Coventry City 1-0 Derby County
A gift of a goal settled this game early on for Coventry.
Positive shape and control.
Finally, we got Hamer on the ball and enabled him to get behind a midfield line. Holding on to the ball and driving at defenders provides the time needed for support players to join the attack.
This moment is so significant, not just because of it was the only goal of the game, but you can see the shape and intent of Coventry in this moment.
Derby have pushed Roberts and Knight forward. This plays into Coventry's hands as the back 5 are often negative and deep, those wingers take themselves out of the game. Byrne picks up the ball in an unfamiliar area, but the mistake is forced not by O'Hare, but by the diamond shape underneath.
There were various moments in the first half where Coventry's shape beat Derby. The goal was one example, and here is another. McCallum played long to Biamou, who layed the ball off to an advancing James. O'Hare moved into the #9 and in the chaos, Wisdom and Byrne are out of the game. Kelly is underneath and the Coventry diamond overloads the center of the field. Note the Derby wingers, Roberts and Knight out of the game again, and Dabo is circled as the ball found him further up the field though his chance was wasted.
Offered very little going forward in the first half. Much of that was due to the positional dominance of Coventry. You can see Knight tucked in next to Dabo. Waghorn and Kazim occupied centrally, offering no outlet. Byrne on the ball is outnumbered and Coventry still have a spare man in Hyam. The 4-4-2 was predictable and limited due to the numbers behind the ball for Coventry.
We're still prone to mistakes.
Coventry had more possession early on, and often the outlet is Hyam. All too often, these passes lead to turnovers and counter-attacks.
In another example, Hyam receives the ball as Coventry work to break the press of Derby. You can see McFadzean telling Hyam to play wide into the path of McCallum. However, the ball goes back to Wilson.
The resulting pass, and pressure that comes with it leads to a mistake from Wilson trying to play into Hyam. Roberts steals the ball and it deflects just wide. These are the moments where Coventry still struggle.