Outclassed Coventry no match for Spurs
An appearance from Gary Mabbutt at half-time provided the highlight of the afternoon for Coventry’s fans as their side were ruthlessly swept out of the FA Cup. It is almost 26 years since Mabbutt’s left knee helped the Sky Blues to capture their one and only trophy, against Tottenham.
The intervening years have been especially cruel on Coventry, who no longer have a home they can call their own and who have suffered two relegations in 11 years.
Tottenham were unsympathetic, hitting the visitors for three goals before the break when it could have been five or six. Though André Villas-Boas made seven changes to his lineup, the home side coursed with talent – Gareth Bale returned from a one-match suspension and Scott Parker made his first start in eight months following a prolonged Achilles injury.
Mark Robins, the Coventry manager, lamented a slumbering start from his players and said: “We hoped they would hit a bit of a dip in form, but they showed they are a real class act.”
Tottenham’s opening goal arrived in the 14th minute, when Clint Dempsey smashed the ball into the roof of the net from five yards following Bale’s flick-on.
Bale then volleyed home from an acute angle in the 33rd minute after Dempsey’s shot had ballooned off-target, before the American netted a looping header to make it 3-0.
For a side that had recently been so free-scoring under Robins, Coventry looked toothless in attack.
The visitors had the ball in the net in the closing stages through Gary McSheffrey, but the linesman’s flag was raised.