After a summer when the likes of Take That and the Spice Girls graced the Ashton Gate turf, it was business as usual on Sunday afternoon.
But Bristol City will have to play better than they did in front of the Sky Sports cameras if the luminaries from the footballing world are to join the luminaries from the pop world in BS3.
Leeds United narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier League last season and in their first game of the new term they cruelly exposed City’s defensive frailties.
Having sold two defenders both for record totals over the summer, City head coach Lee Johnson must use the windfall to bring new players to the Gate to plug the holes that Leeds found in this 3-1 win.
Andreas Weimann’s goal for City on 79 minutes after a skiving run into the box and a sharp shot underneath the diving Kiko Casilla was too little too late, but did prompt City’s best period of the match.
Matty Taylor was thrown into the attack immediately after Weimann’s goal and almost made an immediate impact as well as receiving a yellow card for a foul on Casilla.
It was a surprise that Taylor had not been brought into the fray sooner, with prior to the last ten minutes of the game City’s best chances coming from two Josh Brownhill free-kicks.
Leeds’ first goal came 25 minutes into the first half when Pablo Hernandez was able to find more room just outside the area than the turning circle of the SS Great Britain, whose masts can just be glimpsed from the top of the West Stand.
Hernandez curled the ball past the outstretched Dan Bentley – making his debut in the City goal – into the top corner. It was a goal worthy to win any game.
Patrick Bamford scored Leeds’ second with an emphatic header in front of the away fans in the Atyeo Stand, following a cross from Hernandez.
Jack Harrison made it three after he devoured a rebound from eight yards after Mateusz Klich’s goal-bound shot was blocked, and soon after that came Weimann’s goal. But time was against City, who were rarely in tune.
Photo courtesy of JMP