West Bromwich Albion vs Coventry City. Sky Bet Championship.
Report and free match highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash between West Brom and Coventry at The Hawthorns as Grady Diangana scored the only goal of the game to seal victory for the Baggies.
Saturday 4 February 2023 14:00, UK
West Bromwich Albion climbed to fifth in the Sky Bet Championship with a 1-0 win over Coventry City.
Grady Diangana's 15th-minute tap-in ensured Carlos Corberan's side clinched a sixth home league win and clean sheet in a row.
Albion have not conceded a goal at home in all competitions in more than 11 hours of football - 697 minutes.
West Brom were good value for their return to winning ways after Jed Wallace hit the post and missed other chances, while Daryl Dike spurned two opportunities.
They were forced into an unexpected change with goalkeeper Alex Palmer out injured, so there was a recall for David Button.
In an open, end-to-end start to the game, there were excellent chances at both ends.
But it was the hosts, boosted by a quality supply of deliveries from debutant Marc Albrighton and Wallace, who had the better of them.
Dike missed a glorious chance to put Albion ahead when he headed over from Albrighton's cross.
Coventry had the chance to punish that miss soon afterwards but Viktor Gyökeres could only glance across the face of goal from Jamie Allen's centre.
Albion responded with a shot from Wallace, who fired over the bar from the edge of the area.
Wallace almost rounded off a fine move but hit the base of the post and Diangana just failed to convert the rebound.
But Albion took the lead with quarter of an hour played when Diangana made no mistake from close range after Wallace nodded on a long throw-in from Darnell Furlong.
Wallace then curled comfortably over the bar with a first-time effort from a corner before he was only inches away with an angled shot after cutting out a pass and surging in from the left.
Albion had the first opening of the second half when Dike was put clean through by Okay Yokuslu's pass but he failed to lob goalkeeper Ben Wilson.
Coventry, who had plenty of possession for long spells of the second half, made a treble substitution in the 61st minute with the introduction of Josh Wilson-Esbrand, Josh Eccles and Matty Godden.
But they struggled to break down a resolute Albion defence not used to conceding in front of their own fans.
The Sky Blues threatened with a Gustavo Hamer free-kick that Button pushed away, but Gyokeres should have done better from the edge of the box when he blazed over following Allen's pass.
West Brom's Carlos Corberan:
"If you lose a game, you're talking about a crisis. If you win a game, you're talking about this (top two). My mentality is to keep performing well because I know if my team performs better, we have more chances to win the game. And the more games we win, the better position we will be in the table. To do this, we need positive results and the main way to get positive results is to have positive performances. So this is our focus. Every time we're here in front of our fans, we're pleased to make them proud.
"The idea was to look for the result from the first moment to the last one. We try to be aggressive in defence and try to play with a lot of personality in attack and be dominant. The level of commitment, personality and concentration was very high. That level enabled us to win the game and deserve the result we achieved. It was the right reaction we needed and the right mentality to finish the game. The second half was different and we couldn't control it at the same level but for me with the changes, the team was balanced more."
Coventry's Mark Robins:
"The first half wasn't great so whoever you're playing, you can't start like that so that was disappointing. In this league, if you start on the front foot, you can push them back but we didn't do it. They came onto us and we didn't deal with it - we were sloppy, and there was a ball out from Ben Wilson where we slashed at it and that started to play with our minds.
"It was disappointing and the goal compounded that. We had one opportunity that was fashioned pretty well when we got down their right-hand side and put a ball in the box and Viktor Gyokeres was just inches away from tapping it into an empty net. But it wasn't enough and we spoke about it at half-time and we started a bit better."