CWN - News & Information for Coventry & Warwickshire 20x21spacer.gif (59 bytes)What's New?Search CWN
Coventry City (2) 3
Arsenal (0) 2

Gordon Strachan heralded his players as the Sky Blues ended the century with uplifting performance and an excellent result at Highfield Road.

Strachan was full of praise for his side as they carved out a lead, repelled a dogged Arsenal reply and managed to survive a late scare.

He said:

"That is the way I want my side to play. When we have played good teams here I have often been able to say that we were lucky but today I thought we were the better team.

"Their goalkeeper and back four are one of the finest in the game and I had all of them in my team of the 90s so to create as many chances as we did proves we must have been doing things right.

"Arsenal’s second goal did make it hard but I coach my team to be positive so it is very hard to then tell them to put the breaks on and with five minutes to go, Steve Froggatt was still going on overlaps from left back. But even at 2-1 and 3-1 we produced chances."

Strachan sprung a slight surprise by preferring Cedric Roussel to Noel Whelan but his selection was again spot on as the young Belgian produced an outstanding aerial performance to cause endless problems to England duo Martin Keown and Tony Adams.

He was not alone. Gary McAllister and Carlton Palmer dominated midfield while Magnus Hedman again produced several saves of importance.

Coventry did make the perfect start but it was not a goal down to planning – McAllister’s ninth minute shot struck Keown on its way past David Seaman and into the net.

Not that it wasn’t deserved. Coventry regularly managed to set players through and their finishing was more accurate than their opponents. Arsenal, with Kanu and Thierry Henry impressive on the ball, created openings but failed to round them off.

Not that Moustapha Hadji had that problem. The Moroccan, who again gave the ball away far too often for comfort, was given just a yard of space five minutes from the interval, but it was enough for him to curl a shot round a defender and into the corner of Seaman’s net. No deflection was needed.

If Coventry expected an Arsenal bombardment they will not have been disappointed. Still Coventry probed and pushed looking to exploit every opening and when Arsene Wenger brought on Davor Suker for midfielder Gilles Grimandi, it was a sign of their desperation.

They pulled a goal back in the 67th minutes when Fredrik Ljungberg showed admirable persistence to score in a crowded area. That should have rocked Coventry back, but the reverse was true and four minutes later Robbie Keane produced a delicate finish to poke home a flick on from Roussel.

To Arsenal’s credit, they showed great fight and ensured a frantic last few moments when Davor Suker, looking suspiciously offside, managed to evade four tackles to score at the far post.

Still Coventry attacked and were threatening when referee Rob Harris sounded the whistle.

The perfect start to a testing programme – the perfect way to end the century.

bar-blue-400x3.gif (874 bytes)

COVENTRY (4-4-2):
Hedman; Telfer, Breen, Williams, Froggatt; Hadji, McAllister, Palmer, Chippo (Gustafsson, 90 minutes); Roussel, Keane (Whelan, 81 mins)
Subs: Ogrizovic, Normann, Eustace

ARSENAL (4-4-2):
Seaman; Dixon, Keown, Adam, Winterburn; Lungberg, Grimandi (Suker, 60 mins), Petit, Overmars; Henry, Kanu
Subs: Manninger, Luzhny, Silvinho, Barrett

Coventry City - McAllister (9 mins), Hadji (40 mins), Keane (71mins)
Arsenal - Ljungberg (67 mins), Suker (86 mins)

REFEREE: Rob Harris (Oxford)

Coventry – none
Arsenal – Grimandi (foul, 54 mins), Henry (dissent, 75 mins)



1x22rule.gif (89 bytes)
Coventry's Agenda 21

150x15more.gif (274 bytes)


[click on the advert below]

Buy all your books online with Amazon

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry - book online!

Alexander Wines, Earlsdon, Coventry

The Hare and Hounds, Coventry

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 26 Dec 99

1995-2000 Coventry Internet Developments Ltd

This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM