Coventry City 2-0 Brentford FC
Note. Brentford didn't take a knee before kick-off.
Some adjustment to the line-up and a consideration for how we can be successful versus Brentford meant that a clear plan was on display for Coventry.
Some stats I will explore:
34 passes inside the defensive third.
Coventry forced Brentford long a lot with their organized press. Below you see the benefit of the Coventry shape with two strikers and O'Hare in the #10. Hyam won the long ball and Biamou knocked it down to O'Hare to shoot. The Coventry organization encouraged Brentford deeper in the game as they searched for a way through, creating a separation from the front line.
In another example, you can see that Caños drops so deep to get the ball from the keeper that only two players are ahead of him and Coventry keep control of the situation, even as they just lost the ball. There were few moments for Brentford to break through Coventry.
Brentford found ways through the initial press, but only 24% of the game was played in the Coventry defensive third. After an ineffective press versus Norwich, Coventry needed to be much improved in this game, especially in the second phase. Here you can see that Janelt receives the ball behind a ball-watching Hamer. The LB, Henry, takes off and the ball eventually deflects behind for a corner. Ghoddis is wide open and, once Coventry stopped the central penetration, the game was more controlled in letting him receive the ball.
Brentford stats going forward.
10 shots. 2 on target. 6 blocked. Coventry were not going to let this one go as easily as it seemed versus Cardiff and Norwich. Later in the game, as Brentford searched for a goal, you can see Coventry's deep 1-5-2. Even though it's 2-0 this is still a theme for the game that Brentford didn't have an answer for how to break this shape. The flat attacking shape at this point leaves no forward outlet and Pask is able to steal the ball away. Incidentally, the best chance for Brentford was arguably from a cross and Dalsgaard hit it back across the goal and wide.
34 defensive third passes.
In previous games, you would likely have seen Kelly turn, lay it to McFadzean centrally, who then would play out to Hyam and on from there. The second Norwich goal came from a similar situation in which Coventry tied themselves up. Not in this game.
Here you see Kelly going long and over the pressure of the Brentford front 6. A trend in the game and perhaps his experience showing, given it is only he and the back three behind the ball.
Only 34 passes in the defensive third summed up perfectly in one picture you might say. This is not Coventry, but it is Coventry adapting to the demands of the game. This was the long freekick that resulted in the Biamou penalty. In comparison, Coventry played 82 against Watford.