A debut goal from Tommy Rowe ensured that Bristol City picked up their first point of the season as they drew 1-1 against Birmingham City at St. Andrew’s.
After watching his side grind out a win at Brentford last week with their only shot on goal, Blues boss Pep Clotet will have wanted to see Blues play with more control this time around.
And, that was evident with his team selection as he switched from a back five to a 4-4-1-1, with Fran Villalba handed his first start after joining from Valencia on the left-hand side.
The attacking midfielder looks a class act too, and he had the first meaningful effort of the game with a good strike that was palmed over by Dan Bentley.
His link up with Dan Crowley, who was playing just off target man Lukas Jutkiewicz, excited the home fans and the inclusion of the pair was proof of the attacking philosophy that Clotet is looking to implement at Blues.
However, they didn’t have it all their own way against Lee Johnson’s side, with the Robins boss bringing in six players after the opening day defeat to Leeds United.
One of those was new signing Benik Afobe and he should have given the visitors the lead in the first half when he was played through brilliantly by Kasey Palmer but he was denied by Lee Camp.
The windy conditions in Birmingham didn’t help the teams and chances were hard to come by after that in an even first-half.
Clotet called for patience from the fans as he tries to alter the approach in his programme notes and the signs that Blues could be a more creative force were there, with Jutkiewicz denied by a strong hand from Bentley after good build-up play.
With the game opening up, Robins new-boy Adam Nagy had a chance to give his side the lead shortly after as his hard-work fashioned a chance but once again the impressive Camp stood firm.
We didn’t have to wait long for the first goal though and it was a goal you would have expected from Garry Monk’s Blues.
A long free-kick wasn’t cleared and Marc Roberts dug out an excellent cross that the powerful Jutkiewicz wasn’t going to miss. He was too strong at the back post for the Bristol City defence and back-to-back wins seemed likely for Clotet.
However, Palmer wasn’t going to let that happen.
Afobe squandered another one-on-one after a delightful through ball from the former Chelsea man but Rowe wasn’t going to be as wasteful when he ran through in the 83rd minute and smashed home from Palmer’s assist to help the Robins to a point they will feel they warranted.