APR 00] COVENTRY CITY FC NEWS
Sky Blues Compete But Lose Again
City’s appalling run of away form continued at Stamford Bridge but
despite another travelling reverse, Gordon Strachan headed north a
partially satisfied manager.
will never openly express his satisfaction after a defeat but the
level of his side’s performance was far higher than in the recent
defeats against Arsenal and Liverpool.
fans must have thought their miles of fruitless travelling was about
to end when Gary McAllister actually fired the Sky Blues in front but
that hope was blown apart by Chelsea just after the break.
was forced into a significant change after Cedric Roussel twisted a
knee in the match with Liverpool and was not included in the squad.
Keane returned in his place while Barry Quinn, who had an excellent
game, replaced his former youth team colleague John Eustace alongside
sides took time to grow accustomed to the appalling conditions. Rain
had fallen on London for most of the day and players were creating
splashes even when they warmed up.
had created only one real opening when McAllister struck for his 11th
goal of the season in the 18th minute.
Hendry won the ball in midfield and continued a run forward after
feeding Noel Whelan on the right flank.
the ball was returned to him he produced a deft back heal allowing
McAllister to side foot home past Ed De Goey.
offered an immediate response when Tore Andre Flo moved on to a
wonderful through-ball from Emerson Thome, but fired wide as Colin
Hendry slid in.
made sure City’s lead stayed in tact six minutes from the break when
he produced a superb goal-saving challenge to deny Gianfranco Zola
just as the Italian was preparing to side foot the ball home.
also managed to weather a late storm when Jon Harley headed the ball
into a crowded area and Gustavo Poyet fired just wide.
lead was not undeserved but when Chelsea stepped up the pace and the
Sky Blues sat deeper, a home goal seemed inevitable.
minutes into the second half the home side brought on Gabriele
Ambrosetti and George Weah and the two were highly influential in the
Italian, signed from Vicenza last season, crossed in low from the left
and although the Liberian missed the ball it eluded Magnus Hedman but
hit Hendry and dribbled over the line.
the next few minutes Coventry’s nervousness at being in front was
transformed into tangible apprehension and when Zola put Coventry in
front four minutes later after a slip from the otherwise immaculate
Richard Shaw, there looked only one result.
did have the ball in the net again but his effort was ruled out for
showed far more spirit than they had displayed against Liverpool and
did press to find a way back into the game.
nearest they came to an equaliser came when McAllister fired an angled
shot just wide.
yet another away defeat and with games against West Ham and Newcastle
on the horizon, it may not come until the final day against Watford.
De Goey; Petrescu, Leboeuf, Thome, Harley, Di Matteo (Dalla Bona, 55
mins ), Wise, Morris, Poyet (Ambrosetti,
49 mins ) Flo (Weah, 49 mins) Zola. Subs: Hitchock, Hogh.
City: Hedman, Telfer, Shaw, Hendry, Froggatt, Chippo, Quinn,
McAllister, Hadji (Burrows, 78 mins), Whelan (Zuniga, 76 mins), Keane.
Subs: Breen, Ogrizovic, Eustace.
McAllister (18), Hendry (og 53), Zola (57).
of the match: McAllister – determined show.