Ribeiro Shines As City Score FIVE!
Ashton Gate, Bristol
23 March 2010, 19:45
Nicky Maynard and Danny Haynes tore Barnsley apart on a night when young defender Christian Ribeiro shot to prominance at Ashton Gate.
Shunned by previous manager Gary Johnson for whatever reason, the young Welshman Ribeiro rewarded caretaker Keith Millen's choice to keep faith with him after the Newcastle game with an assured performance at the back.
Millen's only enforced change was to bring back Liam Fontaine for the injured Jamie McAllister in an otherwise unchanged 3-5-2. Lewin Nyatanga pulled up in the warm-up allowing Jamal Campbell-Ryce to return from suspension against his former club.
And what a start to the game we had!
Within 70 seconds, City were in front. Paul Hartley, who was instrumental in the midfield, fed Marvin Elliott who picked out Danny Haynes to loop his header over Luke Steele in the Barnsley goal.
Whilst we still celebrated though, Barnsley were unbelievably back level! A cross from Luke Potter allowed Hugo Colace to steal in and slot past Gerken for 1-1 with barely 3 minutes on the board.
The goal seemed to give the impetus to the Yorkshire side who stole the lead not long after.
Ex-Tyke Campbell-Ryce was adjudged to have yanked back Felipe Teixeira and from the resultant free-kick, Teixeira fed Bobby Hassell down the right who squared for Daniel Bogdanovic to smash a low shot past Gerken on 25.
With the Gate silenced, City looked to be heading into the interval trailing but Campbell-Ryce had other ideas. After skipping past his ex-team-mate Hassell down the left, Campbell-Ryce sent in a pearler of a cross for Nicky Maynard to glance in at the far post 2 minutes before half-time as the sides went in level at the break.
Hartley fired in a dangerous cross straight after the interval but nobody was there for the tap in and 11 minutes later, City were back in front.
Fontaine's cross went straight across the Barnsley defence, allowing Bradley Orr to send it back into the middle for Maynard to head home at the back stick (56).
Maynard then blew the chance of his first hat-trick since his debut against Royal Antwerp two years ago, by getting the ball caught up in his feet when well positioned six yards out, following great work by Danny Haynes.
Not that it mattered much as we were soon 4-2 up. Maynard skinned Ryan Shotton inside the box before squaring it to Haynes for another tap-in from eight yards on 63.
With the game seemingly in the bag, City pressed ahead for a fifth and it duly arrived on 76 minutes. Shotton hauled down Maynard in the box and, after a Maynard and Haynes had a competitve squabble over who should take it with both on hat-tricks, up stepped Paul Hartley to sweep in the penalty for 5-2.
Just when you thought that was it, Colace's cross was headed in from Barnsley sub Andy Gray to give the visitors hope but it was to be City's night.
CITY (3-5-2): Gerken, Ribeiro, Carey, Fontaine, Orr, Elliott (Johnson '82), Hartley, Skuse, Campbell-Ryce, Haynes (Akinde '91), Maynard (Clarkson '94).
BARNSLEY (4-4-2): Steele, Hassell, Foster, Shotton, Potter, Teixeira (Anderson Da Silva '86), Colace, Doyle, Halfredsson (Hume '72), Macken (Gray '67), Bogdanovic.
REFEREE: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire)
Not quite sure why Johnson held this boy back as he was magnificent tonight. He had the pace to mop up at the back and bomb forward, whilst seldom giving the ball away thanks to the ability to pick the simple pass. Absolutely superb.
Dean Gerken 6
Christian Ribeiro 8
Louis Carey 6
Liam Fontaine 6
Bradley Orr 6
Cole Skuse 7
Paul Hartley 8
Marvin Elliott 6
Jamal Campbell-Ryce 7
Nicky Maynard 8
Danny Haynes 8
Enhanced his credentials again tonight. He picked the most balanced side we could've put out, given the hamstrung squad Johnson had assembled. Hartley revelled in playing further forward and the strikers looked lively as hell. Special praise needs to be given for sticking faith in youngster Ribeiro, who really rewarded him tonight.
Did nothing wrong really, but then again I've got fond memories of his loan spell with us 7 years ago! He kept his side plugging away, which showed the spirit within their camp, but ultimately had no answer to Hartley and the two strikers.
Breath Of Fresh Air
We were willing to attack, the players seemed to know their roles within the team and how it showed.
Maynard and Haynes looked as good as we've seen them in a partnership, Hartley was majestic pulling the strings in the middle and Ribeiro was a class act at the back.
We should be safe this season now so please, play more of the youngsters and keep this freshness going.
Rotation? More Rubbish!
Hartley's managed the whole 95 minutes tonight to go with the 94 minutes on Saturday night and boy did he treat us to a masterclass again.
Yet more evidence Johnson didn't know what he was doing!
Ribeiro - Star In The Making?
He looked a little bit shaky early on but soon settled and looked assured in every way. He kept in simple, rarely lost the ball, showed good pace to cover and provided another option going forward as well.
These two performances prove two things. One - Johnson was wrong to hold him back and, two - Steve Lansdown should be tying him to a long-term deal first thing in the morning.
Great things lie ahead for this boy.