Goals win games. Fortunately, Coventry only really let Deeney look threatening for one flash header off of the bar, preventing Watford from winning. The issue is that Coventry should have won. Robins said it would have been a travesty to have lost it, and indeed it would have been. However, those are the games that could be lost but for an opponent in Watford who never really looked like they wanted to win.
Early on, Coventry made it hard for Watford. You can see the 1-5-3-2 defensive shape against the 2-3-1 with Ngakia on the ball. There is simply no space for Watford to play.
Matty James does a lot of unexciting things on the field for Coventry. Today those things were also unexciting, but unexciting for Watford because he was so good at it. The stats and plaudits were strong for him today with his 70 touches, 41 completed passes, winning duels, making clearances, and general behavior for calming the players around him.
The moment below is as unexciting as most of the rest. He plays a 1-2 with Hamer and delays playing the ball forward to welcome Cleverly into the tackle and wins the freekick. Moments like this demonstrate his understanding and ability to control the game. Releasing the pressure and getting Coventry back on the ball are all the benefits from a central midfield performance like this. He really was the leader on the field in this game.
Never looked interested, really.
Here are two moments that demonstrate how Coventry got it right:
Overload wide with Allen leaving the midfield three to overload. Watford only had Chalobah and Cleverly centrally, so it was a 3v2. Here it's a triangle because Sarr moved inside. Another positive for Coventry was occupying Sarr centrally and not letting him control the game to his strengths wide and with speed.
This second image shows how Watford looked more like a 4-2-4 and how it hurt them. Deeney would check for the ball, often waiting for the game to come to him. Matty James was never far away. The back three of Rose, Ostigard, and Hyam played 1v1 well with the support of McCallum and DaCosta recovering. It often looked like a 6v4 in Coventry's favor.
Whilst playing because of an injury to Sheaf, he made so many runs ahead of the ball that it helped to pin Watford deeper. He was also liable for several nearly costly mistakes. A rollercoaster performance but a special mention because I think he helped Coventry more than he hindered. Here you can see the run. Allen moves forward, pinning Masina deep and forcing Cleverly to move out and press DaCosta. Biamou put this header wide.
Deeney nearly stole it all late on as his header hit the bar, and perhaps the overall feeling of Coventry players and fans alike is this:
6 on target.
Hyam, including the one above, should have had two. Hamer had 4 attempts on goal. Biamou missed two chances. Whilst Watford never capitalized, they also seem in a funk and the same cannot be said for Cardiff who won 2-0 today and are unbeaten in three. Then in midweek, we face top of the table Norwich. Whilst they have been faltering, they are still stacked with talent that will surely kill off a wasteful Coventry team.
An incredibly positive performance, but it's still two points short. Everything was right today, minus the goals. @Leedunnesoccer