DEC 99] COVENTRY CITY FC MATCH REPORT - PREMIERSHIP
Liverpool (1) 2
Coventry City (0) 0
Gary Breen was fortunate
to stay on the pitch as Coventry City tumbled to yet another away defeat this time at
City have not won away from home for eight months and it is starting to become a mental
hurdle which they show little sign of clearing.
After one defeat in the eleven games since Carlton Palmer arrived from Nottingham
Forest, they travelled to Merseyside with great expectations despite being depleted by
injuries to defenders.
They did well enough in the first half, but Noel Whelan missed an early scoring chance
and then Michael Owen conjured an interval lead in stoppage time.
Coventry were less than pleased about the nature of the goal. Referee Andrew
Durso signalled two minutes of extra-time but Owens goal went in after four
But Englands big hope for the Euro 2000 and the World Cup Finals took his chance
well. The ball was played into the penalty area by Dominic Matteo and Owen slipped away
from Gary Breen to pull the trigger on Magnus Hedman from point blank range.
The goal came at the worst possible moment for Coventry. Their changing room was the
quietest place in Anfield as they contemplated the mountain they had to climb in the
Yet they could have taken an early lead when Gary McAllisters looping centre
found Noel Whelan in space, but the strikers header missed the target from a good
Breen was lucky not to be red carded in the 16th minute when Owen crashed to
the turf clutching his face. It was alleged the Republic of Ireland centreback had elbowed
the Liverpool teenager in an off the ball incident and the home fans screamed for the red
But referee DUrso consulted his assistant and to Breens relief, produced
Liverpool tried to mount an onslaught in the second half, but City battled through it
and then proceeded to show some of their best form of the match.
Carlton Palmer struck a deflected shot which goalkeeper Westerveld pushed wide and from
the corner-kick Paul Telfer returned the ball to the far post where Palmer headed wide.
Citys best scoring chance of the second half came when Moustapha Hadji broke free
down the left wing to fire in a deep cross. Whelan controlled the ball on his chest and
then rifled in a shot that the goalkeeper parried away for a corner kick.
Coventry clearly were still in with a chance of salvaging a point and manager Gordon
Strachan sent on the Belgian striker Cedric Roussel in place of Whelan.
But within a few minutes the game had slipped away. There seemed to be no danger in the
74th minute when Patrick Berger knocked the ball to Titi Camara 25 yards out.
Camara had his back to goal but he controlled the ball and swivelled to smash a perfect
volley into the top corner of the net.
Strachan sent on the Norwegian Runar Normann for Hadji and City were unlucky not to
pull one goal back in the 81st minute but Roussels tame shot from
McAllisters corner kick was easily cleared off the goal line by Liverpools
Coventrys next chance to win some points now arrives on Boxing Day when fourth
placed Arsenal are the visitors to Highfield Road.
Westerveld, Garrard, Henchoz, Hyypia, Matteo, Thompson (Smicer, 37 mins, Murphy, 88 mins),
Hamann, Carragher, Berger, Owen, Camara (Heggem, 86 mins)
Subs: Song, Nielsen
Hedman, Telfer, Breen, Williams, Froggatt, Chippo, McAllister, Palmer, Hadji (Normann, 75
mins), Keane, Whelan (Roussel, 70 mins)
Subs: Ogrizovic (goalkeeper), Eustace, Gustafsson,
GOALS: Owen 45 mins, Camara 74 mins
REFEREE: Andrew DUrso (Billericay)
Coventry Keane (foul, 16 mins), Breen (foul, 17 mins)
COVENTRY MAN OF THE MATCH: Magnus Hedman