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BBC Five Live's Steve May
"Poor defending will be punished anywhere"
 real 14k

Hammers boss Harry Rednapp
"I've got a smashing mixture of players and it was only a matter of time"
 real 14k

Saturday, 23 September, 2000, 16:18 GMT 17:18 UK
Hammers stun Coventry
Joe Cole
Joe Cole puts West Ham 2-0 ahead at Coventry
Coventry 0-3 West Ham

Paolo Di Canio inspired West Ham to their first Premiership win of the season at Highfield Road.

The Italian opened the scoring in the 38th minute after a blunder from Richard Shaw.

He then supplied the cross two minutes later for Joe Cole to beat Magnus Hedman at his near post.

Frank Lampard sealed the victory with a third goal, side-footing home Frederic Kanoute's 69th minute cross with the home defence again in disarray.

The Hammers must wish they could play Coventry more often. The last time these two sides met, West Ham won 5-0 at Upton Park in April - their last Premiership victory.


I've got a smashing mixture of players, and this win was only a matter of time. I'm sure there will be many more
  West Ham boss Harry Redknapp

Coventry made one change from the team that beat Preston in midweek with David Thompson coming in for John Eustace and Ysrael Zuniga continuing up front.

Di Canio and Kanoute, both missing from West Ham's 1-0 Worthington Cup defeat of Walsall on Tuesday, shrugged off hamstring problems to start.

Lampard returned in midfield in place of youngster Michael Carrick.

West Ham suffered an early setback when Rio Ferdinand limped off after just 12 minutes.

The England centre-half went down after challenging for a 50-50 ball with Moustapha Hadji and was unable to carry on. Carrick was brought on as his replacement.

A poor opening period saw few chances.

Di Canio tried a shot from 30 yards, but it hit Carlton Palmer in the face, leaving the former England international needing treatment.

Frederic Kanoute
Kanoute jumps for the ball, watched by Shaw

The Italian was again the centre of attention when he went down dramatically in the penalty area under a Richard Shaw challenge, but ref Neale Barry waved play on.

Di Canio put West Ham ahead with a typically cool piece of finishing, tucking away a close-range shot after Kanoute had broken free on the left with 38 minutes gone.

Kanoute's cross had appeared harmless, but Shaw miscontrolled and Di Canio siezed on the opportunity.

Coventry, still recovering from the opener, were soon two behind.

Di Canio turned provider, clipping in a left-foot cross. And as several defenders hesitated, Cole dispatched a stinging low drive into the net.

Shortly after half-time, Stuart Pearce's goalbound free-kick was well saved at the near post by Hedman.

Eustace, on as a substitute for Thompson, set up the Sky Blues' first real chance of the game, but Zuniga's header lacked power and Hislop comfortably gathered.


"The first half was as dire as I have seen in the five-and-a-half years I have been here and we contributed 80% of the dire football."
  Coventry manager Gordon Strachan
Hislop saved again when his leg denied Eustace's goalbound shot from Zuniga's cross.

But the hopes of a comeback from Coventry, looking for their first victory at home this season, ended after 69 minutes.

Unchallenged

Sinclair fed Kanoute and he drifted unchallenged to the byline where he pulled the ball back for Lampard to score from two yards out.

Coventry hit the post with a late Hadji free-kick, although Pearce and substitute Kaba Diawara went close for the Hammers.

While Di Canio took the applause from the travelling supporters, the home fans greeted the final whistle with boos.


Coventry: Hedman, Edworthy, Williams, Shaw, Thompson, Chippo, Hadji, Zuniga, Palmer, Bellamy, Hall.
Subs: Telfer, Kirkland, Eustace, Aloisi, Breen.

West Ham: Hislop, S. Pearce, Stimac, Sinclair, Di Canio, Lomas, Kanoute, Ferdinand, Winterburn, Lampard, Cole.
Subs: Potts, Carrick, Forrest, Newton, Diawara.

Referee: Neale Barry (Lincolnshire)

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See also:

16 Sep 00 |  Eng Prem
Arsenal hold on against Coventry
17 Sep 00 |  Eng Prem
Hammer Di Canio denies Liverpool
22 Sep 00 |  West Ham Utd
Hammers sign Diawara
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