Coventry City 0 - 0 Birmingham City

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Coventry City 0 - 0 Birmingham City

Postby dutchman » Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:07 pm

Brilliant Hamer and Maatsen in red card derby

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Coventry City had to settle for a point despite playing some dazzling football in a thoroughly entertaining Midlands derby with Birmingham.

The Sky Blues were excellent in a highly charged first half and unlucky to go in goalless at the break, largely due to goalkeeper Matija Sarkic and some stout defending from the visitors, while City felt they should have had a penalty when Viktor Gykeres appeared to be dragged down from a corner.

Mark Robins’s men continued to push for the all important breakthrough after the break when the Blues’ keeper and the visitors’ man of the match pulled off a brilliant stop to deny Matty Godden.

There was late drama when Lee Bowyer’s bruisers were reduced to ten men when Ryan Woods was sent off for a cynical last man challenge on Ian Maatsen, as Coventry continued to look the more likely to get a winner, with Gyokeres passing up a stoppage time chance for glory.

The game started at a frantic pace with Blues on the front foot and getting in City’s faces early on, slinging long throws into the box at every opportunity in a bid to unsettle the hosts in a superb derby day atmosphere.

The Sky Blue Army were in full voice from ten minutes before kick-off, urging their team on every step of the way as returning skipper Liam Kelly tried his luck in the fifth minute with the first shot of the night, albeit dragged wide across the face of goal.

There was action at both ends, with Fankaty Dabo breaking free on the right and sending in a threatening early cross that was intercepted by the keeper at the near post before Dom Hyam came to the rescue at the other end when Scott Hogan got the better of Kyle McFadzean who inadvertently chest the ball into his path.

Blues’ No.10 Riley McGree, meanwhile, fired onto the roof of the net after City cleared a deep free-kick into the box in a game that was finely balanced in an entertaining opening half.

Coventry enjoyed two corners in quick succession around the 20 minute mark and carved out some eye-catching attacks, not least when Gus Hamer intercepted the ball and played a brilliant one-two with Callum O’Hare before his piercing cross was cut out in the area.

O’Hare played a lovely back-heel to send Godden in behind, dropping his shoulder in the box and hitting an angle shot which the excellent goalkeeper Matija Sarkic dropped low to save.

Hamer turned brilliantly in the box, leaving a defender on his backside before pulling the ball back to Ian Maatsen who, despite his body shape being wrong, managed to get a shot off which was saved well by the keeper.

Gyokeres, meanwhile, appealed in vain for a penalty when dragged down by the aggressive and physical Dion Sanderson from a Coventry corner.

Robins’s men played some really entertaining football, looking exciting and dangerous with wave after wave of attacks while Blues continued to be limited to lumping long balls into the box, mainly from long throws which amounted to seven in the opening 45.

Gyokeres threatened to drive through on goal in the 54th minute, only to be fouled by Sanderson who got away with a yellow card amid called for a red from the home fans who thought the Swede had been denied a clear goal scoring opportunity.

Coventry continued to probe and press, looking for the opening goal but almost got caught out from a free-kick which Troy Deeney flicked on to strike partner Hogan, who lifted an angled shot over the bar.

A terrific three-man counter attack on the hour saw O’Hare feed Gyokeres, leaving the Swede to turn inside and play a through ball to Hamer who hit a shot with the outside of his boot straight to the keeper.

The brilliant Brazilian, however, was clattered shortly after and despite carrying on after receiving treatment, had to go off 17 minutes from time when he was replaced by Jamie Allen.

Godden, meanwhile, turned smartly on the edge of the box and hit a lovely shot to the top corner, only for Sarkic to pull off another impressive stop to deny the hoe side what would have been a deserved lead.

Blues were reduced to ten men on 81 minutes when Maatsen raced through on a counter attack and deliberately brought down by Ryan Woods who was shown a straight red card by referee Leigh Doughty

It all kicked off on the sidelines as Birmingham’s goalkeeper coach Andy Marshall - and former Sky Blues goalie - and City assistant manager Adi Viveash clashed, resulting in both being shown the yellow card.

The fourth official indicated six minutes of added time as Tyler Walker was thrown on for O’Hare in a pulsating end to the game which saw Gyokeres lift over the bar in a clear cut chance to win the game.

ATTENDANCE: 22,676 (4,068 away)

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Re: Coventry City 0 - 0 Birmingham City

Postby dutchman » Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:31 pm

Blues hold Coventry despite Woods red card

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Birmingham City had to survive the final 14 minutes with 10 men as they held Coventry City to a goalless draw at the CBS Arena.

Ryan Woods was shown a straight red card for his 82nd-minute trip on main home dangerman Ian Maatsen.

But Lee Bowyer's Blues survived the final eight minutes - and six minutes of added time - to end their run of two successive defeats.

They drop a place to 17th despite a ninth clean sheet of the season, while Coventry climb a place to fourth after failing to score at home for the first time since their return to the city.

Bowyer revealed after the game that Blues will appeal against Woods' sending-off by referee Lee Doughty, claiming there was a covering defender and that it should only have been a yellow card.

This fixture twice failed to produce a goal when it was played at St Andrew's last season - the first time in the Championship, almost a year ago to the night - and again when the sides were drawn together in the FA Cup fourth round in January.

But in a fast-paced derby of high intensity, there were plenty of chances at either end to avoid the same fate again.

Maatsen, Coventry's main attacking threat, was twice denied by point-blank saves from Blues keeper Matija Sarkic, while the Sky Blues had a good case for a first-half penalty following Dion Sanderson's shirt tug on Viktor Gyokeres.

But Birmingham gave their supporters in a healthy 22,676 crowd some good moments too.

Troy Deeney was always a presence, Riley McGree saw a first-half volley dip just over and, from Marc Roberts' long throw, Scott Hogan should have done better when left unattended at the far post.

Then, following Woods' red card, Coventry top scorer Gyokeres snatched at a chance when unmarked, blazing high and wide into the crowd to extend his run without scoring to eight games.

But the Swede, who has now gone eight games without a goal since his brace in the 4-1 win over Fulham, snatched at it when unmarked, blazing high and wide into the crowd.

Coventry City boss Mark Robins told BBC CWR:

"We haven't been clinical enough - and that's a bit of a frustration. But it shows how far we've come that we are so frustrated.

"It was a tight game, in a great atmosphere. But that's derby games - and there was a bit more on it because of us ground-sharing with them.

"You don't like to see red cards but he's taken him out there. There was no way he was going to get the ball.

"That's as cynical as they come. That's an injury. It was a really poor challenge from a decent player."

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