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Saturday, 28 April, 2001, 16:20 GMT 17:20 UK
Liverpool dent Coventry's hopes
Coventry 0-2 Liverpool
Coventry's Premiership survival is hanging by a thread after they were beaten by Liverpool at Highfield Road.
And it was Coventry old boy Gary McAllister who did the damage.
His corner was headed in by defender Sami Hyypia in the 83rd minute and McAllister's brilliant 30-yard free-kick sealed a 2-0 win.
It was his fourth goal in as many games and kept alive Liverpool's Champions League hopes.
But ironically his efforts could also consign Coventry to the First Division after 34 years in the top flight.
A draw was no good to either side and it was a blood and thunder battle as one side battled for Premiership survival while the other aimed for a top three finish.
Coventry played their hearts out and with better luck could have won the game.
But their luck ran out with Hyypia's header and McAllister's free-kick and their heads went down as manager Gordon Strachan looked lost for words.
It was a rip-roaring first half and either side could have easily taken the lead.
Liverpool had a great chance from a McAllister corner.
Hyypia got a flick on but it was headed off the line by Barry Quinn.
Then seconds later, Paul Williams, who had returned to the Coventry side with three hours notice, found himself on a one-on-one with keeper Sander Westerveld.
The Liverpool goalie made a good save and the ball went out for a corner.
John Eustace had a golden chance to put the Sky Blues ahead but he deflected John Hartson's goal-bound header over the bar.
Down at the other end, Liverpool captain Robbie Fowler had to be treated after Gary Breen kicked him in the face, and was booked for dangerous play.
The atmosphere resembled a cup final with both teams going for it full throttle.
Coventry manager Gordon Strachan normally sits in the stands during the first half of games.
But right from the whistle he was screaming his commands from the touchline as the club battled.
You could not tell who was at which end of the Premiership in this full-blooded contest.
Hartson was causing all manner of problems with his aerial power but he could not convert this into a much-needed goal.
Fowler almost deflected a Marcus Babbel cross-cum-shot but to Coventry's relief the shot flew inches over Chris Kirkland's crossbar.
The Liverpool skipper was then guilty of an even bigger miss with a header just before the break while Hadji went close for Coventry but the teams were deadlocked at half-time.
From the restart, Liverpool's Emile Heskey tried his luck from 30 yards but it was high and wide.
Hadji found himself in space but just as he was about to release his shot, Stephane Henchoz put in a brilliant tackle and the ball rolled away for a corner, which Marcus Hall blasted into the stand.
With just under 30 minutes left to play, Fowler was substituted to make way for Michael Owen - a decision Fowler did not like but it lifted the Reds' fortunes.
Coventry decided on a change themselves and brought on Ysrael Zuniga for Craig Bellamy.
And with his first touch the Peruvian almost scored with a neat flick but Westerveld was equal to the task.
Liverpool, like so many times this season against so-called lesser teams, went off the boil which gave Coventry impetus and Breen was inches from putting the home side ahead.
Owen did make runs for Liverpool but was too easily dispossessed on many occasions.
He should have scored though when clean through after a brilliant Heskey pass but he tried to loop it over the keeper and Kirkland palmed it away.
Ziege had a pop from a 35-yard free kick which was easily saved.
With the final whistle just minutes away, Owen appealed for a penalty when he believed Williams had handled the ball.
The Coventry defender later admitted that the ball had indeed hit his hand.
A corner was given instead and justice was done when Hyypia rose to head in McAllister's corner.
Coventry were stunned and a minute later the former Scottish international pushed Coventry nearer the trap door with his free-kick.
Coventry: Kirkland, Quinn, Hall, Williams, Breen, Hadji,
Telfer, Eustace, Chippo, Bellamy, Hartson. Subs: Hedman,
Edworthy, Zuniga, Guerrero, Strachan.
Other top Eng Prem stories:
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