Martin O’Neill’s first game as Nottingham Forest manager ended in defeat as Famara Diedhiou’s goal saw Bristol City run out 1-0 winners at The City Ground.
The goal, 20 minutes from time, proved to be decisive as The Reds came across a determined Frank Fielding in the City goal who kept Forest at bay on numerous occasions to deny O'Neill the perfect start.
The new manager handed a debut to new signing Yohan Benalouane and opted to start with two strikers in the shape of Daryl Murphy and Lewis Grabban.
There was almost the perfect start to O'Neill's tenure as a Joe Lolley flashed a shot inches wide of the target following Ben Osborn's cross in just the second minute, but the visitors were in confident mood having arrived at The City Ground on the back of a 10-game unbeaten run.
Andi Weimann stung Costel Pantilimon's palms with a shot from close range on eight minutes, then on 12 the Forest stopper was called into producing a fine fingertip save to tip Callum O'Dowda's effort around the post following a swift counter attack.
The Reds came back into the game as they looked to take control away from City, with Lolley heading over the bar when well-placed in the middle on 25, then Matty Cash flashed an effort wide of the target from 25 yards just shy of the half-hour mark.
The closing stages of the first half passed without chances for either side and at the start of the second half Pantilimon was called into producing another fine save as he palmed away former Red Jamie Paterson's well-hit volley.
Bristol City keeper Frank Fielding was forced into his first meaningful save of the game as debutant Benalouane rose highest at a corner, only to see the City stopper acrobatically tip his effort over the crossbar, before the visitors took the lead with 20 minutes to go.
A superb through ball by substitute Kasey Palmer played Weimann in on goal. The forward then pulled it back from the byline to Diedhiou who was on hand to lash home past the despairing dive of Pantilimon and two Forest defenders on the line.
Jack Colback saw a long-range effort well parried by Fielding before Lewis Grabban tested the City keeper as The Reds pushed on in search of the leveller, but O'Neill's men couldn't find it as his first game as manager of Forest ended in defeat.
Forest: Pantilimon, Janko, Benalouane, Robinson, Osborn, Cash (Dias 73'), Yacob (c) (Guedioura 69'), Colback, Lolley, Grabban, Murphy
Unused subs: Steele, Watson, Carvalho, Goncalves, Yates
Bookings: Benalouane 45', Janko 88'
Bristol City: Fielding: Pisano, Kalas, Baker, Dasilva (Kelly 79'), Pack (c), Brownhill, Paterson (Palmer 64'), O'Dowda, Weimann, Diedhiou (Wright 90')
Unused subs: O'Leary, Eliasson, Morrell, Eisa
Goal: Diedhiou 70'
Referee: Jeremy Simpson
Attendance: 28,922 (1,570 away)