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BBC Sport's John Murray
"A draw was about right"
 real 14k

Coventry manager Gordon Strachan
"We're still tense in front of goal"
 real 14k

Friday, 22 December, 2000, 22:05 GMT
City and Saints end all square
James Beattie and Paul Williams
James Beattie and Paul Williams tussle in an even contest
Coventry City 1-1 Southampton

Coventry failed to secure a win that would have moved them out of the Premiership relegation zone after Jo Tessem equalised David Thompson's opener at Highfield Road.

Thompson gave the Sky Blues the lead with a freak goal but City were unable to hold onto that gift.

Gordon Strachan's men have now won only two league matches since August.

The Midlanders did record a win against Southampton in the Worthington Cup and after a promising opening and Thompson's goal, they looked capable of repeating that performance.

But following Saints' equalising goal, the patience of some of the supporters began to wear thin.


We had chances to win the game but we didn't take them and that sums up how it is going for us in front of goal right now
  Gordon Strachan
When Strachan substituted Thompson derision greeted his decision and a chorus of "you don't know what you're doing" echoed round the ground while the goalscorer was given a standing ovation.

Saints deserved a share of the spoils after weathering an early storm.

Mustapha Hadji orchestrated much of the home side's better moves and twice went close within the opening 10 minutes.

The Moroccan was only just off target with a shot from a narrow angle which flew into the side-netting.

Moustapha Hadji tries an acrobatic shot
Hadji tries an acrobatic effort on goal
Then Hadji saw his shot from the edge of the area take a wicked deflection off Southampton defender Claus Lundekvam but goalkeeper Paul Jones was able to readjust and turn his effort around the post.

After that early flurry of activity it was Southampton, seeking only their second away win of the campaign, who started to look the more threatening.

Scoring chances

Chris Marsden should have done better with a header before Tessem was guilty of a dreadful miss.

A corner from Hassan Kachloul was flicked on by Lundekvam at the near post and Tessem headed wide from barely two yards out.

But as Saints grew into the match they were rocked back on their heels by a bizarre goal.


I was happy with the way we played and once we start turning performances like that into victories then we will shoot up the league
  Glenn Hoddle
Thompson sent an inswinging free kick into the penalty area which evaded his team-mates and Southampton goalkeeper Jones before nestling in the net.

Just before half time Chris Kirkland, deputising for Magnus Hedman, beat out a fierce Tessem effort.

But shortly after the break the Norwegian beat City's young keeper and in the process made amends for his earlier miss with a fourth goal of the campaign.

James Beattie's centre found the on-rushing Tessem completely unmarked at the far post to convert an easy header.

Both teams pushed for a winner and Peruvian striker Ysrael Zuniga almost gave Highfield Road some Christmas cheer but his low shot cannoned off the post.

Tessem fired in Southampton's best effort in the closing stages but his effort deflected wide and ensured each team started their festive campaign with a point.


Coventry City: Kirkland, Breen, Konjic, Williams, Quinn, Thompson, Carsley, Telfer, Bellamy, Hadji, Roussel.
Subs: Edworthy, Chippo, Zuniga, Eustace, Hydlgaard.

Southampton: Jones, El Khalej, Lundekvam, Richards, Bridge, Tessem, Draper, Gibbens, Marsden, Kachloul, Beattie.
Subs: Dodd, Davies, Rosler, Moss, Soltvedt.

Referee: A Wiley (Burntwood).

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