Writer: Abe Hawken
Date:Sunday November 6 2011
Attendance: 15, 621 (including 3,008 away)
Southampton remain five points clear at the top of the Championship after winning 4-2 in an exhilarating game at Coventry.
The Saints dominated the first half and went close early on when Morgan Schneiderlin volleyed just wide.
The league leaders continued to play the football that has earned them their position in the league - with Jack Cork, the former Coventry player bossing the midfield.
Adam Lallana proved that he has recovered from a recent foot injury as he twisted, turned and tormented the Sky Blues defence.
The Saints had previously struggled away from St.Mary's - having only won once on the road. But the opening 30 minutes was dominated by the south coast outfit - and their pressure was rewarded in the 34th minute.
Former Sky Blue Danny Fox stormed down the left wing and fired a ball into Richard Chaplow who smartly turned to slot his left-footed strike under the advancing Joe Murphy .
The strike was the midfielder's fourth league goal and things got better for the Hampshire side six minutes before the break.
Man of the Match Guly do Prado forced his way through the Coventry back line to pick out the unmarked Lallana who couldn't miss from six yards to give the Saints a deserved 2-0 lead into the break.
Coventry City came out for the second half a completely different side and got themselves back into the game when Lukas Jutkiewicz, who started his career in Southampton, volleyed home from Sammy Clingan's corner.
The game had completely turned on its head, and the 3,000 travelling Saints fans were stunned to see their side get dominated by the same team who failed to trouble Kelvin Davis in the first half.
The 12,000 or so home fans realised the game was not over - and their support was rewarded on the 70th minute.
Substitute Clive Platt reacted the quickest from a poor clearance from Jose Fonte and the striker smartly finished past Davis to guarantee an exciting finish in the midlands.
After equalising, the home side continued to put the league leaders under immense pressure, but the Saints held firm and counted the Sky Blues to show why they are top of the league with 16 minutes left on the clock.
Fox delivered a delightful cross which was met by Guly who glanced an unstoppable header to give the game another twist.
The Ricoh Arena was silenced and Adkins' men ensured the three points when substitute Steve De Ridder gambled on Rickie Lambert's cross to make the score 2-4.
The emphatic victory demonstrated great character from the league leaders, who had to dig deep to ensure they entered the international break five points clear of second place West Ham.
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Date:Sunday November 6 2011
|2. Man City||17||12||3||2||22||39|
|3. Man Utd||17||9||5||3||12||32|
|4. West Ham||17||9||4||4||10||31|
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