COVENTRY CITY 2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1
By Skysports.com Staff
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Sky Blues had Carlton Palmer dismissed with 18 minutes to go but first-half goals from John Aloisi and John Eustace saw them home.
Aloisi gave Coventry a great start in the Highfield Road match by making the all-important breakthrough in the 12th minute. The Australian latched on to a fine through-ball from Palmer to rifle a 25-yard shot beyond keeper Ian Walker.
Yet before the goal Spurs had started well and had tested keeper Chris Kirkland, making his Premiership debut.
He spilled a well struck free-kick from Darren Anderton only to gather at the second attempt. Then the 19-year-old deprived Oyvind Leonhardsen bravely after Les Ferdinand had played the ball through.
Anderton scorned a good chance of pulling Tottenham level in the 17th minute when he pulled a shot wide of the target after Sergei Rebrov played the ball across the face of the box. Tottenham, however, were looking shaky at the back and suffered another big blow in the 25th minute.
Striker Craig Bellamy was allowed an entire nation state of space down the left and found Eustace, who stroked the ball home.
In the second-half Rebrov pulled one back on 53 minutes. Steffen Freund found Rebrov at the far post and he sent an unstoppable shot past Kirkland.
The visitors were then grateful to keeper Walker, who reacted quickly to push out a shot from Craig Bellamy. Chris Perry mopped up by clearing off the line.
The visitors were playing attractive football, and were encouraged even more when Palmer was dismissed after 72 minutes.
It proved to be a frantic 18 minutes for Coventry with Tottenham pouring men forward in search of a leveller. Sherwood had the ball in the net, only for it to be ruled out for an infringement.
Then the Spurs midfielder headed over the top in the dying seconds after a fine cross from Stephen Carr.