OCT 00] COVENTRY CITY MATCH
REPORT - PREMIERSHIP
Coventry City (2) 2
Tottenham Hotspur (0) 1
City clinched their first home league
victory of the season with first half goals from Aloisi and
Eustace. After Spurs pulled one back early in the second half
and Carlton Palmer had been sent off for violent conduct
Coventry hung on for a tense final 20 minutes.
scores for City with a great 20 yard left foot shot
makes it 2-0 with a knock-in from a Bellamy pass
pulls one back for Spurs
Palmer sent off for violent conduct
by David Beidas
City chalked up their first home
win with a much improved performance.
It was a game of two halves,
though, City having much the better of the first 45 minutes and
then coming under the cosh in the second half, especially when
reduced to ten men.
City lined up 4-4-2 as usual.
Chris Kirkland made his first Premiership appearance in goal.
Back four of Edworthy, Breen, Shaw and Telfer; midfield of Hadji
on the left, Chippo and Palmer in the middle, Eustace on the
right; and Bellamy and Aloisi up front. Ref was Peter Jones.
Spurs won a corner in the first
couple of minutes, but City cleared their lines and the game
began to settle. City were clearly up for it, contesting every
ball and trying to push Spurs back.
We took an early lead after ten
minutes or so when Hadji hit a perfectly flighted long
crossfield ball to Aloisi who had taken up a position twenty
yards out wide right. He gathered the ball and started to cut
Eustace made a run down the right
which took one defender out of the way, Aloisi cut further in
and let fly with a beautiful left foot shot from twenty yards
out which flew past Walker and into the net.
This settled City and we began to
dominate the game, Spurs unable to settle and making a number of
mistakes. We were mixing our game a bit, sometimes playing
through the centre, sometimes down the wings and sometimes
playing long balls over for Bellamy to chase.
Spurs were playing a very
physical game, Vega in defence and Ferdinand up front
particularly putting themselves about a bit.
The City defence was very
assured, Breen having a superb game, as did Telfer - he put in
two or three last ditch tackles which prevented the Spurs
forwards (Rebrov in particular) from finding scoring positions.
Kirkland looked assured and his
kicking was good. He made one good save from an Anderton
freekick from just outside the area, the ball kept low and
Kirkland went down and although he spilled it, he got to the
ball second time.
City looked dangerous every time
they pushed forward and we went two up just before the half hour
when Bellamy got the ball in the corner of the area and with a
neat bit of skill span round the defender.
He started to cut in towards goal
and although many forwards would have had a shot, he looked up
and slipped a ball to the unmarked Eustace seven yards out from
goal and he turned it in easily.
We had more chances to go further
ahead. Palmer was played in behind the defence, but his shot
turned more into a cross. Hadji fired one from the corner of the
area, which Aloisi and Bellamy were millimetres away from
getting a toe to, to turn it into the net. A Hadji freekick went
over the bar.
Half time and we were comfortably
The second half was a different
matter. Spurs came out and attacked and pulled one back within
ten minutes. In a tussle with Ferdinand, Shaw slipped, which
allowed Ferdinand to take the ball on and feed Rebrov down the
One-on-one with Kirkland, he
fired the ball past him.
Spurs now began to dominate the
game, passing and moving well and City were on the back foot.
The defence held firm, although we lost control a bit in
It wasn't all one way though, as
Chippo was put through and let fly with a thunderous left foot
shot which flew over the bar.
More drama with twenty minutes to
go, when City broke out of defence, Hadji picked the ball up,
slipped it to Palmer who then returned the ball to Hadji under
pressure from Perry.
The latter had clearly done
something to Palmer, because as he started to run back, Carlton
grabbed him by the shirt and took a kick at him. The ref hadn't
seen it and allowed play to continue.
We worked the ball into their
area and after a bit of pinball, Aloisi curled a shot just wide
of the left post.
The ref ran back to consult his
linesman and it was a red card for Palmer, who continued to
argue the toss until he was shepherded away by his teammates.
Fully deserved really, he was never going to get away with
kicking another player. Perry got a yellow.
Down to ten men, Roussel came on
to replace Aloisi, who had looked to be suffering a bit of a
knock. Bellamy moved to right midfield, Eustace moving more
Spurs sent on Iversen to play
three up front and City were driven back. From a corner a back
header was hurtling towards the net until Kirkland tipped it
over the bar at the last second - a great save. He came off his
line on several occasions to snatch the ball from the feet of
As Spurs pushed forward though
they left gaps at the back and on several occasions City cleared
the ball to their own players, who were able to charge towards
the Spurs goal.
Roussel was winning a lot in the
air and chased down everything.
The game got more heated, Vega
was booked. Spurs pulled off Leonhardsen,
sending on Dominguez.
Strachan switched Edworthy from
left to right to counter his threat and later sent Hendry on for
Spurs sent a cross over, three
players jumped up with Kirkland and the ball ended up in the
net, but the ref blew for a foul.
Spurs threw everyone forward. In
the last minute a cross from Anderton caught the defence out of
position and a Spurs player headed the ball against the bar and
Whistles were coming from every
quarter of Highfield Road and finally Peter Jones blew to give
City the three points.
Well, a tense thriller of a match
(especially the last twenty minutes) but it was a good home
performance and while our disciplinary record may give cause for
concern, the football is certainly improving.
by Jim Brown
Kirkland, Marc Edworthy, Paul Telfer, Carlton Palmer, Gary
Breen, Richard Shaw, John Eustace, Youssef Chippo, John Aloisi
(Cedric Roussel 73), Craig Bellamy (Colin Hendry 82), Moustapha
Subs not used: Gary
Montgomery, Ysrael Zuniga, Barry Quinn
Walker, Stephen Carr, Ben Thatcher, Steffen Freund (Steffen
Iversen 76), Chris Perry, Ramon Vega, Darren Anderton, Tim
Sherwood, Les Ferdinand, Sergei Rebrov, Oyvind Leonhardsen (Jose
Subs not used: Hans
Segers, Stephen Clemence, Alton Thelwell
Coventry - Aloisi (12) Eustace (26)
Tottenham - Rebrov (53)
CITY BOOKINGS FOR THE SEASON TO DATE]
Coventry - none
Tottenham - Carr
(49), Vega (56), Perry (71)
SENDING OFF: [CHECK
CITY BOOKINGS FOR THE SEASON TO DATE]
Coventry - Palmer (71, for
LEAGUE POSITIONS AFTER THIS
Coventry - 13th
Tottenham - 11th
Kirkland's debut and first home win of the season.