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Coventry boss Gordon Strachan
"We're in a far better position than we were at 3 o'clock last week"
 real 56k

Leicester boss Peter Taylor
"I think the team that started the best, won the game"
 real 56k

Saturday, 7 April, 2001, 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK
Foxes out-fought by Sky Blues
Lee Carsley
Coventry team-mates congratulate goalscorer Carsley
Leicester 1-3 Coventry

An inspired display by John Hartson helped Coventry secure three valuable points against a below-par Leicester.

Their 3-1 victory was richly deserved, as Filbert Street played host to an action-packed Midlands derby.

Entrenched in their seasonal, relegation dogfight and encouraged by Gordon Strachan's warning that only a win would do, Coventry started much the brighter.

John Hartson
Hartson: the focal point of Coventry's attack
And they reaped reward for their positive endeavour inside the first minute.

Mustapha Hadji broke down the right-flank and fed Craig Bellamy, who applied a striker's finish.

Leicester - perhaps aware that they might instead have been preparing for an FA Cup date with Liverpool - were strangely subdued from the start.

It was against the run of play that they drew level in the eighth minute.

Ade Akinbiyi pounced on the rebound from a speculative low strike from Arnur Gunlaugsson, when Coventry custodian Kris Kirkland failed to hold on.

The Sky Blues soon reasserted their dominance.


John Hartson has made a big difference - he has made everyone else feel better about themselves and he has taken a bit of pressure off Craig Bellamy and Mustapha Hadji
  Gordon Strachan
Hartson - embroiled in a predictably fierce tussle with Leicester skipper Matt Elliott - was the focal point of their attack, supported readily by Hadji and Bellamy.

But the second Coventry goal came from an unexpected source.

A right-field cross from Barry Quinn was met well by Lee Carsley, who headed home.

Leicester's defence - strangely vulnerable of late - was being run ragged.

And their midfield, welcoming back Muzzy Izzet from injury, made matters worse by giving the ball away frequently.

John Eustace almost pounced on one such lapse, but could only shave the Leicester post with his well-struck shot.

Then Marcus Hall flashed a dangerous ball across the Leicester six-yard box, which Harston reached but put wide with the goal at his mercy.

  Key incidents
1 min: Bellamy scores inside first minute
8 mins: Akinbiyi slots home unlikely equaliser
18 mins: a header from Carsley restores Coventry's lead
51mins: Hartson climbs highest for 3-1

Coventry could have had four of five goals by half-time.

The second half brought changes for Leicester.

Elliott was forced out with a groin injury and replaced by Scott Oakes, while Steve Guppy came on for Davidson.

The swaps had little discernible effect.

With less than six minutes gone in the second half, Hartson leapt highest to nod home a Paul Telfer corner and make the score 3-1.

Gunlaugsson, the flashy Icelander, threatened from time-to-time and Izzet had a headed goal disallowed, but neither could turn the game for the Foxes.

In fact, Hartson created a couple more chances to extend the Coventry lead.

To compound Leicester's woe, Izzet hobbled off the pitch 10 minutes from time.


The three goals we gave away were very poor and we have not been that tight in defence in recent weeks
  Peter Taylor
By the end, there was a mood of genuine optimism among Coventry's travelling fans.

Their players had showed more heart, more fight and frankly more skill against a team that is meant to be chasing a European place.

Coventry may yet stay up on this form.

Beware Manchester City and Middlesborough, the escape artists are at it again.


Leicester: Royce, Elliott, Taggart, Rowett, Impey, Davidson, Izzet, Marshall, Lewis, Gunnlaugsson, Akinbiyi. Subs: Andrews, Delaney, Benjamin, Oakes, Guppy.

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

Referee: G Barber (Tring).

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