FLASHBACK - Hiddink's Chelsea end Coventry's dream in Sky Blues last FA Cup quarter-final appearance - The Coventry Observer

FLASHBACK - Hiddink's Chelsea end Coventry's dream in Sky Blues last FA Cup quarter-final appearance

Coventry Editorial 15th Mar, 2024   0

THE last time Coventry City played in an FA Cup quarter-final, Guus Hiddink’s Chelsea denied the Sky Blues a dream day out at Wembley.

Then managed by Chris Coleman, City were massive underdogs against a Chelsea side which featured England regulars John Terry, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard and the lethal Didier Drogba up front.

In arguably the club’s biggest game at the then Ricoh Arena, since City’s move from Highfield Road, the Sky Blues were aiming to reach a first semi-final since famously winning the competition in 1987.

And Coventry’s line-up featured Scott Dann in defence, a teenage Jordan Henderson in midfield and veteran striker Clinton Morrison in attack.

Wins against Kidderminster Harriers, Torquay United and Blackburn Rovers in a replay saw City advance to the last eight despite enduring a difficult league campaign as the club eventually finished eight points above the relegation zone in the second tier.

Heavy favourites Chelsea sacked World Cup winning manager Luiz Felipe Scolari earlier in the season with the Cup tie only interim boss Hiddink’s fifth match in charge of the Blues.

With Chelsea at full strength, Drogba opened the scoring on 15 minutes after he outmuscled Dann before rounding Keiren Westwood and finishing into the top right corner from a tight angle.

At the other end, Leon Best ballooned a shot over the crossbar before Westwood tipped Lampard’s free-kick from 35-yards out over the crossbar.

After the break, Best just failed to turn home a long throw at the back post before Chelsea sealed their place in the semi-finals when Alex found the net on 72 minutes from Ricardo Quaresma’s cross.

Chelsea would eventually go on to lift the FA Cup trophy that season after victory against Arsenal in the last four and Everton in the final.

A lot has changed at Coventry since their last FA Cup quarter-final appearance.

Now, Wolverhampton Wanderers stand in City’s way of a second trip to Wembley in as many seasons.

Gary O’Neil’s Wolves have enjoyed an excellent season to date and sit ninth in the Premier League table having won their last three home matches in all competitions.

Coventry travel to Molineux on Saturday, March 16 with kick-off at 12.15pm.

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