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BBC Sport's Simon Mann
"Chelsea had enough chances to win half a dozen away games"
 real 14k

Coventry's David Thompson
"It wasn't a pretty game but we're not going to be playing pretty football"
 real 14k

Coventry manager Gordon Strachan
"We just cannot put the ball in the net"
 real 56k

Saturday, 3 March, 2001, 17:27 GMT
Coventry and Chelsea draw blank
Gudjohnsen
Gudjohnsen hits a tame shot at the Coventry goal
Coventry 0-0 Chelsea

Coventry and Chelsea maintained unenviable records after a frustrating match at Highfield Road.

The Sky Blues failed to win for the ninth successive match, while Chelsea are still waiting for their first away victory since last April.

The visitors had the better chances and Eidur Gudjohnsen squandered two glorious opportunities in the first-half.

But they played without the confidence and panache that they frequently display at Stamford Bridge.

Coventry had a strong appeal for a penalty late on after the ball appeared to hit Gudjohnsen's arm, but they lacked real quality.

  Key incidents
2: Hadji's close-range shot saved by Cudicini
4: Gronkjaer sets up a great chance for Gudjohnsen, who fluffs his shot
45: Gudjohnsen volleys over from just three yards out
80: Coventry appeal for a penalty after the ball appears to hit Gudjohnsen's arm
83: Zola thumps the crossbar with a free-kick

The first half was a turgid affair, but the Sky Blues should have gone ahead in the second minute.

Hasselbaink efforts

Craig Bellamy powered down the left wing and squared to Mustapha Hadji, who hit a first-time shot straight at Carlo Cudicini from point blank range.

Moments later Jesper Gronkjaer embarked on the first on many rampaging runs down the left flank for Chelsea.

The Dane sped past young Coventry full back Barry Quinn and reached the by-line before passing to Gudjohnsen.

The striker was allowed to take two shots at goal by the static Coventry defence, but he managed to miscue both times.

Chelsea's midfield struggled to create chances as the half progressed and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was restricted to trying his luck from long range.

The Dutchman, arguably the best striker of a ball in the Premiership, had one effort that Chris Kirkland spilled and another that the Coventry keeper desperately turned round his post.

Gudjohnsen, who gave a wretched performance, had a fantastic opportunity to score on the stroke of half time.

Penalty appeal

A right-wing corner found him unmarked just three yards from goal, but he somehow managed to hit his volley high over the crossbar.

Chelsea were much brighter in the second-half.

Gustavo Poyet went close with a low drive early on and Kirkland athletically saved a curling effort from the brilliant Gronkjaer minutes later.

David Thompson came close for Coventry after 70 minutes. He swivelled in the area to contrive an excellent volley and then dived to head the clearance marginally over the crossbar.

The closing exchanges of the match were thrilling, with both teams pouring forward in search of the winner.

Coventry appealed for a penalty with 10 minutes to go after the ball appeared to strike Gudjohnsen's arm from a corner.

Gianfranco Zola, who came on for Gudjohnsen, then thumped the crossbar with a free-kick.

And moments before the final whistle, Mario Stanic, another Chelsea substitute, went marginally over when unmarked in the area.


Coventry: Kirkland, Quinn, Shaw, Breen, Hall, Thompson, Carsley, Eustace, Hadji, Hartson, Bellamy. Subs: Hedman, Williams, Chippo, Telfer, Aloisi.

Chelsea: Cudicini, Ferrer, Leboeuf, Desailly, Le Saux, Jokanovic, Poyet, Wise, Gronkjaer, Hasselbaink, Gudjohnsen. Subs: de Goey, Stanic, Dalla Bona, Zola, Terry.

Referee: S Bennett (Orpington).

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