Ipswich Town 1-4 Peterborough United: Blues torn apart by ruthless Posh as Lambert's side crash at home to rivals
PUBLISHED: 16:56 01 February 2020 | UPDATED: 21:19 01 February 2020
Ipswich Town failed to cope with Peterborough's free-flowing attack as the Blues were torn apart on their own turf this afternoon.
League One's leading scorer, Ivan Toney, got the ball rolling for the visitors as he converted from the spot following a foul by James Wilson, before a calamitous mistake from goalkeeper Will Norris gifted Sammie Szmodics the second as he was caught out while trying to take the ball round the former Colchester man on his own goalline.
The game was finally up when Siriki Dembele coolly beat the Ipswich defensive line and then Norris to make it 3-0 after the break, with the Blues having little answer to their free-scoring visitors.
It got worse, sadly, as Szmodics' second of the game sent thousands of fans heading for the exit and, while they did miss James Norwood converting a penalty he had won himself, there was clearly no way back into this game for an Ipswich side well-beaten by the better side.
This loss once again saw the Blues fail to beat a promotion rival, with Paul Lambert's men winless in all of their 10 games against League One's top eight clubs.
They drop to fourth, with the two sides immediately below them holding two games in hand and trailing the Blues by just goal difference (Coventry) and a single point (Portsmouth).
Lambert made just one change to the side beaten handily at Rotherham in midweek, with Cole Skuse brought into the XI in place of injured Welshman Emyr Huws (ankle), with neither Teddy Bishop (knee) or Josh Earl (cheek) fit to take their places on the bench.
The Blues were on the attack early as Luke Chambers got outside Gwion Edwards on the overlap to cross, before Will Keane was penalised for a foul, but it was the visitors who had the first attempt on goal as Mark Beevers connected superbly with an out-swinging corner and rasped a volley down the throat of Will Norris as the goalkeeper held on well.
The visitors began to work their way into the contest before the Blues suffered a blow, with Luke Garbutt limping off with what looked like a thigh injury, with Myles Kenlock coming on in his place.
Not long after the hosts were 1-0 down. It started in the middle of midfield as Reece Brown played a quick ball into Toney, who superbly slid strike partner Dembele through one-on-one with Norris. The pass had cut Wilson out of the game and, as the defender looked to recover, he brought Dembele down and, after a period of consultation with his assistant, referee Andy Woolmer pointed to the spot.
Toney tucked it away calmly before celebrating in front of a packed North Stand, with Posh doing so again less than 10 minutes later as the most obvious of errors from Norris left the Blues with a mountain to climb.
Some good defending from Cole Skuse ended with the veteran rolling the ball back to his goalkeeper, who tried to take the ball round the advancing Szmodics right on the byline, with the former Colchester man picking the ball off and walking the ball into an empty net.
The moans and groans came flooding from the stands at the break, before James Norwood was introduced off the bench at the start of the second period in a bit to get the Blues back into a contest which was looking as good as lost.
If it wasn't beyond the Blues already is was just five minutes into the second half when a clever pass by Jack Taylor sent Dembele away behind Chambers, before the striker twisted, turned and found the bottom corner with a clever finish to make it 3-0.
Still Peterborough attacked and the Blues once again failed to handle the rampant pace of Dembele as he evaded Wilson and slid Szmodics away to coolly dispatch his second of the game to send supporters heading for the exit with 20 minutes still remaining.
Norwood won a penalty and converted himself with what was clearly only going to be a consolation, with no heroic following as the Blues fell to defeat.
Next up is a visit to Sunderland.
Ipswich Town: Norris; Chambers, Wilson, Woolfenden; Edwards, Garbutt (Kenlock, 16); Skuse, Downes; Judge (Norwood, 46); Keane (Sears, 70), Jackson
Subs: Holy, Donacien, Nolan, Dozzell, Sears
Peterborough United: Pym; Thompson (Bennett 84) , Beevers, Kent, Ward, Butler; Brown (Knight, 61), Taylor; Szmodics, Dembele, Toney
Subs: Chapman, Mason, Jones, Boyd, Eisa
Att: 21,351 (1,908 Posh fans)