Melbourne City VS Adelaide United preview

Ouch! Last week hurt and was hard to watch. It seems it might be easy to change name and colours, but you can’t change the habits of the playing squad overnight, even when new players have been added. It’s going to take some time till we see a strong City line up where we get more than glimpses of the new talent. You can read our match review of the Melbourne Derby, here.

Stats VS Adelaide United (W/D/L): 2/5/5
(Stats taken from Ultimate A-League web site)

Adelaide are playing well, they seem to have kept the great form they finished last season with. Gombau looks like he has his team finely tuned and, like Victory, could cause damage to our defence if we don’t hold the ball.

We really need City to pull their thumbs out and play for the whole 90+ minutes. We have the capability of winning but Adelaide will really test our defence line. Another scary factor is City is on another winless streak of 9 A-League matches now. That’s a place we don’t want to go to again.

Tonight we will see Williams, Germano and Garuccio back in the line up. Koren is still 3-5 weeks away from playing. This is quite possibly Villa’s final game for us and it would be great if he could turn on the class and get the goals to see off Adelaide. Crowd numbers will hopefully be up again to see the Spanish legend in action. I will hedge my bets for this one, if City play strong for the full 90+ minutes then we will win, if not then Adelaide will capitalise and take the points.

Go City!

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
13.Jonatan GERMANO
14.James BROWN
15.David WILLIAMS
17.Jason HOFFMAN
18.Paulo RETRE
19.Ben GARUCCIO
20.Tando VELAPHI (GK)
23.Mate DUGANDZIC
24.Patrick KISNORBO (C)
27.Ross ARCHIBALD
***two to be omitted***
Ins:
13.Jonatan GERMANO (promoted)
15.David WILLIAMS (returns from injury)
19.Ben GARUCCIO
Outs: 25.Jacob MELLING (omitted)
Unavailable: 10.Robert KOREN (calf – 3-5 weeks)

#MelbDerby Match review

There is always aMelb derby team warming up buzz in the air come Melbourne derby week and last week was no exception. Head to head both clubs had 4 wins and 4 draws so there was a lot to play for. We now know who has the advantage in the overall stakes. Victory have also won 4 of the last 5 derby matches.

Let’s take a look at Melbourne City’s night away at Docklands.

The Negatives:
Normally you can take existing form factors out of the derby matches, but not this one. City have become “One Half Wonders” this season, playing a strong first half then fading out in the second. They created opportunities, took two of them and should have been leading into the break.

Let’s not tippy toe around our shortfalls; most social media at the moment is all talk about our defence. If any team was going to do major damage to us it was going to be Melbourne Victory. Our defence is not the quickest on its feet and Victory’s fast attack unsettled us at the back. It really hurt to concede five goals in the end.

Ramsay is a fish out of water in that left back position, Barbarouses made a meal out of him and it’s not the first time. He was caught out of position during the Newcastle Jets match too. Redmayne needs to watch his positioning also.

The second half was all Victory, with Berisha’s quick goal a minute into the second half really taking all the momentum Victory’s way. We didn’t really recover to hold the ball and give ourselves any opportunities.

The Positives:
It was fantastic to see that we can get goals without relying on Villa. Mooy provided a great set piece, where he found Wielaart’s head that resulted in the first goal. Mooy also provided the cross which landed on Hoffman’s head for our second goal and it felt like we were on our way to a good result at that point.

In the first half Villa on the left wing actually received the ball earlier and provided some glimpses of his skill factor. But he left his goal scoring skills at home and according to rumours about his out of sorts performance, he wishes he was back in New York already.

Like the first two rounds we seem to be great in the first half but not the second, which reminds me of most of last season. We seem to still be holding onto that Heart side of us.

Some would say Berisha should have been sent off and Archie was offside when he scored and this and that…… but these things always happen in matches and can go both ways.

John van’t Schip needs to get our team playing the full 90+ minutes. In the Jets match he changed our line up to get that draw but this time it didn’t work. Fair enough to bring on Brown to refresh our attack (although he did the damage at the wrong end with a clumsy challenge to give away that penalty), but taking off Paartulu seemed to just leave us more exposed at the back. I can only imagine JVS would now be feeling the pressure, from club, supporters and himself. He seems like he has a plan and it needs time to shape; once again the injury to our marquee play-maker is not helping this plan.

To finish on a positive, it was fantastic to see our active supporters bay taking up two levels at Docklands stadium. We are clearly growing as a club and success on the field will surely follow suit.

Melb Derby crowd

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.