• Coventry fall flat in re-run of 1987 FA Cup final
• Bale scores on surprise start after suspension
Americanisms are so abundant in Clint Dempsey's post-match interviews you would imagine his six months at Tottenham were his first in England. Yet talk of "A-games" and "shutouts" masks a man fluent in the English game who can slip effortlessly into any number of roles within Tottenham's line-up.
Dempsey was employed as a secondary striker to Emmanuel Adebayor, neatly splicing Tottenham's midfield and attack in order to vanquish Coventry's ambition of an FA Cup upset. He found the net twice as Spurs sprinted to a 3-0 lead inside 37 minutes – his first was a tap-in and his second a header which arced diagonally over helpless defenders into the far corner.
"I was on a good run of form before I picked up an injury in the Swansea game, but I'm happy that I've been able to pick up where I left off, creating opportunities, getting a goal in the Reading game and getting two against Coventry," he said. "I've got six goals and five assists so it's good to be getting those stats up.
"We knew it wasn't going to be an easy game. They had an opportunity to come out and do something special and we needed to make sure we put in a professional performance. It was good for us to get goals early and get a shutout."
Gareth Bale, who scored Tottenham's second, was returned to the left flank following his one-match suspension, and without concern by André Villas-Boas. It was a selection Coventry had not expected and they looked leaden as Bale rampaged through them.
"We have a lot of players who can play a number of positions, Gylfi [Sigurdsson] can play left and right and underneath the striker. I can do the same, Bale can do the same," Dempsey said. "You see a lot of interchanging because it's natural. It gives us more flexibility to put teams off-balance."
City must have been unbalanced the moment they stepped off the coach. Their first-half performance was entirely forgettable. They had arrived at Spurs for the first time since 2001 on a club record of six successive away wins and have risen from the depths of League One to promotion candidates since Mark Robins took charge in the autumn. Yet having lost their main striker David McGoldrick in the week – he has moved to Ipswich on loan following the end of his spell with the Sky Blues – their hopes of a shock result were hampered.
Nonetheless, the fans trumpeted the club's anthem "Play up, Sky Blues" from the off, heralding City's alleged invincibility at the hands of "Tottenham or Chelsea, United or anyone" – a song whose original lyrics were penned by the former manager Jimmy Hill in 1962. Within 14 minutes it was obvious that Coventry were, indeed, vincible.
"There's a lot of quality in the team and we want to do something special this year," Dempsey added. "We want to finish in a position that qualifies us for Champions League next year. If we're able to bring our A-game we can beat anybody on any given day." Robins admitted his side were sterile: "Nobody put any pressure on the ball and when you give top European players that much time, they'll murder you."
Man of the match Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)