A fortnight ago, Melbourne City displayed a brilliant second half performance against Adelaide United at AAMI Park to gain three points. It was a result that many thought could kick start a great run of form to cement a top six spot and make the A-League finals. However, despite playing against two of the bottom three teams in the league in succession, City heavily disappointed by losing both.
The team needed to bounce back and record three points against the bottom side in the league – Newcastle Jets. Due to City’s recent poor form this season, like the previous four seasons, attendance was minimal in Melbourne. Just over 5,000 fans attended a rather satisfactory display from their side.
City looked positive early on with home debutant Harry Novillo showing signs of class early in the match. The Frenchman was able to create plenty of room for himself due to his positivity and confidence on the ball as he was not afraid to attack the goal and beat the Jets defenders. The winger had brilliantly provided a large attacking presence which saw him attempt three shots on goal in the space of 10 minutes.
Very soon after, against his old side, Kew Jaliens opened the scoring after a delightful corner kick from our star player Aaron Mooy that exploited the Jets’ horrid marking in the box. The Dutch veteran, along with the rest of the City defenders and Tando Velaphi were rarely tested in defence for the match. The remainder of the half saw very few chances but the floodgates would open in the second.
Very shortly after the break, Daniel Mullen committed an extremely terrible mistake as he failed to get rid of the ball. It allowed a siege of Melbourne City attackers to pounce and eventually capitalise through Harry Novillo to score his first goal for the club. Not the prettiest goal and it almost seemed they would blow it as Kennedy and Koren failed to finish a certain goal before the 23-year-old finally slotted it home.
The home side continued to pressurise the Newcastle defence as this time Robi Koren found himself in plenty of room only to blaze it over the bar. The Slovenian once again failed to prove his worth, continuing to leave doubts in the fans’ minds about his service as a marquee signing. But the 34-year-old showed his skill minutes later after the returning Germano won back the ball, allowing Koren to play a sublime pass into the path of substitute David Williams whose mishit ended up in the back of the net to extend the lead for City. Williams had come on for Josh Kennedy who had an injury problem – believed to be hip tightness.
Iain Ramsay who also came off the bench was played through by Aaron Mooy before scoring his second goal of the season. The points were put beyond doubt and it turned out to be an impressive result for Melbourne City putting them back into the top six. However, Brisbane Roar have three games in hand and with them being just two points behind, the odds are against us. Six matches remain for Melbourne City and it’s safe to say that unless the players produce several miracles, we will not be seeing a finals appearance this season.