Thu, Feb 26, 2009 - Page 18 News List

THE FA CUP: Best sends Blackburn packing

ALL CHANGE Sam Allardyce made 11 changes to the Blackburn side that played in the Premiership at the weekend ahead of their relegation scrap with Hull City this weekend


Coventry’s Clinton Morrison, left, competes for the ball with Blackburn’s Zurah Khizanishvili during their English FA Cup fifth round replay at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.


Coventry City pulled off a shock FA Cup victory on Tuesday as they beat Premier League side Blackburn Rovers 1-0 in their fifth round replay to reach the quarter-finals.

Leon Best was their hero in more ways than one as, wearing a face mask because of a broken cheekbone, he headed home in the 59th minute to earn a lucrative home clash with Chelsea on the weekend of March 6 March 7 for Coventry’s first appearance in the last eight in 11 years.

Coventry manager Chris Coleman — who had a spell playing for Blackburn — lauded his players and can now look forward to the prospect of entertaining Chelsea.

“The Cup has been important to us this season,” said the former Fulham and Real Sociedad manager. “A quarter-final at home to Chelsea is brilliant.”

“It will be great for the fans who are desperate for success. Coventry have not been in the top flight for seven or eight years and have had a lot of financial problems,” he said.

“The people in the city are hungry and desperate for the football team to do well,” the Welshman said.

His Blackburn counterpart Sam Allardyce had made 11 changes to the side that played in the Premiership last weekend but even so he was not happy with the performance.

“I made 11 changes and you give the people the stage to show what they can do and can they play better than they talk,” said Allardyce, whose side face a crucial relegation tussle with Hull this weekend.

“That was the case in the first-half but in the second-half we talked a lot better than we played,” he said.

Coventry’s fellow Championship side Swansea City looked set to join them in the last eight as they led another Premier League outfit Fulham 1-0 at Craven Cottage with 13 minutes remaining thanks to a goal from Jason Scotland.

However, Fulham dashed the Welsh side’s hopes of their first FA Cup quarter-final in 45 years as Clint Dempsey struck in the 77th minute and then four minutes later Bobby Zamora struck his second goal in as many games after a long drought to earn them a home tie with Manchester United.

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