Report | Coventry City 3 Swansea City 3
Swansea City produced a sensational fightback to earn a point and extend their long unbeaten run over Coventry City on a dramatic afternoon at the CBS Arena.
The Swans entered the game not having lost to the Sky Blues in 13 meetings stretching back over 41 years, but that had looked likely to come to an end after goals from Jonathan Panzo, Jamie Allen and Viktor Gyokeres had put the hosts 3-0 before 10 minutes of the second half had elapsed.
However, Russell Martin’s side rallied bravely and got themselves back into the game thanks to Joel Piroe’s sixth goal of the season and Jay Fulton’s acrobatic finish.
And they levelled with five minutes to go when Liam Cullen turned in the rebound, after Piroe had headed against the post from a Matt Grimes cross.
The Swans had shown just one change from the defeat Norwich, with Olivier Ntcham preferred to Luke Cundle in an attacking midfield role.
Whereas Swansea had made a nightmare start against Norwich, they were far more assured this time around and they threatened early.
Ntcham and Jamie Paterson linked well after Swansea had pinched possession, and the latter’s inviting pull-back looked to be perfect for Piroe, only for the Dutchman to miss his kick.
Instead it was Steven Benda who was the first keeper called into action, the German getting down sharply to hold a firm drive from Gyokeres, before Joel Latibeaudiere made a key block to prevent a Jake Bidwell cross finding a host of Sky Blue shirts at the back post.
Bidwell was soon in action in his own area, heading behind Piroe’s cross as it flashed across the Coventry box.
Swansea should have led from the resulting corner, Ben Cabango steering a header over the bar from Ryan Manning’s delivery.
It was proving an open game and Benda made an outstanding save to deny Gyokeres from Bidwell’s cross, even though a belated offside flag meant it would not have counted had the Swede found the net.
Openings kept coming, Manning and Ntcham having efforts blocked from the edge of the area, while Benda again came out on top in his battle with Gyokeres by denying his former team-mate once more, after the Swans had given away possession.
But the German keeper could not keep out Panzo’s header from the resulting corner as the defender’s movement saw him find space to power home a header.
Coventry pressed again, Benda pushing away a Jack Burroughs shot at his near post with the hosts having plenty of joy down the flanks.
Piroe forced a save from Sky Blues’ keeper Ben Wilson from a free-kick, while Paterson saw another shot blocked as the Swans trailed at the break.
And matters got worse within two minutes of the restart, home skipper Allen sweeping home after good work by Gustavo Hamer and Gyokeres after picking up a loose ball.
And any lingering hopes of a fightback seemed to have been all-but extinguished in the 54th minute when the visitors failed to deal with a kick downfield from keeper Wilson. Gyokeres was able to go on and turn inside his marker before finding the net for his 10th goal of the season via the inside of the post.
Martin rang the changes, with Joe Allen and Harry Darling quickly following Armstrong Oko-Flex and Ollie Cooper into the fray.
But Coventry continued to look a real threat, with Burroughs drilling an angled drive narrowly wide of Benda’s left-hand upright.
Darling headed into Wilson’s grateful gloves, before Cooper fired wide after a nice give and go with Oko-Flex as Swansea enjoyed periods of sustained pressure in the Coventry half.
And the Swans did get a goal back with 22 minutes to go when Piroe steered home at the near post after Cooper had teed up Manning to deliver into the area.
Swansea pressed again as they looked to try and set up a frantic ending, Darling heading wide from another set-piece.
But they did find the target with 13 minutes left when Fulton smashed home the rebound after Wilson had only been able to parry Oko-Flex’s strike following Manning’s slaloming run.
And there was delirium in the away end when the comeback was completed by substitute Cullen, who had only been on the field a matter of minutes, when he was on hand to finish from close range and net his first Championship goal for the Swans since April 2021.
Coventry City: Ben Wilson, Jonathan Panzo, Callum Doyle, Michael Rose, Jamie Allen (captain), Callum O'Hare (Liam Kelly 78), Ben Sheaf, Viktor Gyokeres, Jake Bidwell, Jack Burroughs (Todd Kane 82), Gustavo Hamer.
Unused Substitutes: Simon Moore, Martyn Waghorn, Fankaty Dabo, Fabio Tavares, Kasey Palmer.
Swansea City: Steven Benda; Kyle Naughton (Joe Allen 55), Nathan Wood, Ben Cabango, Joel Latibeaudiere (Armstrong Oko-Flex 51); Jay Fulton (Liam Cullen 82), Matt Grimes (captain); Jamie Paterson (Ollie Cooper 51), Olivier Ntcham (Harry Darling 55), Ryan Manning; Joel Piroe.
Unused Substitutes: Andy Fisher, Luke Cundle.
Referee: Robert Jones