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Peterborough United 1-4 Coventry City

Coventry snap the recent struggles and blew off some rust with a strong away performance against the Posh. With 2 goals inside 25 minutes and 22 total shots, Coventry were clearly the aggressors supported by a high press that created a lot of opportunities. Though the conversion rate for Coventry needs to improve.

Early on, and in theory, the 4-4(diamond)-2 could work for Posh given the balance centrally with a 4v4. However, O'Hare between the midfield and defensive lines would support Godden in pinning the 4 deep. The width from Shipley and Kane would be the undoing of this shape for Posh.

The first goal for Coventry came from exactly that. Sheaf with a quick switch to Shipley allowed him to combine with O'Hare. You don't see it, but O'Hare receiving the ball behind the midfield line pins Posh deep. The result is space after a layoff to Hamer for a shot. 1-0.

Though Coventry found a lot of success with width, both Kane and Shipley had 70% pass success rates - the lowest in the team. Though this was Shipley's first appearance of the season in the Championship, any opportunity like you see here should result in greed and a direct attack. Instead, he tried a cut back that was picked up by Posh. Seconds later Posh counter win a throw-in level with the Coventry 18 yard box. Coventry had 22 shots in the game, with just 9 on target, and countless other opportunities like this that should have killed the game off way before halftime.

Importantly, failure for Coventry to score and capitalize on sustained pressure always gives the opponent a chance and Posh set up for just this scenario. Here, after O'Hare had his shot blocked on the penalty spot, Posh counter and, after Dembele and Grant combine to release Szmodics. His pass finds the oncoming Taylor who is pressured enough by Shipley to miscue his shot for an easy gather by Wilson. With just 60 passes in the final third, Posh were clearly set up for these opportunities.

Yet, the press was successful as Posh attempted to play through Coventry. The second goal came from Mumba receiving the ball on halfway, and Allen pressuring. Posh are set up to recycle possession but the young loaneee from Norwich couldn't let go of the ball soon enough. Sheaf then took over and here you see how he pinned him deep. Once he won the ball, he released a confident Godden to make it 2-0.

Oggy talked in the pregame about the need to score early, or at least stop conceding early. Coventry succeeded in this game. The early goals covered for the misses and exposed the Posh shape very well.

After the second goal Posh adjusted their formation to match up with Coventry. Note the 9 behind the ball for Coventry.

Peterborough made it 2-1 after finding some parity in the game. Though moments before Jamie Allen missed a 1 on 1, Posh began to use the width they found with the shape change. Mumba receives the ball wide and Coventry are pinned deep. This moment results in the throw-in and cross that gets knocked down for Grant to finish in the top corner.

Into the second half and Coventry were still vulnerable to a Peterborough surge forward. In moments like this, Coventry over-commit in the channel and are exposed centrally. Even without McFadzean, Coventry were buoyed by a strong Rose performance, though you see Hyam was often the man caught out of position. Grants ball forward to the exciting Dembele was easily picked off by JCS.

Then Coventry hit the post twice in 10 minutes. Once was from a clever freekick laid into the path of Allen that was poked and tipped onto the post. The second came from a whipped Kane cross that O'Hare redirected goalward and the goal was denied by the same post. Chances that Coventry could rue, yet Posh had 4 shots in the second half and none on target.

It seems ironic that after all of the pushing by Coventry to kill the game off, the third goal is an own goal. However, credit to the Kane cross and the positions he is able to find to exploit opportunities and the forward play by both Hyam and Sheaf.

Godden's second of the night wrapped up a strong away performance from Coventry. It was expected but also earned. Whilst Posh didn't offer much early on, they adjusted at 2-0 and took the game to Coventry when they could. Breakaway chances were limited, which hinders the creativity of exciting players like Mumba and Dembele, and will likely continue to see them struggle.

Up next for City is QPR. A game that will insist on no rust, and will require chances to be put away if the playoffs are to remain a hope for this season.

Stats from @whoscored


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