The Sky Blues suffered their first defeat of the season against Premier League side Watford despite a valiant effort in the second round of the Carabao Cup.
Goals from Ismaila Sarr, Daryl Janmaat and Adalberto Penaranda proved the difference between the two sides in a hard-fought contest at Vicarage Road.
Watford created the first opening of the match on seven minutes when Roberto Pereyra played in Isaac Success who was denied by an excellent block from Michael Rose.
The Sky Blues then came close to breaking the deadlock when skipper Liam Kelly found Callum O’Hare in space, who drove at the Hornets defence before shooting narrowly wide of the left-hand post 20 yards from goal.
The home side were next to have a chance at goal when Pereyra played Danny Welbeck through only for the striker to blaze his effort into the travelling Sky Blues supporters.
Ben Wilson made a superb save on the half an hour mark, when he pushed Pereyra’s effort from outside the penalty area around the post.
Watford took the lead on 37 minutes when Success played in Sarr down the right before the Senegal international finished well into the bottom left corner.
Kelly almost found an equaliser, two minutes before half time, when his audacious chip 25-yards from goal almost caught out veteran keeper Heurelho Gomes.
HALF-TIME: Watford 1-0 Sky Blues
The hosts looked to double their lead when Sarr got away down the right-hand side and cut the ball back for Quina, but the midfielder’s first-time effort sailed harmlessly over the crossbar.
City continued to search for an equaliser and almost created an opening on 53 minutes when Josh Eccles’ dangerous cross from the right was pushed away by Gomes.
However, it was the Hornets who grabbed the second goal of the game when Janmaat blasted an effort into the top-right corner from inside the penalty area, just three minutes later.
Substitute Matty Godden almost scored with his first involvement of the match when he was picked out by Frankaty Dabo, shooting just over the crossbar on the turn.
The dangerous Sarr almost grabbed a third goal for the hosts when his effort from the right-hand side of the penalty area went narrowly wide of the post.
Hornets substitute Penaranda then scored his side’s third goal, firing a 25-yard effort into the top-right corner after 69 minutes.
The Premier League side pressed for a fourth goal, when Success played in Tom Dele-Bashiru, with the midfielder dragging his effort wide of the post.
Nathaniel Chalobah then delivered a wicked free kick towards goal which was smartly pushed away by Wilson.
A superb headed block from Dom Hyam then fell kindly at the feet of Penaranda, who powered his effort over the bar.
Goals: Sarr 37’, Janmaat 56’, Penaranda 69’
Yellows: Dabo (75’)
Sky Blues XI: Ben Wilson (GK), Frankaty Dabo, Dom Hyam, Michael Rose, Brandon Mason (McCallum 46’), Liam Kelly (C), Josh Eccles (Shipley 64’), Callum O’Hare, Gervane Kastaneer (Godden 61’), Jordy Hiwula, Amadou Bakayoko.
Unused Subs: Marko Marosi (GK), Kyle McFadzean, Zain Westbrooke, Wesley Jobello.
Watford XI: Heurelho Gomes (GK), Daryl Janmaat, Adrian Mariappa (C), Christian Kabasele, Dimitri Foulquier, Ismaila Sarr (Dele-Bashiru 72’), Domingos Quina, Nathaniel Chalobah, Roberto Pereyra (Penaranda 64’), Isaac Success, Danny Welbeck.
Unused Subs: Daniel Bachmann, Sebastian Prodl, Kiko Femenia, Tom Cleverley, Gerard Deulofeu.