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November 24 2020 3.30am

Palace 1 - 3 Coventry City

Tue Jan 29 2002 - League

Palace's fine run of four wins was halted tonight by Coventry City who won 3-1 in a dramatic game.

It was a game where luck was not on Palace's side as everything seemed to go wrong right from the start against another bogey side, this time Coventry.

The Eagles started off brightly, and not for the first time during the evening, the linesman was a bit too flag happy as Clinton Morrison scored. Television replays later showed the goal was clearly onside and the linesman was wrong.

Then against the run of play in the 10th minute, Jay Bothroyd lobbed Alex Kolinko from 25 yards to give the visitors a surprise lead.

The goal surprised Palace and they went in search of an equaliser, but in the 34th minute Coventry doubled their lead with a dubious free-kick.

Marcus Hall fired home from 25 yards from a Lee Carsley free kick at the edge of the box.

Palace then saw their two centre halfs Tony Popovic and then Kit Symons limp off injured, but reshuffled and managed to create more chances.

Five minutes before the break, Bothroyd put in a rash chalenge, then punch Danny Granville, who retaliated and both were given their marching orders from referee Rob Styles, who was having a terrible game.

Dougie Freedman got a deserved goal back for Palace when he latched on the Hayden Mullins's great through ball, beat his marker and his left-foot shot went in off the post.

Palace pressed for another and Simon Rodger's long range effort hit the foot of the post after going on a surging run. But and on the counter attack, City got an undeserved third when Gary McSheffrey scored from a one-on-one.

Overall a very disappointing result as the scoreline very much flattered the away side and Trevor Francis would be delighted with his team's performance despite the result.

Man of the Match: Freedman.

Chant of the Match: "Who's the w****r in the green?!", "You're not fit to run the line!" and "ITV w@nk, w@nk, wa@nk" - directed towards the ITV Sport Channel studio in the corner of the Holmesdale.

Post match comments:

Trevor Francis said: "Our movement early on was great and if Clinton's goal had stood then it could have been a different game.

"I've spoken to Granville and he said there was a skirmish. He's mystified by the sending off.

"I was very surprised when both players were dismissed. There didn't seem much involved and I thought it was a lecture at most. A yellow card there would have been sufficient."

Nilsson said: "Jay reacted to a tackle but it wasn't that vicious and a yellow card would have been enough.

"Granville got caught under his legs and if he had really kicked him he wouldn't have got up.

"But little things become a red card these day and now more than ever the players need to remain calm.

"It was always going to be difficult with 10 men, especially with Jay as our only big striker. We found it hard to keep the ball up front and we were really getting tired.

"But Gary saved us with a tremendous goal. You could see he enjoyed it from his face - it will shine for a week."

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Match Stats

Ground: Selhurst Park (Attendance: 16197)

Palace: Kolinko, Smith (Black 64), Mullins, Symons (Rodger 45), Fleming, Riihilahti, Gray, Popovic (Austin 40), Granville, Freedman, Morrison.

Subs not used: Kirovski, Clarke.

Booking: Rodger.

Sent off: Granville 41.

Goal: Freedman 57.

Coventry City: Hedman, Hall, Shaw, Breen, Fowler, Carsley, Quinn, Delorge, Joachim (McSheffrey 60), Healy (Betts 78), Bothroyd.

Subs not used: Konjic, Montgomery.

Sent off: Bothroyd 42.

Bookings: Breen, Carsley, Fowler, Hedman.

Goals: Bothroyd 12, Hall 36, McSheffrey 75.

Referee: R Styles (Waterlooville)

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