SEP 00] COVENTRY CITY MATCH
REPORT - PREMIERSHIP
Coventry City (0) 0
West Ham United (2) 3
Coventry slump to 17th in the table after
another poor home performance against lowly West Ham.
||Zuniga sneaks in on the blind side but shoots
||Hedman saves well from Cole
||Di Canio takes advantage of
a Shaw mistake to score
||Cole scores from a narrow angle
||Pearceís free kick is pushed round the post by
||Zunigaís low cross is scrambled away by Hislop
||Kanoute sets up Lampard for
an easy third
||Hadji hits the post from a free kick
by David Beidas
Oh God. This was the worst
display I've seen from City for some time - perhaps that
terrible night at Luton a couple of years ago. They were well
beaten and loudly booed from the pitch at the end of the game.
An unseasonally warm and sunny
September afternoon and another crowd of 20,000 at Highfield
Road. As ever, the Hammers fans were loud and vocal before the
City lined up 4-4-2 (no surprise
there then): Magnus Hedman in goal, back four of Edworthy, Shaw,
Williams and Marcus Hall; midfield of Thomson, Chippo, Palmer
and Hadji; Bellamy and Zuniga up front.
Despite the stories during the
week, Paolo di Canio, City's nemesis, was partnering Kanoute up
front for West Ham (who were wearing an all black strip). Ref
was Neale Barry.
The first half hour was an
appallingly scrappy affair, with neither side looking like
scoring. The bulk of the game was played in midfield with
neither side able to retain possession.
City were very disjointed, kept
on giving the ball away and didn't really seem to be putting an
awful lot of effort into the game. Too many players were
Long balls to the strikers were a
waste of time, the West Ham defenders all towering over our
diminutive strike force. Players dwelt too long on the ball and
weren't quick enough in moving forward.
Not that West Ham were much
better, neither keeper had much to do apart from gather back
Rio Ferdinand had to come off
after about quarter of an hour, to be replaced by Michael
Carrick. Di Canio went down in our area somewhat theatrically to
loud boos from the City fans and continued his acting with his
expressions of disbelief that he hadn't been given a penalty.
Matters changed when West Ham
went ahead. They had made a move down the left and the ball came
into our area. The defence seemed to have it covered, the ball
came to Shaw in a central position about twelve yards out in a
bit of space.
Very easy to clear it, instead he
managed to gift it to Di Canio about four yards in front of him.
Di Canio simply ran past Shaw and slotted the ball past Hedman.
Di Canio was instrumental in
their second goal a few minutes later, when he ran into the area
from the left, got to the by-line just by the goalpost and
lifted a cross just beyond the far post.
Cole waited for the ball to drop
and despite both Hall and Willo trying to block, evaded their
attentions and thumped the ball home.
City were in complete disarray
now and went to pieces. No-one looked confident on the ball,
there was too much dithering, Thomson was all over the pitch
except where he should have been, and we couldn't string more
than two passes together. There was no fight and a now rampant
West Ham were all over us.
Magnus had to pull off a great
diving save from a Lampard shot to stop us going three down.
We had only one attempt on goal
in the entire half, when we won a free kick outside their area,
Hadji floated the ball over, but whoever got a head to it sent
it well over the bar. No wonder there were boos at half time.
Thomson didn't come out for the
second half and was replaced by Eustace.
City started brighter and began
to push forward, showing at least some desire to get back in the
game. Eustace was often at the heart of these moves, working
down the right with Hadji and Edworthy.
Bellamy was getting more involved
and his pace caused some problems for the West Ham defence on a
couple of occasions.
We had a great chance to pull one
back after ten minutes when Zuniga fought his way to the byline
by the goalpost, pulled the ball back fiercely, Eustace shot,
but the ball hit Hislop right in front of him, came out and was
cleared. The keeper knew very little about it.
We continued to press, but the
West Ham defence remained equal to everything we could put
together and they remained in control of the game.
They were now putting together
confident passing moves and looked likely to score every time
they broke forward.
And indeed they did, when Kanoute
beat Williams, passed into the centre and Lampard hit the ball
past Hedman. Game over at that point.
Gordon Strachan sent on Aloisi
for Zuniga and later Breen for Marcus Hall. Hall had not had the
best of games, Sinclair had the better of him for much of the
match and he never looks happy with the ball when he knows he's
likely to come off second best. But City were still poor.
West Ham never gave anyone any
time on the ball and we kept giving it away. I don't remember
any more shots on target.
Winterburn was booked for
dissent, the only occasion a card left Mr Barry's pocket.
People started leaving with about
fifteen minutes to go and one fan came down the main stand to
berate Strachan and was led away by two stewards. He was merely
expressing the frustration felt by much of the Sky Blue Army.
There was no cohesion in the
side, summed up early in the half in one move on the left where
Zuniga was by the touchline pressed by a defender. The Peruvian
backheeled to Marcus Hall, only to find the defender was in fact
now in front of him.
The team were loudly booed from
the pitch at the end and slunk off back to the changing rooms.
If anyone from Preston was watching, they'll be fancying their
chances on Wednesday. In the meantime, our slide down the table
by Jim Brown
Magnus Hedman, Marc Edworthy, Marcus Hall (Gary
Breen, 74), Carlton Palmer, Paul Williams, Richard Shaw, David
Thompson (John Eustace, 46), Youssef Chippo, Ysrael Zuniga (John
Aloisi, 65), Craig Bellamy ,
Subs not used: Chris Kirkland, Paul Telfer
Shaka Hislop, Trevor Sinclair (Steve Pott, 78),
Nigel Winterburn, Rio Ferdinand (Michael Carrick, 13), Igor
Stimac, Stuart Pearce, Frank Lampard, Steve Lomas, Frederic
Kanoute (Kaba Diawara, 82), Paolo Di Canio, Joe Cole
Subs not used: Craig Forrest, Adam Newton
GOALS: Di Canio (38), Cole (40), Lampard (69)
REFEREE: N Barry (Lincolnshire)
CITY BOOKINGS FOR THE SEASON TO DATE]
Coventry - none
West Ham - Winterburn (65, foul on Palmer)
LEAGUE POSITIONS AFTER THIS
Coventry - 17th
West Ham - 18th
This was only West Hamís second Premier league win at
Highfield Road - it was also their biggest ever win in all
competitions on the ground.