The main talking points as Oxford United earn slender lead in first leg

Elliott Moore scored the only goal in the first leg, heading home eight minutes after the half-time break.

Ahead of the return tie on Wednesday night, we looked at some of the key talking points from the first leg.

READ ALSO: Our player ratings after Oxford United earn slim play-off advantage

Skipper leads by example

A hip problem ruled Moore out for three games last month, including when the U’s hammered the Posh 5-0 in their Sky Bet League One meeting at the Kassam Stadium.

The 27-year-old returned in time for the final game of the regular campaign, and he brought a level of calmness and composure on the road at Exeter City.

In the face of a fearsome Posh forward line – no side scored more goals in League One this season – Moore was sensational.

He was there to make every block, clear every ball, and win every header.

While he’s not the sort of captain who rants and raves, he leads by example, and commands respect from those around him.

Moore also organises his defensive unit superbly, something that was essential when coming up against Peterborough’s crafty attackers.

Regardless of his winning goal, Moore was looking the likely candidate to win man of the match, but the header ensured that became a certainty.

Battle out wide

In last month’s 5-0 battering, Josh Murphy gave Posh right back Jadel Katongo a truly torrid time.

Manchester City loanee Katongo seemed a bit more prepared this time, and attempted to get under Murphy’s skin early on.

Whether it was little fouls here and there, or general gamesmanship, Katongo tried different tricks in the book to stifle Murphy. And it worked.

Murphy was well marshalled for the first half an hour, but from then, he grew into the game.

While he wasn’t at his scintillating best, he was the most likely U’s player to make something happen in the final third.

His battle with Katongo will again be one to watch in the second leg.

Oxford Mail:

Midfield marvel

When United head coach Des Buckingham initially moved Tyler Goodrham into a midfield role for the game against Fleetwood Town on Easter Monday, eyebrows were raised by some at whether it would work.

Goodrham has adjusted well though, and is improving game by game in certain aspects.

Against the Posh, he was excellent in his pressing and not allowing the opposition time on the ball.

It’s those sorts of qualities, plus his ability to link up play, which enable Goodrham to perform in midfield. He was fantastic in there against Peterborough.

Well balanced for second leg

With just the one goal separating the two sides, it’s nicely poised for either team to go and win it in the second leg.

The U’s of course have the goal advantage, and it’s hard to see them sitting on it, and protecting it.

Instead, United will look to increase their lead, which should make for a brilliant second leg.

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