The Sky Blues, with only one Premiership victory this season, were in such dire defensive fettle that their manager, Ron Atkinson, signed Birmingham's 34-year-old centre-back Chris Whyte on a month's loan.
But it was Whyte's partner in the centre of defence, David Busst, who caused the day's first upset when he gave Coventry the lead five minutes before the interval. Peter Ndlovu nodded back Marcus Hall's long cross and Busst headed the ball into the roof of the net.
In the second half Coventry were rampant, Rovers wretched. Dion Dublin made it 2-0 on the hour, David Rennie headed Kevin Richardson's cross in at the near post, Ndlovu skipped past three ineffectual Blackburn challenges before knocking in the fourth and the Sky Blues' other quicksilver winger, John Salako, completed the rout two minutes from time.
No such fun at The Dell, where third-placed Arsenal were without Dennis Bergkamp and Glenn Helder. A dull, dour match with Southampton ended goalless. One of the game's few "professional" acts was the foul on the Saints' striker Neil Shipperley for which Tony Adams was sent off after 54 minutes.
A trip to hapless Bolton Wanderers was always likely to revive the unexpectedly poor form of Liverpool - they had not won in seven matches - and so it transpired. Stan Collymore scored the only goal of the game, his second in consecutive matches.
Beaten by a late goal after the sending off of Karl Ready at West Ham in their previous London derby, Queen's Park Rangers went to Tottenham Hotspur with the dread siren call "too good to go down" ringing in their ears. But 18th out of 20, a mere 12 points from 17 games and seven defeats away from home, tells its own story.
The match against Spurs was settled after three minutes when Teddy Sheringham scored the only goal of the game, his 13th of the season. Chris Armstrong, Sheringham's strike partner, headed out to Ruel Fox on the right and ran on to meet the return cross only to see Jurgen Sommer block the effort. But Sheringham was first to the rebound and drove in from close range.
There are new leaders in the First Division after Peter Reid's Sunderland utterly demolished the previous tabletoppers Millwall in a 6-0 goalstorm at Roker Park. Craig Russell scored four.
This afternoon, Britain's remaining club in European competition, Nottingham Forest, entertain an Aston Villa side shorn of Paul McGrath, Steve Staunton and Andy Townsend, who are on international duty with the Republic of Ireland. After successfully coming through the siege of Lyons to set up a quarter-final against Bayern Munich, Jurgen Klinsmann and all, Forest have return to the Premiership treadmill.
"We can put the Uefa Cup to one side for three months and concentrate on things on the domestic front," Frank Clark, the Forest manager, said. "We've lost a little bit of ground in the league table over the last few weeks and it's now time to put that right."
Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell (back) came through a midweek reserve game against Stoke and joins fellow forwards Jason Lee, Andrea Silenzi, Paul McGregor and Stephen Howe in Forest's squad.Reuse content