Coventry City 3-2 Bristol City
Coventry desperately needed a rebound against Bristol. One win five, and seemingly half of the Championship ready to leapfrog them, meant a strong performance was needed.
Almost immediately, Coventry broke down the left and a shot from Hamer is well saved by Bentley, just 27 seconds into the game.
A lot of diagonals.
Coventry have found success in recent games with diagonal passes from Hamer. Those passes pin the opposition deep and account for a 1/4 of Hamer's passes in this game alone. As Coventry had more of the ball early in this game, it was a successful way to break the compact line of Bristol.
With Bristol deeper and then attacking with longer passes in a 4-3-3, Coventry were able to play 2v1 on long ball runners after being organized from deep. Here you see Martin checks all the way into midfield for the ball to combine with Tanner. Tanner's long ball into Massengo, who ran beyond Martin, was contested by JCS and McFadzean and dealt with comfortably the Sky Blue pair.
Long and quick was the trend from Bristol as they could have had a penalty shout on 5 minutes with Rose and Moore ultimately dispossessing O'Dowda, but it was very controversial. A VAR review would have been interesting.
Prior to the end of the half drama, Bristol were limited to just two shots on goal from 35% possession. Then the final 5 minutes of the first half.
Coventry began to get stretched. Frustration perhaps growing from the struggles in front of goal results in disorganization in the transition. Here Bristol have worked the ball forward with Bakinson and Coventry are out of shape. The ball wide to O'Dowda is whipped in early for Scott, but he puts it over. As a fan, you think, "Of course. We can't score, and then Bristol look like they might in one quick attack"
The warning sign was real and goes to show how an imbalanced game can quickly change.
Martin peels off of McFadzean to receive the ball between the lines. Weimann runs behind, and offside, JCS. However, the run is excellent as Martin, now facing forward and free to look up, can find the run of Weimann who is on the goal-side of Maatsen. The result is Maatsen pulling Weimann back. Penalty. Red Card. 1-0.
Lots to break down here - McFadzean staying in the defensive line, preferring to offer up no forward pass with a compact defense. However, JCS pulled out of line just enough due to the run of Weimann, who had switched flank with O'Dowda.
Then it was almost 2-0 after a JCS and McFadzean horror show and Coventry, shaken, were glad for the halftime whistle.
Arguably, the red card and goal changed Coventry for the good due to struggles against the compact Bristol line. Here Sheaf tries to break a line with a ball into Gyokeres, but Weimann and Bakinson are narrow enough to prevent it. Note O'Dowda at the bottom of the image breaking back to cover any diagonal out to Dabo.