A dominant display from City’s striking duo, Max Biamou and Tyler Walker, provided the Sky Blues with a convincing 3-1 win against Rotherham.
The pair combined for Biamou to slot the ball beyond Rotherham 'keeper Jamal Blackman on 4 minutes, before Walker produced a poacher's goal to double the lead inside 12 minutes.
A complete performance from Mark Robins' side was capped off by Leo Ostigard in the second-half, with a late penalty from Rotherham only a consolation for the away side.
Collecting the ball from Ben Wilson’s arrowed long pass, Walker held the ball up superbly before flicking the ball on to Biamou. Running beyond Rotherham’s defence, the Frenchman kept his composure to calmly slot the ball past Jamal Blackman to give the Sky Blues an early lead.
City carried the momentum after the opening goal as Biamou looked to double his tally just a few minutes later, but his side-foot shot from distance was collected by the Rotherham ‘keeper.
The dream start continued for Mark Robins’ side on 12 minutes. Tyler Walker, following his excellent link up play for Biamou’s goal, demonstrated his natural striker instincts to score City’s second of the day.
A Gus Hamer free kick was lofted towards Biamou, holding the ball up well to lay it off to Callum O’Hare. His deflected shot cannoned off the post to leave the Rotherham defence on the back-foot and it was Walker who was first to react. Pouncing on to the loose ball, he was left with an easy finish from a few yards out for his 3rd goal of the season.
Rotherham showed signs of a comeback, warning the Sky Blues against complacency, as they fashioned chances from set pieces. Michael Ihiekwe headed over from a Joe Mattock free-kick, though he was adjudged to be offside. Moments later, it was another Mattock delivery that found Angus MacDonald from a corner, whose header flew over the bar.
Following the second goal, City again threatened again from a free-kick on 23 minutes. Sam McCallum whipped in a perfect delivery from the right-hand side, which narrowly avoided Kyle McFadzean, before the flag was raised for offside.
Joe Mattock continued to be Rotherham’s main creative outlet as the game maintained its relentless pace. His teasing cross was momentarily dropped by Ben Wilson and Freddie Ladapo threatened to seize upon the loose ball before it was cleared away.
Attempting to double his tally, Biamou hit the post on 32 minutes with an impressive overhead kick. Winning possession on the halfway line, Liam Kelly played the ball to O’Hare, who returned the ball to the Sky Blues captain in space for the cross. Kelly’s outside-of-the-boot delivery found Biamou, who saw his improvised acrobatic effort denied by the post.
As the first-half came to a close, City’s striking duo looked to assert their dominance once more. A long ball from McCallum was deftly headed on by Biamou to find Walker. Only a superb stop from Blackman denied the 24-year-old with his shot destined for the near corner.
HALF-TIME: SKY BLUES 2-0 ROTHERHAM UNITED
Rotherham began the second-half positively as the away side looked to ignite a comeback, though they struggled to create any clear-cut chances. The best opportunity came via a threatening Daniel Barlaser corner, which was headed back across goal but MacDonald failed to latch on to the pass.
A last-ditch block from Liam Kelly maintained City’s clean sheet on 64 minutes. Replacing the injured Mattock, Barlaser assumed the former’s duty as his side’s main creative force from set pieces. His free-kick found Alfie Crooks, who’s goal-bound volley was excellently denied by City’s skipper.
Despite the away side’s strong second-half display, Biamou and Walker attempted to put the game beyond doubt on 66 minutes. Working down the left wing, Biamou flashed in a low cross towards Walker. The striker, with his leg outstretched, got a toe to the ball with Blackman out of position, but his shot went agonisingly wide of the far post.
A faultless display from the Sky Blues was capped off by Leo Ostigard on 73 minutes. Gus Hamer’s free-kick picked out the centre-half at the back post. He powered his header across goal, deflecting off Michael Smith, and into the far corner for Ostigard’s first City goal.
Rotherham continued to come forward late on and were given a penalty on 85 minutes, after Ben Wilson challenged with Kyle Vassell for the ball. Barlaser converted from the spot to give the away side some encouragement with a few minutes remaining.
FULL TIME: SKY BLUES 3-1 ROTHERHAM UNITED
Goals: Max Biamou 5’, Tyler walker 12’, Ostigard 73’, Barlaser 85’
Sky Blues XI: Ben Wilson (GK), Fankaty Dabo, Leo Ostigard, Kyle McFadzean, Dom Hyam, Sam McCallum, Liam Kelly (C), Gustavo Hamer, Callum O’Hare, Tyler Walker (Bakayoko, 78’), Max Biamou
Rotherham XI: Jamal Blackman (GK), Wes Harding, Michael Ihiekwe, Richard Wood (C) (Olosunde, 45’), Angus MacDonald, Joe Mattock (Barlaser, 45’), Jamie Lindsay (Vassell, 65’), Ben Wiles, Matt Crooks, Michael Smith (Jozefzoon, 80’), Freddie Ladapo (Hirst, 54’)
Unused Subs: Viktor Johansson, Billy Jones, Trevor Clarke, Adam Thompson