Melbourne City vs Brisbane Roar 1-0 Review

City-Brisbane

The stage was set at AAMI Park for a massive showdown that would incidentally be very much a six-pointer.

Melbourne City: Played 22 matches. 6th. 30 points

Brisbane Roar: Played 21 matches. 7th. 25 points

A win for City would increase the gap to 8 points as we headed into the tail-end of the season knowing that a finals position is a must. Coming off two consecutive impressive victories against Newcastle and Sydney, we were in good form and having not lost in 7 appearances at AAMI Park, nothing but a win would be acceptable.

Josh Kennedy returned from injury and was immediately at the heart of the action. A ball from Koren in the opening moments of the match saw our Australian marquee man rise to meet it with his head, only to somehow be kept out allowing Jonatan Germano to tap it in for the early lead.

It begged the thought of whether it could be a massively dominant result but it was anything but. City opted to sit back for the majority of the match after the goal which provided the Roar with plenty of possession. James Brown, last week’s match winner, suffered an injury which brought him off and was replaced by Harry Novillo.

Brisbane looked the more threatening as they tested the Melbourne City defence but another brilliant performance by the pairing of Kisnorbo and Jaliens stopped most of their attacks. Tando Velaphi also failed to put a foot wrong once again and kept out every shot that hit him.

The second half continued to see a conservative City side that still had a few chances to kill off the game. Novillo and Germano both saw their attempts fly off target. Fortunately, despite having plenty of the ball, the Roar did not create any clear chances which kept off much of the stress for the home fans and the counter attacks that City were relying on couldn’t be thrived on.

Novillo once again picked up the ball in space in his own defence before striding on towards the other end. He ignored the option Koren provided on the left and opted to shoot himself which allowed a comfortable save for Young in goals.

In the end the three points were ours. However, they weren’t gained in the expected fashion. Fans wanted to see an attacking showcase to provide excitement but City displayed very little of it. Perhaps a while ago (like against CCM in round 6) we would’ve given up a goal late in the match as the team sat deep piling on the pressure, but we were able to win ‘ugly’ similar to last week against Sydney.

The win was the third successive victory and finals, unless an immensely disappointing run-in to the end of the season awaits, seems certain. But will we make it beyond the first round – elimination final?

Sydney FC vs Melbourne City 0-1 Review

Sydney-City

A win was a must at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium on Friday night and the odds were stacked against Melbourne City. Although we were entering the match after a 4-0 drubbing of Newcastle Jets at home the previous week, fans still had very little hope. We witnessed two very poor consecutive away losses against CCM and WSW, so the supporters couldn’t have been blamed for the lack of optimism.

A major threat coming into the game for Sydney FC was Austrian striker Marc Janko who recently broke the record for most consecutive matches with a goal in the A-League. But who would have thought that after scoring in seven successive games, that City would not allow the marquee striker to stretch it to eight?

The home side however looked the far more dangerous side. Janko had the first major chance, with the ball played in behind the defence only for his shot to cannon off the post and out of the danger area. Our first opportunity arrived after a delightful ball was played by Aaron Mooy who, despite slipping, had met Germano’s head only for the Argentine’s looping header to fly over and wide of the goal.

Sydney dominated the remainder of the half by getting themselves into great positions. However, although they easily broke through the City defence, they failed to test Velaphi. In the latter stage of the half, Koren had a chance as he stabbed at the ball with the outside of his boot before Janjetovic tipped it onto the crossbar and over for a corner.

The boys in red and white looked lively after the break as an early chance fell to Mate Dugandzic before he quite disappointingly skied the ball over the goal. But the hosts further caused trouble in our penalty area.

Bernie Ibini almost put his side in the lead as Velaphi failed to come out of his area to clear the ball which Ibini was able to hit on target. Fortunately our goalkeeper somehow kept it out, continuing his fine form. The danger was prolonged as the Sky Blues were able to get in behind the last line but Patrick Kisnorbo and Kew Jaliens put in brilliant shifts to keep them scoreless.

In the 81st minute, a quick throw-in was taken which allowed Koren to flick on to Mooy prior to the star man providing a majestic pass to James Brown who calmly went around Janjetovic before slotting into an open net. It was a major shock for Melbourne City fans – obviously a pleasant one. We had taken the lead late on but the fans knew that, knowing our history of late disappointments, it would be a stressful finish to the match.

Fortunately, though, Melbourne City were able to hang on and collect all three points in Sydney. Against all the odds, City had pulled off a valiant win in a type of match that we’ve failed to succeed in for years. The hope of finals remain. Brisbane will play Wellington and Western Sydney both in the space of four days and City will hope that they only gain minimal points before the massive showdown at AAMI Park next Saturday. Another must-win that will define our potential finals appearance.

Come on City!

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 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.

#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)