Melbourne Derby: Match preview

In our first home game we finally got to see David Villa play and once again save City with an equalizing goal. Unfortunately the team seemed to re-enact the first round match, having ample chances and not converting in the first half, then to have the Jets become the better side in the second half and get the first goal. You can read our full match review by Hakan here.

Stats VS Melbourne Victory (W/D/L): 4/4/4
Our record at Etihad Stadium (W/D/L): 1/3/1
(Stats taken from Ultimate A-League web site)

It’s welcome back to the Melbourne derby for the new season and Victory have been looking very good for the first two matches. They will be close to full strength in their squad line up for this match. They are going to be hard to beat and if we make an error in defence, then Berisha or Archie will certainly capitalise and punish us for it.

Melbourne City seem to have a marquee voodoo. Our marquee players always seem to be injured with Koren being no exception…the club has ruled him out for up to 6 weeks.

We were also hit with a bomb shell during the week – Villa will only be here till the end of October. Who saw that coming? Well the club did, they just forgot to mention it to everyone else. Oh well, we knew we would not have him for too long, we just didn’t realise that it was going to be this short lived. The club is trying to get him back in December, so let’s hope they can pull this off.

Melbourne Derby matches are tough and hard. Melbourne City cannot afford to do what they have been doing in the first two rounds. We need to convert our chances. Guys, give the ball to David Villa more, he is in a league of his own and we need to use him while we still have him. Victory will definitely punish us if we play like we have so far this season.

It looks like being a sell out crowd of around 47,000. I’m looking forward to going along to Etihad stadium for the first “City versus Victory” derby and what will hopefully be a City win.

Go City!

You can once again catch me on this weeks #FTSWeekly podcast show.

The Twitter hash-tag for the match is #MelbDerby

Melbourne City FC Squad:
1.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK)
3.Robbie WIELAERT
5.Erik PAARTALU
6.Aaron MOOY
7.Iain RAMSAY
8.Massimo MURDOCCA
9.David VILLA
11.Damien DUFF
14.James BROWN
15.David WILLIAMS
17.Jason HOFFMAN
18.Paulo RETRE
20.Tando VELAPHI (GK)
23.Mate DUGANDZIC
24.Patrick KISNORBO (C)
25.Jacob MELLING
26.Marc MARINO
27.Ross ARCHIBALD

**Two to be omitted**

Ins:
25.Jacob MELLING (promoted)
26.Marc MARINO (promoted)
Outs: Nil
Unavailable:
10.Robert KOREN (calf – 4-6 weeks)
13.Jonatan Germano (1-4 weeks)

Melbourne City 1-1 Newcastle Jets: Match Review

After 6 long months, our beloved side, albeit with a new name, returned to AAMI Park for their first home match since April. As expected, there was a massive turnout as the record for Melbourne City’s biggest non-derby crowd was broken. 15,717 people witnessed what would turn out to be a disappointing performance by the home side.

Melbourne City, as they had done against Sydney FC in the first half last week, dominated possession as Newcastle were more than happy to sit back and invite the pressure. Doing this helped the Jets to cautiously mark City’s star man David Villa who had started the match wide on the left until moving central throughout the first half.

However, unlike round 1, City failed to create as many great chances. It seemed that the large amount of possession was unable to be converted into clear goal scoring opportunities. An early chance fell to David Williams who struck the ball that had been bouncing around at the edge of the area only for it to glide over the bar.

Neither team looked likely to score before the break as chances were hard to come by. The second half started similarly until the ball reached David Villa from a corner at the back post but surprisingly, Spain’s all time top goalscorer hit it way over the bar.

The first goal of the game arrived shortly after as the Jets’ first real chance ended up in the back of the net as Ecuadorian forward Edson Montano headed the ball home in the 62nd minute. It all seemed doom and gloom for the home side as Newcastle could have easily added to their lead only for Caravella to miss a simple chance.

Time was running out and it felt like City would leave the match with nothing. That was until the man that many people had come to see once again rescued his side. David Villa scored for Melbourne City for the second week in a row after receiving the ball from Mate Dugandzic before striking it into the near post past Birighitti. It was a surreal moment for all 15,000+ fans as a World Cup and Champions League winner had scored at AAMI Park.

It provided belief for all the City fans, as there were around 6 minutes including stoppage time to push for the winner. Unfortunately though, it wasn’t to be. The score remained 1-1 at the full time whistle which left fans disappointed despite rescuing a late point.

Once again, it was Damien Duff and Aaron Mooy who impressed most with their hard work and quality on the ball. Mooy was very unlucky to have two shots consecutively blocked off the line and Duff continued to provide an attacking presence in the final third.

Melbourne City remain winless but also undefeated. This week we face Victory in the 13th Melbourne Derby at Etihad Stadium in front of what is expected to be a sell-out crowd. City fans will accept nothing but three points and will hope players like Villa and Duff will have more room to operate as Victory leave gaps due to their intent to attack.

Melbourne City VS Newcastle Jets | Match preview

Last Saturday night’s game in Sydney was a bit of a roller coaster ride with the first half going City’s way, then the second half going Sydney’s way. It was great seeing David Villa come on and score in the later part of the game, which raised a few questions during the week on social media feeds: if Villa had been on for the first half would we have had a few goals and a win? You can catch our full review of City’s round 1 game by Hakan, here.

Stats VS Newcastle Jets (W/D/L): 4/2/6
Our record at AAMI Park (W/D/L): 19/16/19
(Stats taken from Ultimate A-League web site)

Newcastle Jets had a hard F3 Derby battle in the opening round, struggling to get that ball in the back of the net and then having Central Coast Mariners steal the match in injury time. Jets brought in some good players during the off season, but this could be said for most of the teams. After last Saturday’s loss they will be certainly looking for a win and some goals.

The great news for City is that we have a few good players coming into our 18 man squad. We will hopefully finally see our marquee player Robert Koren playing this Sunday. Along with Koren, Williams and Hoffman are back in the mix. Hoffman will most likely get his right back spot back, so can expect to see him in the starting line up and it might be good having Williams on the bench, last year he did get some good goals as a substitute. The biggest question on everyone’s mind has been will David Villa be in the starting line up? JVS has indicated he will be.

I cannot wait for Sunday with over 9,000 members now and David Villa playing…will we see our biggest home crowd ever, outside of the Melbourne derby? I hope so. Make sure you come along and bring your friends. Newcastle will not be a walk over, but I can feel a win in the air.

Go City!

If you are wanting more Melbourne City and A-League podcast shows to listen to before this Sunday’s match, you can:

Melbourne City FC Squad list for this match:
1.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK)
3.Robbie WIELAERT
5.Erik PAARTALU
6.Aaron MOOY
7.Iain RAMSAY
8.Massimo MURDOCCA
9.David VILLA
10.Robert KOREN
11.Damien DUFF
14.James BROWN
15.David WILLIAMS
17.Jason HOFFMAN
18.Paulo RETRE
20.Tando VELAPHI (GK)
23.Mate DUGANDZIC
24.Patrick KISNORBO (C)
26.Marc MARINO
27.Ross ARCHIBALD

***two to be omitted***
Ins:
10.Robert KOREN (promoted)
15.David WILLIAMS (promoted)
17.Jason HOFFMAN (returns from suspension)
Outs:
25.Jacob MELLING (not selected)
Unavailable:
4.Connor Chapman (glandular fever – ongoing)
13.Jonatan Germano (2-5 weeks)
19.Benjamin GARUCCIO (2-5 weeks)
21.Stefan Mauk (returning from Young Socceroos duty)

Sydney FC 1-1 Melbourne City: Match Review

“The more things change, the more they stay the same”. That was what most Melbourne City fans had thought of when the half time whistle was blown. The club had changed its name, badge and home colours. However, it seemed like the same old Melbourne Heart perhaps due to wearing the red and white shirt in which most of the team’s disappointing results came in.

City had dominated the home side in the first 45 minutes and could have easily gone into the change rooms with a comfortable lead. John van’t Schip’s side, for the first half at least, had carried out what they intended to do; dominate possession and press hard to regain it when it was lost. This was helped by a poor Sydney FC side who had not seemed to turn up until the second term.

A great chance had fallen to the visitors early in the game as a cut back to the edge of the box from Damien Duff had met James Brown who hit the crossbar. The chances didn’t end there as a miss-timed clearance by Ognenovski had led to a chance that should have easily been put away by Dugandzic but had somehow missed. It was a moment that had been a regular occurrence last season as simple chances had gone begging.

Dugandzic had almost allowed fans to forget his disastrous moment as the ball had fallen to him outside the box before he lashed at it first time only to see Janjetovic pull out a great save. City had gone into the half time break looking the better side but the missed chances had let Sydney off the hook.

In the 48th minute, the moment all Melbourne City fans and Australian football fans in general had been waiting for had arrived. David Villa; a former World Cup, European Championship, Champions League and La Liga winner had come on for the visitors.

It appeared to be a completely different home side that entered the pitch for the second stanza as the sky blues had struck first in the 54th minute. Nick Carle’s pass to Corey Gameiro led to a fantastic finish from the 21-year-old from a tough angle which left Andrew Redmayne fuming. It was deja vu for Melbourne City fans as the missed chances had come back to haunt them as they were taken advantage of through Sydney’s first real chance of the game.

The home side suddenly looked very comfortable until a surreal moment had occurred. With his first chance since coming on, David Villa scored for Melbourne City after a great pass from Duff had fallen to his feet. The Spaniard instantly showed his class as he gathered, controlled and slotted the ball in the bottom corner and set the A-League alight. It was something that no City fan, especially those who travelled to the Allianz Stadium, would ever forget.

Chances were few and far between until late in the game when Terry Antonis’ pearler of a shot had rattled the crossbar and was unable to be turned in on the follow up by young Max Burgess.

The final whistle was blown and despite dominating the early stages of the game, City fans along with van’t Schip would be content with a point as it will be something to build on in the next 26 matches. We return to AAMI Park after six months as we host the Newcastle Jets in front of what should be a great crowd.