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Full Time After Extra Time This is a live match. Extra Time Half Time

Coventry City vs Preston North End. Sky Bet Championship.

The Coventry Building Society ArenaAttendance24,500.

Coventry City 0

    Preston North End 3

    • E Ris Jakobsen (1st minute)
    • W Keane (20th minute)
    • B Thomas (38th minute own goal)

    Coventry City 0-3 Preston North End: Emil Riis leads first-half blitz as visitors beat fellow Championship promotion rivals

    Report and free match highlights from the Sky Bet Championship match between Coventry City and Preston North End at the Coventry Building Society Arena on Friday; Preston scored three first-half goals to move ahead of Coventry in top-six hunt

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    Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Coventry City and Preston North End.

    Emil Riis had a hand in all three goals as Preston stunned Coventry 3-0 at the CBS Arena.

    The Danish striker put Preston ahead inside the first minute before setting up top scorer Will Keane and then forcing Bobby Thomas to put through his own net.

    The remarkable victory took Preston on to the cusp of the play-off places, two points behind Hull, as North End leapfrogged Coventry in the process.

    Preston captain Alan Browne played his corner to Ben Whiteman inside the first 60 seconds, and the cross was met by Riis.

    The target man outmuscled Thomas and thundered home a header to claim his fourth in four outings after failing to find the net this season until 13 days ago.

    When the 25-year-old then saw a shot blocked by Thomas he took full advantage of the dawdling Jay Dasilva and stole in to tee up Keane, who reacted fastest to sweep home his 12th of the season in the 20th minute.

    Preston manager Ryan Lowe celebrates with his players after a big victory
    Image: Preston manager Ryan Lowe celebrates with his players after a big victory

    The Sky Blues had failed to beat Preston in their last 20 league meetings dating back to 2007, and things went from bad to worse when winger Tatsuhiro Sakamoto was taken off on a stretcher after a heavy fall following a challenge by Andrew Hughes on the half-hour mark.

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    The Japan international had been one of two Coventry changes as he and Milan van Ewijk replaced Fabio Tavares and Victor Torp in the starting XI, while Ali McCann came in for Robbie Brady in a rare Preston change.

    Coventry had only lost once at home since a 4-0 thrashing by Stoke last April and things looked to be heading that way once again when Thomas poked Riis' cross past a helpless Ben Wilson.

    Freddie Woodman produced a magnificent save to deny Callum O'Hare as Coventry looked to get back into the game shortly before the break, with Preston defenders coming rushing out to block Haji Wright's follow-up.

    In-form Ellis Simms was looking to make it three goals in three games but he was also denied by Woodman after a tame effort inside the box.

    Mark Robins called on Jake Bidwell to replace Dasilva at the break and Van Ewijk was next to try and reduce the arrears, but Woodman stood firm to beat away his left-footed effort.

    The Dutchman tested Woodman again when he almost squeezed a cross in at the near post, while substitute Torp stung the palms of the former Newcastle goalkeeper in injury time.

    The managers

    Coventry's Mark Robins:

    "It's been as bad as it's been for a good few years. Even the Stoke game when we lost 4-0 last year, it was worse than that.

    "Sometimes the game gets away from you early in the game. Today was that. We conceded after a minute with a really poor goal, and we have to defend that better.

    "They have an experienced line-up and they have run harder than us and fought harder than us and they have done the dirty side better than anyone who has been here and they deserved to win - there's no doubt about it. It's just the manner of the defeat.

    "There was no pride in that, it didn't even look like a performance. It looked like a group of individuals who looked scared stiff and let them get on top of us.

    "There were some poor individual performances and decisions, and we have to look at that and it's even difficult to pick the bones out of it because it was so poor. We can't feel sorry for ourselves, we have to be ready to go again Monday.

    "We have to take this on the chin and take all the criticism we're going to get and stick out chest out and put in a performance Monday.

    "Tatsu's got a terrible, terrible injury. I'm praying and hoping he's OK because that doesn't look good at all. They can't be clear, they're talking about a pelvic and spinal injury, so I'm just hoping he's OK."

    Preston's Ryan Lowe:

    "I thought it was a top performance. We were on the front foot from minute one, with a set-play goal we worked on. I couldn't have asked for more, really. Coventry are a good team and they had a go, to be fair. We were just better, all round.

    "I thought the lads were fantastic in everything they did. We were on the front foot, all over the park, keeping the ball nice and simple - tiring them out a little bit. We passed through the third, got our attacking players on the front foot, ran forward and passed forward.

    "It was excellent. I am over the moon for the boys, but it is just another win. It's another one which takes us closer to the points tally we set yesterday. The aggression of the boys was different class and the counter pressing at the top end of the pitch.

    "I just said 'more of the same' at half time - not much. Liam Millar was passing the ball back and not facing them up as much. I told Mads to get hold of the ball and dictate it; I didn't want any flicks or fancy stuff. I asked them to go out with the word of 'simplicity' in their heads. If there was ever a game to be simple and effective, it's at half time, three nil up. They went and did that.

    "We have got that belief and mentality about us now, that we can go anywhere and win. The fans can crack on and do what they are doing - supporting the lads and they are obviously going to enjoy the moment. We are there to provide, show them what we can do, entertain them and we'll just keep doing that.

    "The Championship can just turn in a blink, so we are not getting carried away. We are right on it and it's full tilt until the international break. The attitude and application on a daily basis is fantastic and I want that to continue."

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