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Bournemouth 2-2 Coventry City

Given the two previous 0-0's, Coventry needed to get together their attack for this game against 'fellow promotion rivals'. Though Lerma's red card clearly made the difference, the attack got the key goals to give Coventry the victory/draw.


In the opening phase, you can see the Bournemouth shape. Lerma as the central defender between Cook and Mepham would mean Bournemouth would get players ahead of the ball and look to pin Coventry deep. The shape is highlighted as a 1-3-4-3 because Billing would move freely between the front and midfield, varying the control that Bournemouth had on the game.


In the same image, you can see the Coventry shape. Though McFadzean is just out of shot, on the right, you can see the box midfield behind Godden and Dabo covering Kane at RWB. Already, you can see Anthony, and Stacey, higher up the field.


Coventry found success with the box midfield and press early on. You can see how Lerma is looking to play central, but the Coventry organization jumps on any loose passes. I mentioned in the Birmingham analysis that building a game plan on executing one-off chances can be costly, or lead to 0, and in the firs half this was the case for City. Here the pass from Sheaf was overhit and easily picked up by Travers.

The weather was also a factor in the first half. Simon Moore would kick the ball and it would hold up nicely for Bournemouth to win the ball inside the Coventry half. Couple that with an inability to really build, and Coventry were in trouble and starting to face mounting pressure. Dabo is a better player driving at defenders and providing an outlet, not passing out. Hyam is better on the right side of the backline and playing, versus cutting inside on his right from the left.


With a long kick not really an option, building out was the theme for Coventry. Here the ball went short to Hyam, out to Maatsen, but then inside to McFadzean and 'cleared' 40 yards for Bournemouth to pick it up.


Though Bournemouth had 65% of possession in the first half, they often found nowhere to go. Shots from distance and crosses were the only real threat. This image is indicative of the Coventry organization this season. With bodies behind the ball, Bournemouth are forced to play sideways as they look for opportunities.


As the first half wore on, it became a focus of survival for City. Get into half time at 0-0. Play with the wind and see if the constant pressure really was a huge weather factor and go for a goal. However, the threat of Anthony had already been on display. Moments after recycling possession in the image above, Anthony cut inside and his whipped cross was cleared by Hyam.


Then the same happened as Bournemouth win possession and find Anthony in a 1v1 versus Kane. Kane has already been suspect in defending this season In the wing-back role, and this was no different. With Anthony strong on his right, he always looks to cut inside, and the cross is so good that a touch would lead to a goal, or as happened here, no-touch leads to a goal. 1-0 at half time and the hard work of the half unfortunately undone.


As Coventry probed to get back in the game, Bournemouth adjusted to the Coventry threat with a higher backline. With just a 70% pass completion rate, they clearly wanted to compact the field and force Coventry into mistakes. Here you can see that Coventry are trying to go forward with Maatsen and Kane pushed higher.


With Coventry anxious to get forward and get even in the game, there were opportunities for Bournemouth. As they pressed a poor Coventry throw-in, Sheaf tackles Billing for a freekick. The freekick is blocked, but the damage is done as you see the Coventry line is completely flat. Anthony has a 1v1, this time versus Hyam, and performs the same excellent move that allows him to rip the Coventry defense open and Billing to freely attack the cross. 2-0.


Godden's constant work rate is likely why he was picked over Gyokeres and Walker for this game, though Robins said he could have picked either, and the decision was rewarded with Lerma's red card. Here you can see him attempting to steal the poor pass from Stacey and suddenly the game changes.


Given the Coventry inability to make anything happen versus Birmingham in mid-week, it seemed unlikely for anything to come of this opportunity, though here we are very happy with the result.


Both goals were opportunistic but deserved as Bournemouth had no choice but to try and soak up the pressure and see the game out. Had Godden not scored, Bournemouth could have gone to 9 men as Mepham used his arm to try and keep the ball out, but it's 1v1 with a special mention for the tenacity of Kelly to drive into the box and provide the cross.


Kane definitely hit a poor cross and made it 2-2 to make the game feel like a win, but the issue is with O'Hare and his impact in the game. Just after the goal, O'Hare checks to receive the ball from Dabo. No pressure, and time. Though he takes a bad touch Kilkenny wins a throw-in from him. The camera panned to Robbins and you could read his lips. He was mad. Though this is just one moment of losing possession, it has been a theme with O'Hare missing in the game when Coventry needs that structure and play-maker more involved.


Up next is WBA and another 'top of the table clash'. IT sounds good doesn't it?


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