Norwich City 1-1 Coventry City
iFollow listed Dabo as the single striker. Unconventional, even for Robins, and of course it didn't play out that way, but he might be an alternative to fill the position when a conventional target, isolated striker just doesn't work out...
It seems that we play a former Premier League team and the damage is often caused by the playmaker. It makes sense, of course, that the playmaker causes the damage, but dealing with the problem is a necesity. Here you see the problem of allowing a strong central player, like Tettey, time to turn and play through the midfield line to another key player in Vrancic:
However, when Coventry were organized, they could press from a 1-4-4-2 shape and force Norwich to play longer, and turn the ball over:
whoscored.com mentioned that Norwich had no significant weaknesses, but my opinion would be that they didn't create too much to demonstrate weaknesses. They either went through Tettey, who then connected wide or with Vrancic, or it went longer for a 'through ball' and this is where they really hurt Coventry in the middle of the first half. This image shows one example of a through ball from controlled possession in the middle third by Norwich. There were several instances of this same type of control in a 5 minute period, even with 10 Coventry players behind the ball:
The penalty and goal came after the extended pressure and the shape of Coventry allowing for the Norwich control. All chances came from deep runners, especially the winger #11 Płacheta. These two images show the shape of Coventry defending deeper, and how Norwich used the width to disorganize the Coventry defense, and how they targeted the deep runner:
These were the only real Norwich threats of substance and, interestingly, the same trend came in the second half. Norwich was very good with the ball. They played with composure and recycled possession to avoid turning the ball over a lot. Their ball movement also allowed Coventry to defend in numbers, but it pinned Coventry back more so in the game. Regular early outlets for Coventry were long balls forward and is no wonder that the isolated Bakayoko won 5 aerial duels.
Here you see a trend from most of the games that Coventry have played this season in the Championship. Pressure coming and then escaping the pressure with negative passes. The disconnect comes now that Kelly and Sheaf also drop to provide support and in the image, you see a 5v4 in Coventry's favor, but the ball goes back and then goes long. Again, explaining why Bakayoko had 5 aerial duels won, however, Hanley and Sorenson, the Norwich CB's, had 13 wins between them. A third of aerial duels won from the same ball should ring some alarm bells.
Coventry's real threat came from dominance on the wings with Dabo and Giles. Both are aggressive with the ball at their feet, but success in their game requires central control of the game from the midfield. In just one example, 20 seconds apart, you see Giles down the left for Coventry driving and beating Norwich players, attracting attention and leaving a central 2v2. Then you see Dabo in behind on the right after Coventry's pressure won the ball back, leading to an Allen heading over the bar.