APR 01] COVENTRY CITY MATCH
REPORT - PREMIERSHIP
Coventry City (0) 0
Liverpool (0) 2
City old boy McAllister helps Liverpool dump Coventry well
and truly into the relegation quicksand.
||Williams is clean through but Westerveld saves
with his feet.
||Eustace heads over after Hartson heads on a
||Fowler's volley goes just over the bar.
||Fowler heads over from McAllister's corner.
||Zuniga's shot is blocked by Westerveld.
||Breen's header from Telfer's right wing corner is
||Kirkland pulls off an excellent save to foil Owen.
||Williams seems to handle as he clears Owen's shot
off the line.
||Hyppia's near post header
from McAllister's left wing corner beats Kirkland..
||Kirkland again saves well from Owen.
||McAllister's delicious but
embarrassing twenty five yard free-kick makes it 2-0.
by David Beidas
The Nationwide beckons.
For eighty minutes City matched
Liverpool but let it all slip in the last ten minutes and
inevitably it was Gary McAllister who delivered the coup de
grace with a stunning free kick (why couldn't he do that when he
wore a sky blue shirt?).
Highfield Road was full, over
23,000. Some changes from the team that lost to Ipswich:
Kirkland in goal, back four of Quinn, Breen, Williams and Hall;
midfield of Chippo, Telfer, Eustace and Bellamy; and Hadji and
Hartson up front.
First blood to Liverpool, who won
a corner with a minute gone, but City cleared. And then we came
back at them and started to press and in the first fifteen
minutes had two good chances.
First Williams picked the ball up
just inside their half, fed it out to the right and kept running
and, somewhat to his surprise I think, found himself twelve
yards out with only the keeper to beat. Westerveld managed to
put it out for a corner.
City were playing good football,
passing the ball well and with good movement.
From a corner some minutes later
came our second chance, when Hartson rose to power a header
towards the far post, from where Eustace headed over the bar
from four yards out.
City continued to press and had
the better of the half. Telfer and Eustace were magnificent in
midfield, tackling hard and feeding the front players. Bellamy
was struggling against a physically powerful Liverpool defence,
but Hadji and Chippo were also linking up well and we were able
to push forward.
Hartson was leading the line in
his usual combative way, challenging for everything and also
showing some superb touches. Another chance came when Eustace
had a powerful shot from twenty yards out, but it was blocked.
Liverpool looked slightly nervy
and made one or two unforced errors. Their best chances came
from corners, with two headers put over the bar.
City's defence looked pretty
solid, although there were some uncomfortable moments. The ref
seemed to be favouring Liverpool, with Breen and Chippo finding
their way into the book and Hartson penalised for supposedly
We had one free kick from twenty
yards out from which Telfer was lining up a shot but the ball
bobbled as it was nudged to him and he had to play it out wide.
City made one or two mistakes,
but it looked a pretty solid performance on the whole.
Still 0-0 at half time.
City didn't seem to start the
second half with quite as much urgency as they had played with
in the first and were allowing Liverpool to play a bit more.
Still, neither side was coming close to creating a real chance.
We weren't pressing quite as much, but neither were the Reds.
After an hour or so, Houllier
swapped Fowler for Owen and shortly afterwards Strachan sent on
Zuniga and took off Bellamy, Hadji moving to right midfield.
Heskey was booked for dissent and
Williams also got a yellow card for a challenge.
With Owen on, Liverpool looked
more dangerous, trying to thread the ball through the defence
for him to run on to. He got past Breen on one occasion, but
Kirkland then blocked his effort from six yards out.
But City rallied again and pushed
forward down the other end. We had a couple of opportunities:
Eustace had a shot from outside the area which he hit low and
accurate, but a Liverpool defender blocked it.
Some good work down the right
ended with Telfer feeding the ball in towards the near post,
where Eustace tried an overhead kick which went wide where he
would have been better leaving it for Hartson who was thundering
in behind him.
Zuniga had one effort which went
straight at the keeper.
Berger was subbed, Ziege coming
It all went pear-shaped in the
last ten minutes, when Owen broke again down the left and ran
into the area and his cross was put out by Williams.
The Liverpool players were
screaming for handball [Williams admitted on Match of the Day
that it was handball], but the ref just gave a corner.
McAllister took it (he received
cheers and clapping from the Coventry fans on his return to
Highfield Road with only sporadic booing) and after a couple of
Liverpool heads had got to the ball it was in the back of the
City were obviously shattered by
the goal and it got worse two minutes later when Liverpool were
awarded a free kick twenty yards out which McAllister hit
perfectly to curl round the wall and although Kirkland got a
hand to it, he couldn't stop it from going just inside the post.
City tried to rally, but it was
too late and obvious that we weren't going to get back in the
Heskey was subbed. Kirkland had a
couple more saves to make to deny Owen, who remained a potent
threat to the end.
There was little injury time to
be played and by then the Liverpool fans were singing 'You'll
Never Walk Alone'.
Although the Derby and
Middlesbrough results went our way, the mountain just got rather
FACTS by Jim Brown
Chris Kirkland: Barry Quinn, Marcus Hall, Paul Telfer, Gary
Breen, Paul Williams, Youssef Chippo, John Eustace, John Hartson,
Moustapha Hadji, Craig Bellamy (Ysrael Zuniga 64)
Subs not used: Magnus Hedman,
Gavin Strachan, Marc Edworthy, Ivan Guerrero
Sander Westerveld: Markus Babbel, Jamie Carragher, Dietmar
Hamann, Smi Hyppia, Stephane Henchoz, Danny Murphy, Gary
McAllister, Emile Heskey (Igor Biscan 87), Robbie Fowler
(Michael Owen 62), Patrik Berger (Christian Ziege 74)
Subs not used: Pegguy
Arphexad, Stephen Wright
(83), McAllister (86)
CITY BOOKINGS FOR THE SEASON TO DATE]
Coventry - Breen
(10, dangerous kicking), Quinn (20, handball), Williams (67,
Liverpool - Heskey
LEAGUE POSITIONS AFTER THIS
Coventry - 19th
Liverpool - 5th
now on the brink of relegation and need to win their last two
games and rely on others to lose to stay up.
Biggest home crowd of the season.