Coventry City 0 Leicester City 1
Coventry City started their tenth season in the Championship by going down 1-0 to Leicester City at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday. The Foxes scored through a Lee Peltier header after 52 minutes, culminating a 5 minute spell in which they had created chances for both Danns and Nugent from crosses into the box and during which time the Sky Blues were guilty of some sloppy defending.
Coventry City gave league debuts to Cyrus Christie and Gael Bigirimana and both of the youngsters proved themselves more than worthy of their starting places, Christie with some marauding raids down the right flank and Bigirimana with a lively display in which he showed a calm head when on the ball.
In a dramatic first half Leicester lost Darius Vassell on 10 minutes, red carded as was Carl Baker for the Sky Blues on 38 minutes, both for challenges deemed to be reckless by the referee. Holding a numerical advantage for around half-an-hour against the favourites for promotion from the Championship, City carried on with their patient passing game that has become the norm under Andy Thorn but created few chances bar a couple of long-range efforts which tested Kasper Schmeichel in the visiting goal.
Once Baker, who had struggled to make an impact going forward, received his marching orders and parity of numbers was restored the Foxes did look the stronger side.
That will not be of undue concern to Thorn as City will not always be facing sides that have been so expensively assembled but the manager's worst fears about the lack of attacking bite to his team will have been realised. Lukas Jutkiewicz gave some good defenders a tought time but Bell, Baker and McSheffrey have to do more in support of him.
The attendance was a disappointing 21,102, swelled considerably by the visiting support and there appears to be no end in sight yet to the gradual decline in crowds.
The Sky Blues now prepare for their league cup trip to Gigg Lane on Tuesday to take on Bury when a morale-boosting win will be required ahead of another tough game with Birmingham City next week.
Speaking after the game Andy Thorn commented that a 'lack of professionalism' had let his side down, referring to Baker's sending off while opposite number Sven Goran Eriksson was full of praise for his defence, saying: 'First game, clean sheet, three points - I'm very happy with that.'