West Bromwich Albion 1 - Coventry City 0

Date: Friday 3rd February 2023 
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
(4-2-3-1) Button 6.4, Furlong 6.1, O'Shea 7.7, Pieters 6.8, Townsend 6.9, Molumby 6.7, Yokuslu 7.4 (Chalobah, 67 6.2), Albrighton 7.3 (Swift, 74 6.6), Wallace 7.1, Diangana 6.7, Dike 5.2 (Thomas-Asante, 59 6.9)
Unused subs: Griffiths, Ajayi, Grant, Reach
Manager: Carlos Corberán  7.6
Wilson, McNally, Doyle (Kelly, 93), Panzo, Norton-Cuffy (Eccles, 61), Sheaf, Hamer, Bidwell (Wilson-Esbrand, 61), Allen (Maguire, 78), Palmer (Godden, 61), Gyökeres
Unused subs: Moore, Burroughs
Scorers: Diangana (15)
Referee: Gavin Ward 6.2
Attendance: 24,719   Home Fans 7.7   Away Fans 6.0

Brendan Clegg:

That was a big victory ground out in difficult circumstances after what was such a disappointing away day in the cup at Bristol with its £6 pints of Guinness and £6 hot dogs!

I thought the starting 11 was a bit of a worry. Palmer out, Dike over BTA and what looked 4-4-2 again with Wallace up front.

I thought the first 10 were quite open but Cov should probably have taken the lead through a couple of chances before we settled down and then dominated the half.

Dike missed what looked like a sitter of a header from a few yards, we got the goal from a Val Ball long throw and we generally threatened well.

At HT I thought Cov changed shape slightly and overran us in midfield. Apart from another big Dike chance when put through one on one they had a sustained period of pressure and we couldn’t look after the ball well enough although we did enough to keep them from really testing Button.

BTA for Dike made sense and he gave us cuter forward play although he was a bit careless with the ball.

Chalobah for Okay was a worry but hopefully nothing in it.

Albrighton for Wallace was the change needed maybe 10 minutes earlier to get Wallace wide and make us a bit more solid - and I think that was the case after it happened.

Apart from the odd individual error we managed the game out well and it was another clean sheet and victory at the Hawthorns for us. Beating teams around us over the next month is going to be critical.

  • Button - 7 I was worried but he didn’t put a foot wrong. Calm distribution and did the basics.
  • Furlong - 7 Big defensive display and good throw for the goal.
  • O’Shea - 8 Proper captain’s performance. Big hearted but very good on the ball
  • Pieters - 7 Another reliable game
  • Townsend - 7 Possibly hit the form of his career for us. Good both ways.
  • Okay - 6 Bit subdued but some important blocks and passes
  • Molumby - 6 Another big running display
  • Albrighton - 7 Reliable but rusty and a bit leggy. Will have done him good.
  • Wallace - 7 Great energy but we miss him on the right.
  • Diagana - 7 Big effort, glimpses of his best stuff,important goal.
  • Dike - 6 Getting opportunities but looks like he needs to slim down a bit. Kept going.
  • BTA - 6 Lively but gave it away cheaply
  • Swift - 6 Some nice touches but one over casual moment cost us.
  • Chalobah - 6 Did better than I thought. Used the ball well and took the sting out of it for us.

Ancient Baggie:

Really important result to hopefully kick start another winning run. Very good for most of the first half and could easily have scored 2 or 3. Dike's miss was a bad one. Albrighton looks like a good addition and will have an impact when he's match sharp. I actually quite liked Wallace in the hole, his direct running at defenders definitely panicked the Coventry defence.

The game got a bit stretched second half but I felt we managed it out pretty well. Furlong concerns me a bit, good long throw for the goal but he gives the ball away far too often in the wrong areas.

I'm interested to see where Corberan goes with the squad he's now got when everyone's available. Bluenoses next COYB