David Wagner's Norwich City struck four times in a game for the second consecutive Championship tour on his watch at Coventry. Ben Lee breaks down the tactical analysis.

Ben is a City season ticket holder and author of the NCFC Analysis twitter account, which unpicks every Canaries' game with an analytical report highlighting tactical strengths and weaknesses.

This is what Ben made of an entertaining affair at the CBS Arena. 

Coventry versus Norwich: Why did Norwich lack control in the first half, and how did they find it in the second?

Score: 2 - 4

Possession (pc): 34 - 66

xG: 0.80 - 1.69

· Norwich's build-up and attacking structure

· Coventry's asymmetry and pressing structure

· The battle for numerical superiority

· How Norwich found control

Base formations:

Both sides were in 4-2-3-1 base formations, but due to rotations within the game neither team were consistently in that shape. Coventry often transitioned into a back five when Norton-Cuffy (7) dropped to prevent overloads.

The Pink Un: Coventry City 2-4 Norwich City: Ben Lee tactical analysisCoventry City 2-4 Norwich City: Ben Lee tactical analysis (Image: Ben Lee)

In the first phase of Norwich's build-up, they often created a 2-1-3-3-1 shape. Passing angles could be changed via an asymmetric rotation initiated by McLean. By dropping to one side of the centre backs McLean gave the full backs licence to advance.

At times, McLean also dropped between Hanley and Omabamidele. This gave them freedom to move into a better position to access the midfield third. It also gave McLean more time and space to play progressive passes into the midfield third.

Under David Wagner, Norwich's attacking structure has improved dramatically. This has been evident in both of Wagner's first two league games in charge. In possession, Norwich's attacking structure ensures there is a player in each horizontal zone, thereby stretching the opponent's defence to create gaps.

Norwich's attacking six – including the full backs – rotate within these horizontal zones. A combination of overlaps and underlaps make it harder for the opponent’s defenders to mark Norwich's forwards. When one full back stays deeper, the winger on that side occupies the wide zone as Sargent or Pukki move into the half space.

Coventry attempted to disrupt Norwich's build-up through a high press. Their aim was to win possession of the ball deep in Norwich's half to benefit from high turnovers.

There were three main phases of Coventry's press. The first phase included a central box designed to trap the two key players within Norwich's build-up, McLean and Sara. To create this box Palmer (45) moved alongside Gyökeres (17) to form a front two. Hamer (38) and Allen (8) created the other side of the box, while Sheaf (14) sat just behind. In this phase, Coventry transitioned into an asymmetrical shape - with Dabo (23) and Norton-Cuffy (7) on the same side - to prevent an overload against Giannoulis and Hernandez.

The box Coventry created meant Norwich were often forced to pass wide. Once Norwich passed wide, Coventry shifted to that side to trap Norwich against the touchline.

The second phase of Coventry's press saw them transition into a 4-2-3-1. In the third phase, Norton-Cuffy (7) dropped alongside Dabo (23) to create a 5-3-2.

In possession, Coventry transitioned into a 3-4-2-1. Norwich were in a 4-1-3-2 shape in the first phase of their press; McLean stayed behind Sara and close to Palmer (45). When pressing in their own half, Norwich dropped into a 4-2-3-1.

In the first half, Norwich were struggling to cope with Coventry's press. In the build-up, Norwich played into areas of numerical inferiority too often and failed to create superiority in central areas. This made it hard for Norwich to control the game. However, while attempting to press Norwich from the centre, Coventry left big spaces between the lines. When pressing high, the whole team need to be aggressive; Coventry's press lacked coherence and Norwich were able to transition quickly after escaping the press.

In the first half, Norwich lacked control due to their inability to create numerical superiority and passing angles in the build-up. In the second half, Wagner's tactical adjustments made a big difference.

Norwich's full backs started attacks much deeper to provide more passing options in the build-up. If Coventry created numerical superiority on one side, the full back on the opposite side inverted to provide an out-ball.

Additionally, in the second half, Kieran Dowell often dropped to receive passes behind and between Coventry's lines; this helped Norwich create passing angles to escape Coventry's press. The introduction of Marcelino Núñez allowed Norwich to find more control, he provided a link between the defensive and midfield thirds.

McLean also played an important role in the second half; he often joined Sara in midfield to create a 2-4-3-1 build-up shape. This created better passing angles for the centre backs to access the midfield third and break through the Coventry press.

In the first half Norwich were clinical, but they failed to control the game and struggled in the build-up. After a few structural changes at half time, Norwich dominated the second half. David Wagner deserves a huge amount of credit for the tactical adjustments he made.

You can read all Ben's previous analysis of Norwich City games via his social media accounts.

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