Burnley
Brighton & Hove Albion recorded their biggest win of the season to date with a thumping 4-0 victory over Bristol City at Ashton Gate.
Goals from Jamie Murphy, Sam Baldock, Tomer Hemed and an own goal from Mark Little ensured the Seagulls bounced back from Saturday’s 4-1 defeat to Cardiff in emphatic fashion, with a clinical display.
Chris Hughton refreshed his squad for the match and made five changes to the side that were beaten by the Bluebirds at the weekend.
Liam Rosenior, Beram Kayal, Jamie Murphy, Tomer Hemed and Sam Baldock replaced Inigo Calderon, Steve Sidwell, Andrew Crofts, Jiri Skalak and Bobby Zamora.
Murphy made a goalscoring return to the side after racing through on goal and coolly sent a low shot into the bottom right-hand corner with eight minutes on the clock.
The Robins had a chance to net an equaliser when Lee Tomlin forced David Stockdale into a fine fingertip save.
But Baldock found the net against his former club to double Albion’s advantage in the 22nd minute. The striker worked his way into a central position on the edge of the box and sent a low strike beyond City keeper Richard O’Donnell.
Anthony Knockaert picked out Dale Stephens on the edge of the area, but saw his two shots blocked.
The lively Murphy almost picked out Baldock inside the box with a whipped-in delivery from the left-hand side, but the cross was just too heavy for the latter to make a connection with the ball.
Hughton made one change at the break after taking off Bruno and replacing him with compatriot Calderon at right-back.
Tomlin darted forward and launched a speculative attempt over the bar in a bright start to the second half for City.
Hemed added a third for Albion in the 56th minute to send Hughton’s men further out of sight, as the striker latched onto a ball from Kayal and fired home past O’Donnell.
The Robins could have pulled one back through Jonathan Kodjia, but Stockdale produced an outstanding save to tip the ball over the bar.
Hemed went in search of his second and Albion’s fourth, but his left-footed strike flew past the post.
Aaron Wilbraham was next to try his luck for the hosts, although his attempt from distance was easily saved by Stockdale.
Marlon Pack also struck a long-range effort, which Stockdale had to tip around his left post for a corner.
But Albion made the score-line even more emphatic in the 75th minute, as James Wilson met a Kayal free-kick into the box, which took a deflection off Mark Little before beating O’Donnell.
Hemed was withdrawn from proceedings with five minutes of normal time remaining to be replaced by Sidwell.
The hosts did have time to score a consolation in stoppage time after Kieran Agard was brought down in the box and the referee pointed to the spot.
Agard wasted the chance and saw his subsequent spot-kick clip the top of the crossbar before going over, as Albion claimed a resounding win.