It was a bad week for the Sky Blues. On Saturday at Bradford they collapsed after Jordan Turnbull's debut red card and ended up losing 3-1 and then on Tuesday evening they suffered their biggest League Cup loss since the Arsenal tie in 2012 whilst exiting the competition at Carrow Road.
The silver lining of the defeats is that there were lots of interesting stats. For instance at Bradford, Turnbull was only the second City player to see red on his debut – the first was David Thompson who was sent off on the opening day of the 2000-01 season in a 3-1 defeat to Middlesbrough.
City's goal famine ended with new loan signing Daniel Agyei netted 12 minutes into his debut. It was faster than Adam Armstrong's debut goal against Wigan last season and the fastest since Frank Nouble scored in the 'return to the Ricoh' game against Gillingham two years ago. The fastest debut goals for the club are all under one minute with Wayne Andrews leading the way against Barnsley in 2006-07 with 26 seconds. Laurent Delorge scored within a minute after coming on for his league debut against Sheffield United in 2001 and Ron Newman scored within a minute of his debut against Southampton in 1955-56 – no detailed timing is available for these goals neither for pre-war goals.
At Norwich on Tuesday night the heavy defeat equalled the club's worst away loss in the competition's 56-year history. On two previous occasions City have suffered 6-1 away defeats – at West Brom in 1965-66 and at Arsenal in 2012-13. The former game was a replay after the clubs had drawn 1-1 at Highfield Road in front of over 38,000 (at the time the second highest crowd ever in the competition). 32,000 were at the Hawthorns a week later to see Jeff Astle net a hat-trick as the Baggies ran amok. Doug Fraser (2) and Tony Brown netted the other goals with Ernie Machin scoring for the Sky Blues. Albion went on to win the competition that season, the last time that the final was a two-legged affair before it moved to Wembley.
At Arsenal in 2012 the third round tie was Mark Robins' second game in charge following the departure of Andy Thorn. City put up a brave fight and although trailing by a single goal at half-time ran out of steam in the final quarter and goals from Giroud, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arshavin, Walcott (2) and Miguel sealed the win. Callum Ball did manage to score a late superb goal for the Sky Blues.
The club's biggest ever defeat in the competition came at Highfield Road in 1964 when Leicester hammered the Sky Blues 8-1. It was before the days when substitutes were allowed and George Curtis suffered an injury which necessitated him leaving the pitch. The 10-man Sky Blues were totalled overwhelmed by a superb Leicester team who showed City no mercy.
One good bit of news from Norwich was that Devon Kelly-Evans came on as substitute in the second half and joined his twin brother, Dion. The Coventry-born brothers are only the second set of twins to play first team football for the club and the first to be on the pitch at the same time. Dion, who made his debut as a substitute at Oldham at the end of last season, has now made five first-team appearances. Nuneaton-born midfielders Craig and Lee Middleton both made a handful of appearances between 1989-1992 but never in the same team.
The Cobblers are in town today for the first time in 49 years. The last meeting between the sides who were massive rivals in Divisions 4, 3 and 2 in the 1950s and 1960s took place at Highfield Road in late March 1967. The clubs had met at Northampton's County Ground seventeen days previously and a full-house 20,100 had witnessed a tight 0-0 draw. By the time of the return game City were 17 games unbeaten and edging towards promotion having secured a vital 1-0 at Blackburn days earlier. Over 38,500 watched City dominate their relegation-threatened opponents but fail to score until just after the hour Ernie Machin netted before Bobby Gould secured the two points near the end. City were subsequently promoted, the Cobblers were relegated (for the second successive season) and the club's paths have not crossed since apart from cup games.