City end this season's home campaign on a high after a convincing 3-1 triumph over the Blades...
Coventry City emerged 3-1 victors over Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon at the Ricoh Arena, as goals from Marc-Antoine Fortune, Andy Rose and Ruben Lameiras secured the points.
Marc-Antoine Fortune opened the scoring, with Adam Armstrong’s shot taking a deflection of the forward into the net. Andy Rose increased the lead with a cultured finish into the corner, before Billy Sharp got one back for the Blades from the spot. Ruben Lameiras secured the win finishing into the corner late on.
The manager made four changes to the starting XI that faced Doncaster Rovers last week. George Thomas made his first appearance for the senior team this season, playing in the No.10 role. Joe Cole returned having been rested last week, while Sam Ricketts was ruled out through injury. Thus Stephen Hunt came in at fullback, while Romain Vincelot captained the side. Marc-Antoine Fortune returned up-front.
The Sky Blues began the last home game of the season in style, although there was a bit of luck involved, in the third minute. Top scorer Adam Armstrong picked up the ball on the left-flank and cut in 25 yards out. The striker fired a shot towards goal but the ball took a big defection off Marc-Antoine Fortune, fooling Blades keeper George Long as he dived to his right, while ball nestled to his left.
City were 2-0 to the good in the seventh minute. A lovely through ball was played into Andy Rose down the right of the area. The midfielder took it in his stride and placed the ball past the keeper into the bottom corner. Tony Mowbray’s men were the dominate side thus far, with Sheffield United only able create a few chances in-between City attacks.
However, as the game moved on, the Blades did start to grow into it, coming close in the 31st minute. Some mis-communication at the back for City between keeper and defender, allowed the ball to be played into the area from the right-flank. Paul Coutts managed to control the ball and work some space before shooting, but Reice Charles-Cook dived to his right well to push the ball out for a corner.
That was to be the last major action of the half, as the referee brought it to an end. City commanded much of the opening 45 minutes and were definitely the happier of the sides going into the break.
At the restart, the Sky Blues continued from where they left of, almost increasing their lead in the 47th minute. John Fleck received the ball out on the left-flank, and his curling cross come shot, almost found its way into the far corner.
In the 57th minute, the Blades got a goal back through Billy Sharp as he converted from the spot. The Blades were breaking down the left-wing and as the ball was played into the box, Aaron Martin tripped Sharp, which the ref judged to be a foul. Sharp stepped up to take the kick and dispatched it into the left corner of the net.
Six minutes later City would again come close to scoring a third goal. Jack Stephens broke from defence down the middle of the park, playing it into George Thomas down the right. Thomas played it into Joe Cole in space on the edge of the box, and the midfielder worked some space before shooting just wide of the bottom left corner.
From here on, it was very much a reverse of the first half. The Blades had penned City in their half and were testing the Sky Blues defence with attack after attack. But, in the 85th minute, substitute Ruben Lameiras manage to get in space and cross in from the left-wing, and Armstrong diving in, was inches away from applying a finish to it. The ball did break for Jodi Jones but his shot was deflected clear.
However, a minute later, provider turned goalscorer as Lameiras scored. Jones broke into the box before pulling it back to Aaron Phillips on the edge of the area. The defender played a delightful first time back heeled pass into Lameiras in space, who took a touch before placing it into the bottom right-corner.
That was to be the last major action of the game, as the Sky Blues rounded of their home campaign in style. Giving the 12,000 strong Sky Blues in the stadium the perfect ending to the last home game of the season.
13,177 (1909 away)
Coventry City: Charles-Cook (GK), Martin, Stephens, Hunt, Vincelot (C), Fleck, Cole, Rose (Phillips 69), Thomas (Jones 64), Armstrong, Fortune (Lameiras 76).
Subs: Addai (GK), Harries, Gadzhev, Tudgay, Lameiras.
Sheffield United: Long (GK), Baptiste, Basham, Edgar, McEveley (C), Whiteman (Reed 84), Coutts, Flynn (Woolford 65), Adams, Sharp, Done (Kelly 89).
Subs: Ramsdale (GK), Kelly, McGahey, Brooks, Sammon.
YC: Cotts, Adams, Fleck