Coventry City 0-0 Birmingham City: High flying Coventry City held to a draw at home
COVENTRY, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23: Dion Sanderson of Birmingham City clears the ball during the Sky Bet Championship match between Coventry City and Birmingham City at The Coventry Building Society Arena on November 23, 2021 in Coventry, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Coventry City were held to a goalless draw at home to  Birmingham City as neither side could find a way through in a very scrappy game.

In the first half, Coventry controlled the large majority of possession and were threatening through midfielder Callum O'Hare who was instrumental in the first half pressure.

Birmingham grew into the game as it went on as they began to have more of the ball in dangerous areas and began to threaten, something they hadn't done in the first half.

With 10 minutes to go, the red card of Birmingham midfielder Ryan Woods threatened to open the door for the home side, but this didn't happen as the Blues sat back and focussed on securing a valuable point.

Despite both sides’ efforts, neither could really get a grip on the game and even though both sides tried, neither could find the back of the net.

  • Story of the game

Coventry started brightly with large spells of the ball in the midfield areas, making it hard for Birmingham to take control of the game. Captain Liam Kelly was the man dictating the tempo for the hosts as he carried the ball forward and posed a major attacking threat.

The first chance of the game came on the 15 minute mark, through O'Hare. He found space on the right hand side of the Birmingham box, and fizzed in a cross which was almost turned into his own net by Marc Roberts

The home side continued their pressure and it almost paid as top scorer Viktor Gyökeres linked up well with O'Hare on the right side of the box, and fired a low shot which was palmed away by Birmingham keeper Matija Sarkic before being cleared from the danger area.

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O'Hare was the man that Coventry were looking at to unlock the Blues door, and he came close to doing that once again as he beat his man brilliantly on the right wing, before crossing the ball to Ian Maatsen in the middle of the box who's low shot was parried out well by Sarkic. 

During the first half, the visitors struggled to get into the game as they only had 36% possession of the ball, with a 45% pass completion rate. Dion Sanderson and Roberts were looking for the spinning runs of Troy Deeney and Scott Hogan who were left pretty isolated up top making it easy for the hosts. 

The visitors started better in the second half, as they were able to get forward men on the ball much more. Hogan found space down the left hand side as Fankaty Dabo pushed up the pitch for Coventry. Despite not making any substitutions at the break, manager Lee Bowyer defiantly made tactical tweaks that helped his side out.

Birmingham almost made their early second half pressure pay, as a long free kick was won in the air by Deeney, and fell at the feet of Hogan about 12 yards out from goal. He struck the ball quickly on the volley but it sailed over the bar, much to the relief of the Coventry fans. 

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Coventry quickly got back at the Blues, as a brilliant mazy run from Maatsen enabled Gustavo Hamer to find space on the edge of the box and get a shot away. His shot however, wasn't good enough to trouble Sarkic in the Birmingham net, as the midfielder didn't connect properly.

With 10 minutes to go Woods was sent for an early shower after he brought down O'Hare to bring a swift halt to the Coventry counter attack. Having been carrying an injury for a few minutes and being forced to track back, it was the only real option Woods had to stop the home side. It was a pretty harsh red card as he wasn't the last man, but the referee saw it as dangerous play.

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The game seemed to fizzle out a little after the red card, as Birmingham were happy to sit back at take a point, which is valuable for their season. With five minutes to go, Coventry looked to up the pressure and play with a higher line, but they had little success, which saw the game ending in a draw.

Next up for the home side is a trip to the south coast to face Bournemouth, while the visitors Birmingham City face mid table Blackpool on Saturday.