Match Review: Central Coast VS Melbourne City 1-0

Mariners-City

Melbourne City just continues to disappoint its fans. After an impressive second half performance against Adelaide United last week to earn all three points, it seemed that it could have fired up the team, built confidence and ultimately allowed us to reach the finals.

However, once again, the team dished out a poor performance against a team we have beaten on just one occasion – a little over three years ago. We were to face the bottom three teams in the league in succession but almost unsurprisingly, the run of games has already got off to a bad start. City actually started the game with real, attacking intent and despite finding plenty of space in the final third, it appeared as if they weren’t desperate enough to score.

Very early on, Robert Koren attempted a strike from almost 30 yards out but Reddy was able to parry it away. The opportunities continued to present themselves to the visitors as Aaron Mooy found himself free at the edge of the box and, despite Koren being unmarked on the other side, he chose to try one with his left only for it to be comfortably saved.

The Mariners also had some decent chances in the first term as Isaka Cernak cut in on his right foot only for his effort to swerve away from the net. Josh Kennedy, who opened his scoring account for City last week, also could have put one of his chances away. As expected, he was a threat from corners as the ball met him twice only for the headed attempts to fly over the bar and subsequently kept out by Reddy before Kisnorbo missed the rebound into practically an open net.

The half ended and the fans knew that these missed opportunities would come back to haunt us as they so often do. The team showed very little in the second half which is a reflection on our manager. The importance of the next few games that will define our season, and incidentally decide if we make the finals, should have reminded the players that they needed to play with more aggression and eagerness and take all three points from Gosford. Instead, the players acted completely opposite to that.

A poor second half by City allowed the Mariners to get forward and cause trouble. One major event for our side in the half was the debut of 23-year-old French injury replacement signing – Harry Novillo. He appeared very confident on the ball and wasn’t afraid to beat defenders and have a go. He almost sparked the side’s revival but it wasn’t to be. Eventually, the home side broke the deadlock through a free kick scored by Fabio Ferreira.

City did not seem to be desperate enough to get back into the game as the heads started to drop. Poor decision making on the ball led to costly mistakes. However, a major chance fell to substitute Iain Ramsay right at the death as the ball fell to him at the back post only for Liam Reddy once again to pull off a remarkable save.

The final whistle was blown and it was another terrible performance dished out by Melbourne City. Central Coast were able to edge out the visitors and take all three points once again. Hope for the finals is almost lost for City fans; not because of the predicament on the table but due to our tendency to fail in matches that should very easily be won. A midweek game away to Western Sydney follows before returning to AAMI Park next Saturday against Newcastle Jets.

 

Match Review: Melbourne City VS Adelaide United 3-1

City-Adelaide

Since Melbourne City’s last win against the Western Sydney Wanderers, the team had not scored. For three games, City failed to record a goal in the A-League. It seemed that they’d make it four games, as the home side went into the dressing rooms at half time trailing Adelaide United 1-0 in front of a disappointed crowd at AAMI Park.

John van’t Schip started with an unusual formation with 3 centre backs and Baharudin and Clisby playing as right and left wing backs. City showed some great signs very early on as Jack Clisby made a huge impact. The former Perth Glory left back attacked down the flank and was almost able to hit the back of the net. However, following these attacks, it seemed that our side would not come close to scoring for the remainder of the match and until half time, it was all Adelaide.

In the 32nd minute, United had slotted past Velaphi through Pablo Sanchez from a tight angle. It seemed to be all doom and gloom as all the fans thought it was another winless game for Melbourne City. We failed to make any impact when going forward let alone look like getting back in the game. The half came to an end and the fans knew that only a miracle would turn it around.

JvS procuced a change right off the bat for the second term as Williams was summoned to replace Jack Clisby who had played relatively well. The alteration saw Baharudin move to left back and he excelled in that position. City started the half looking like a whole new team as they attacked with intent and it didn’t take long to prove it.

A corner in the 52nd minute was delivered and deflected to the back post where our Singaporean superstar was unmarked to thump home in front of the Melburnians. Just three minutes later, Koren received the ball on the left and delivered a peach of a cross for our front man Josh Kennedy to head home his inaugural goal for City. It sent the crowd into ecstasy, as no one had seen this turnaround coming. From here on, it was an open game that opened space to make it three for City.

Baharudin, Kennedy and Massimo Murdocca all had chances inside the box to score a third but the sealer failed to arrive. Our Australian marquee man’s hold up play for the remainder of the game was immense as he proved his worth as the target man. The third and sealing goal was finally netted home. David Williams, who turned out the be the super sub through his determination, won back the ball after fighting desperately for it before playing through Murdocca whose cutback sailed to the back post for Ramsay to finish. It capped off a phenomenal second half performance and the final whistle was blown minutes later.

What a victory it was as we came from behind in fine fashion. The Melburnians sung loudly in the first half and they got even louder when the goals came flying in. The hard fought three points put City back into sixth place but it will require consistency for the remainder of the season to cement that spot and compete in the finals.

We play two consecutive away games as we travel to the Central Coast next weekend before visiting Western Sydney midweek.

Match preview: Melbourne City VS Adelaide United

City-Adelaide

The Adelaide match tonight will round off four weeks of playing against the top four teams. So far we have had one lose and two draws, can we win this one?

Before looking at tonight’s match, you can read all about the Perth match here.

Adelaide punished Western Sydney Wanderers in the dying minutes last round. They are always on the attack and along with the last round win, just recently, smashed the Jets  by 7 goals. Adelaide have the potential to punish City, like Victory did a few rounds previously, our defenders need to be at their best for the full ninety minutes, plus the injury time.

Even with Josh Kennedy in the line up, City have been scoreless the last two matches. City need to score in this match because we will most likely see Adelaide with atleast one goal. To find when they last went scoreless in a match was in round 10 against Brisbane Roar. Maybe some fresh legs might help make this happen with Germano coming into the squad. He is another player who can score when playing well, however we did see him play goalkeeper for the last period of the youth match last week, due to the goal keeper receiving a red card!

Along with this scoreless pressure City needs to stay in sight of that sixth spot. Brisbane has started to find their own winning form and if we are careless it could disappear from us. So a win against Adelaide is important for City to beat one of the top four teams and also to stay in touch for that finals sport.

Maybe we can finally see Kennedy get his first A-League goal along with a win.

An important note to mention is that all members can bring a friend free for the match. Simply show you membership card at gate E ticket window to redeem this offer. Hopefully this might help boost the small crowds we have been seeing recently.

You can catch the squad line up on City’s web site here.

Match Review: Melbourne City vs Perth Glory 0-0

City-Perth

The display of football at AAMI Park this past Sunday was lacklustre to say the least. The heat in Melbourne perhaps played a part in the performances of both sides but it should not have been an excuse for either side.

Melbourne City went into the match with the intent of winning and looked the better of the two sides in the early stages. Despite an array of attacks being strung together, they failed to create many clear chances.

Injury replacement signing Kew Jaliens debuted for City. The Dutch veteran slotted into the lineup immediately at right back. The 36-year-old surprised many fans with his performance as he was considered by some as our best player on the day. Defensively he was solid and also showed a great piece of attacking work as he linked up with Williams down the right wing before playing an exquisite ball to Josh Kennedy only for Vukovic to miraculously tip it over the bar.

It was a great chance for home debutant Kennedy to record his first goal at Melbourne City. The Australian marquee player showed brilliant signs of his attacking presence but failed to make an impact where it really mattered – the scoreboard.

Chances were few and far between for Perth in the first term and so was it for City who failed to realistically test the Glory goalkeeper for the remainder of the match. However, once again it was Jaliens who, early on in the second half, came close to providing the opener; this time through Aaron Mooy’s free kick which had met him for an open header only for it to go wide. It could have been a wonder debut for the former Newcastle Jets defender.

The opportunities for the visitors arrived in the latter stages of the match. Andy Keogh – the striker who experienced a rather controversial week, came close to scoring twice. In the space of three minutes, the Irishman had two headed chances but fortunately, they flew wide which allowed the home fans to breathe. The former English Premier League forward was almost through on goal right at the death, but a heroic charge from Tando Velaphi way out of his box cleared the ball for a second clean sheet in two weeks.

In the end, a draw seemed a fair result to match the relatively uninspired performances of both sides. Perth Glory remain top of the league as Victory’s match was postponed. However, Melbourne City now face a tough battle to regain the sixth position by season’s end. Next round, we play at home again on Friday night against 3rd placed Adelaide United. We have failed to win, let alone score, in the past three weeks and once again belief is at a low for the majority of fans despite finals still being in the equation.

#MelbDerby: What went right and wrong for City

Victory-City

What went right!

  • Josh Kennedy coming on. Although he didn’t score in the Derby he knows where to be to get the goals, a player that has been lacking in the City line up.
  • Besart Berisha tried to be too fancy and missed a goal from close range. We were lucky not to be four goals down.
  • City had far more possession of the ball and more shots than Victory – don’t believe it? See the stats below.

What went wrong!

  • Ramsay coming off around the 30 minute mark. What was with that?! I would even question why he was in the starting eleven. Apparently this was because John van’t Ship didn’t believe Ramsay was working and tried Willo.
  • Erik Paartalu’s absence: he was sorely missed as cover for our defence which couldn’t deal with Victory’s quick passing
  • Victory only needed 3 shots on target. They all found the back of the net.
  • Poor on target shooting accuracy of 37.5%
  • Mooy didn’t seem to be at his best and wasn’t able to show us his fine form that he has shown during the season so far.
  • John van’t Schip’s post match press comments said City were flat footed and were not good enough. He looked deflated during the press conference. City being “not at the races” was JVS’s favourite quote. Maybe City were at the races instead of being on the pitch!
  • This keeps Brisbane Roar 1 point from sixth postion and makes it harder for City. They had a chance to increase the buffer and failed.
  • City have really missed Tando, hopefully he is back for next week. Tando has become a crowd favourite and when he is playing City seem to win more than they lose.
  • 11 shots from outside the box to only 3 shots inside the box. This is interesting – City don’t normally have this many attempts from outside the box.

The Stats! (Click here to see the full stats for the Melbourne Derby)