Peterborough 1 City 3

THIERRY Henry can sleep easy – Arsenal's record is no longer under threat.

Jack Marriott had used the word "invincible" when talking about Peterborough's form in the early weeks of the season.

The present Posh side are no doubt an upgrade on last term, certainly going forward. But they are no reincarnation of the legendary Gunners of 2003-04 who coined that proud nickname.

So forget the bunkum about the manager of the month "curse" striking down home boss Grant McCann on Saturday.

It's pre-match comments like Marriott's, fresh from receiving the divisional award for best player in August, that will always come back to bite you on the bum.

Stuart McCall's magnificent Bantams bared their teeth to deliver that pain with a clinical first-half display to rattle up another three-goal lead.

Another three-goal lead? That's a phrase you will never tire of hearing. But it's becoming almost common place with this free-scoring bunch.

McCann had said his preparations had focused 95 per cent on his own side and only five on the threat they would face from the visitors. It appears he got his sums wrong.

McCall had done his homework to nullify the threats of a team who topped the table at kick-off.

Romain Vincelot was ordered to sit on danger man Marcus Maddison, following him wherever he went.

And Tony McMahon tucked in almost as a third centre half to protect the middle two when Peterborough had the ball.

McCall had noticed how many Posh goals had come from isolating central defenders with their pace. The extra body in there ensured Matt Kilgallon and Nat Knight-Percival were rarely left at risk of that situation.

Kilgallon was excellent again but he was not alone. There were strong performances across the team as City produced a follow-up display every bit as convincing as the previous week's against Bristol Rovers.

What a difference a fortnight makes. Many of those travelling fans singing their way out of the exits at the ABAX Stadium on Saturday would have been traipsing head-down away from Walsall.

But that low point so early into the new season is already looking a pivotal one. The response within McCall's squad has been impressive.

It would have been understandable to see some after-effects lingering from such a shock collapse, especially in a group still finding their feet as a team.

But McCall could not have wished for a more emphatic response. The squad are learning fast.

It is foolhardy to make too many assumptions at this stage but there is nothing wrong with getting into good habits. City have already learned not to sit back on a seemingly unassailable advantage.

Peterborough, like Rovers, did pull one back of the three – but there was no hint of the nervousness that had gripped Valley Parade in those closing minutes under the Sky cameras.

There was also no doubt that City were good value for the 3-0 cushion at the break against a side who had previously conceded only twice in five games.

Peterborough's back three were more invisible than invincible as the visitors threatened to score from every ball swung into the box.

It helps, of course, when the delivery is of the highest order and McMahon got his set-pieces absolutely spot on.

Two more assists to go with his double in Charlie Wyke's hat-trick was ample reward for the right back, who has rediscovered his mojo after the summer uncertainty over his future.

McMahon also supplied the cross for Jake Reeves' early header that was brilliantly scooped out by Jonathan Bond.

Yet the home keeper immediately went from hero to zero with the clanger that coughed up City's opener.

If McMahon loves an assist, Dominic Poleon enjoys an away goal and he struck again with a third on the road.

His smart finish owed much to his quick reactions and the loose hands of Bond, who let Adam Chicksen's cross slip out of his hands.

The contest was as wide open as expected. Nicky Law saw a goal-bound shot blocked by team-mate Poleon, before popping up on his own line to deny Ryan Tafazolli.

Knight-Percival and Vincelot both had chances as City's aerial joy continued, the skipper particularly angry with himself at nodding over from another pin-point McMahon ball.

But the same combination made no mistake as half-time approached, Vincelot's diving header through the crowd putting the visitors firmly in control.

That got even better before the break as Kilgallon crowned his fine display by burying McMahon's free-kick. There was no way this goal was going to be taken off the big defender like the one at Walsall.

Nor was there any danger of a similar slip-up, even when Posh changed shape and upped a gear or two after the break.

Marriott, with six goals under his belt going into the game, was always a threat. Maddison, too, had to be monitored carefully when he stayed on his feet.

There was no deliberate step back from City as Peterborough looked to force the pace – both of McCall's substitutions were attacking ones.

But the Posh shot count rose predictably. Kilgallon made another goalline clearance to keep out a Junior Morias volley and Colin Doyle thwarted Maddison with a fine finger-tip stretch.

They threw on Ricky Miller, ending his six-game ban for biting Guiseley opponent Connor Brown, and he immediately launched a theatrical plunge in the penalty box – earning a yellow card and sparking a touchline rumble that would later have repercussions.

Anthony Grant, booked for mouthing off in that melee, would finish his afternoon early for a deliberate hand ball that stopped Paul Taylor going clear.

But Miller did bring energy and Peterborough got off the mark through Jack Baldwin when City failed to clear a corner.

It was frustrating to see another clean-sheet opportunity gone and briefly offered home hope. But with Walsall still fresh in the memory, the visitors did not bend again.

They did, however, finish with ten as well after Chicksen's silly lunge on Gwion Edwards. The left back's post-match claim that he'd forgotten about his first booking seven minutes earlier did not wash with McCall.

His suspension should at least open the door for Adam Thompson to make his debut tomorrow at Oxford, where City's credentials can expect another serious test.

But they could not be going there in any better spirits.