- English Football League - Championship
- Monday, April 5th 2021
- St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium
James Crawley reports from St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium
Report: Coventry City 3-1 Bristol City
Monday, April 5th 2021
City were beaten away from home for the first time in five matches as Coventry City battled to a 3-1 victory at St Andrew’s Stadium.
Leo Østigård put the hosts ahead inside the ninth minute, before Matty Godden’s second-half penalty added daylight to the fixture.
Nahki Wells was quick to pounce on an error to make it 2-1 but Coventry soon capitalised on a Tommy Rowe mistake with substitute Viktor Gyökeres rounding off the scores late on.
Nigel Pearson named five changes to his team as City looked to go a fifth consecutive game unbeaten away from home. Danny Simpson earned his first start ahead of Jack Hunt, while Steven Sessegnon replaced Rowe at left-back. Zak Vyner and Ádám Nagy partnered Han-Noah Massengo in midfield meaning Henri Lansbury and Kasey Palmer moved to the bench. Famara Diédhiou led the front three with Sam Bell absent due to a hamstring injury.
The visitors were fighting to avoid a relegation battle with few games remaining and showed they were up for a fight early into this physical fixture.
And they were the more creative, earning a ninth-minute lead through Brighton & Hove Albion loanee defender Östigård. It came from a long throw on the right which City half cleared before a blocked shot blocked fell kindly for Østigård, who tucked the ball into the bottom corner.
The hosts looked dangerous every time they came forward and almost doubled their advantage on the counter-attack. This time they broke after clearing a Massengo free kick and Godden cut on to his right foot before seeing his low shot tipped on to the post by Dan Bentley. The threat wasn’t over as Callum O’Hare then robbed Massengo of the ball in the aftermath, but he fired wide.
O’Hare later flashed a long-range effort narrowly off target as the Sky Blues dominated, before Pearson got his team together inside the 24th minute due to an injury break as Godden required treatment.
It brought some respite, but the Robins only threatened once before the break. Antoine Semeyno was unleashed down the right and his cross for Wells was somehow kept out by Coventry keeper Marko Marosi before the ball fell for Vyner but his first-time effort was struck harmlessly over the bar.
Lansbury, with all of his experience, was introduced at half-time as Nagy made way but it was the home side who started strong, with Josh Eccles the next to go close within minutes of the restart, but Bentley beat away the shot.
A double change and a shape tweak soon followed as Pearson looked for fresh legs in young Sam Pearson and Palmer, who replaced Adrian Mariappa and Semenyo, respectively.
The pair involved in a glorious chance on the hour-mark when Pearson slipped the ball to Palmer, who ball across the box somehow evaded both Diédhiou and Massengo, but it was a warning that City were not out of this game.
However, Coventry soon doubled their lead with Godden converting from the penalty spot. Tomas Kalas just caught Tyler Walker as he looked to ghost in behind the Robins defence and referee Geoff Eltringham quickly pointed to the spot. Up stepped Godden with the spot-kick and his right-footed shot was powered to the left of Bentley.
City had 27 minutes to get back into this fixture and youngster Tommy Conway was given his first opportunity up front when he replaced Diédhiou moments later, while Rowe replaced Sessegnon.
Godden lashed over from a corner as City escaped falling further behind before Wells halved the deficit and give the visitors a lifeline. It was a howler of a mistake from Kyle McFadzean whose back pass went straight to the alert forward. Wells had anticipated the ball back to Marosi and suddenly he was one-on-one with the keeper before coolly slotting the ball past his opponent.
But the Sky Blues’ two-goal advantage was restored inside the 87th minute as they capitalised on a poor Rowe pass. Walker was alert to the ball back into the Robins’ own half, who squared the ball to O’Hare. He was under pressure from Massengo but managed to find Gyökeres, who shot past Bentley to make it 3-1.
That rounded off the action in Birmingham, with City next in action against Nottingham Forest on Saturday (April 10th, 3pm KO).
- Østigard (9') , Godden (63' pen) , Gyökeres (87')
- Liam Kelly, Matt Godden
- Wells (79')
- Steven Sessegnon, Adrian Mariappa, Ádám Nagy, Famara Diédhiou, Antoine Semenyo