As the Sky Blues prepare to welcome Premier League Stoke City to the Ricoh Arena for this weekend’s FA Cup clash, we take a look back at two third round ties of the past that this weekend celebrate milestone anniversaries.
Ten years ago on Saturday, City stole the headlines with a stunning 4-1 victory against a Blackburn Rovers side that only missed out on European qualification by two points.
Coventry took the lead at Ewood Park thanks to a deflected strike by Michael Mifsud, a January signing from Norwegian side Lillestrom who had over the twelve months prior grown to become a fan favourite at the Ricoh Arena, scoring some memorable goals. Few more memorable than a winner at old Trafford in the September of 2007.
Tugay, Benni McCarthy and David Bentley were amongst the established Premier League regulars in Blackburn’s attack, but at the back Zurab Khizanishvili was too slow when racing Leon Best to a rebound after Jay Tabb rattled the crossbar, fouling the City striker and handing the Sky Blues a penalty.
Elliot Ward scored plenty of spot-kicks during his time in the Midlands and fired City two goals ahead with half an hour left to play.
Ian Dowie's side were on fire, and did not make a single change throughout the ninety minutes. Dele Adebola was never known as the fastest of strikers, but the big Nigerian certainly has power, picking the ball up just inside the opposition half to dribble past Brett Emerton, Morten Gamst-Pedersen and Ryan Nelson before blasting his shot past Brad Friedel to send the away fans behind the goal into party mode.
Blackburn would grab a goal back through David Bentley with five minutes to go, but the Sky Blues were not planning on sending their fans home without another reason to celebrate before the final whistle when Tabb send Mifsud away once again, this time firing past Friedel at his near post and raising his arms in front of the Sky Blue Army. It was four for City, and round four would follow.
This week has also marked twenty years since City's memorable 3-1 victory at Anfield.
Despite 34 years in England’s top flight, Coventry had only ever won four times at Anfield when the Sky Blues headed north for one of the FA Cup’s more challenging away visits.
The afternoon started how most neutrals were expecting it to, when Jamie Redknapp gave the reds the lead after just seven minutes with a free-kick that bounced up in front of Magnus Hedman.
One week earlier, Coventry had come from behind the beat Manchester Untied at Highfield Road, thanks to a stunning solo goal from Darren Huckerby, and it was Huckerby who brought City level just before half time. First he stuck the post with a volley from a Dion Dublin flick-on, before beating almost the entire Liverpool defence ten minutes later and chipping a young David James in spectacular fashion.
Huckerby could have had five that afternoon, but it was Dublin who gave City the lead on the hour mark, calmly slotting the ball into an empty net after more good work from his teammate.
Liverpool were pushing for an equaliser late on when Huckerby again proved to be their worst nightmare, curling an effort around James and off the post for Paul Telfer to fire into the empty net.
With just three minutes left on the clock City had sealed a memorable score line in the back yard of then England’s most successful ever Football Club.
The Sky Blues will welcome Mark Hughes' Stoke City to the Ricoh Arena on Saturday hoping to add another Cup upset to the list.