Melbourne City midfielder torn between Australia and IranPFA chief John Didulica says call-up is a ‘no brainer’It’s a no-brainer to give Daniel Arzani a Socceroos cap before the teen revelation is snapped up by Iran, players union chief John Didulica s…
Category: Melbourne City FC
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/feb/06/international-tug-of-war-prompts-calls-to-hand-daniel-arzani-socceroos-cap
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jan/29/daniel-arzani-towers-over-his-melbourne-city-team-mates
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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/dec/07/tim-cahill-has-next-club-lined-up-says-kevin-muscat
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/dec/06/tim-cahill-leaves-melbourne-city-casting-doubt-over-world-cup-hopes
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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/nov/03/socceroos-dealt-major-blow-as-tim-cahill-limps-out-of-a-league-clash
- Bruce Kamau brace settles first game of new campaign
- City get their season off to decent start at AAMI Park
It might not have been the exciting season opener wanted by A-League executives, but Melbourne City fans won’t be complaining after commencing their campaign with a comfortable two goal victory over Brisbane Roar on Friday. An edge-of-the-box strike from Bruce Kamau on the stroke of half-time gave City the initial advantage, before the silky winger doubled his tally late in the second stanza.
Kamau was frustratingly inconsistent throughout the night, combining the two goals and several other chances with poor first touches and dead-end runs. But he was ultimately the difference, combining well with emergency loan signing Ross McCormack and midfielder Nick Fitzgerald to regularly trouble Brisbane. City’s Dutch signing Bart Schenkeveld was calm and collected in defence, ensuring a few half-chances from the Roar were just that.
90 + 4 min: Peep! Jarred Gillett brings proceedings to a close. Not the most glamorous opener to A-League season XIII, an ultimately comfortable win for home side Melbourne City. Bruce Kamau with his first career brace.
90 +2 min: The result is very much sorted, but don’t tell City’s Bruce Kamau, who is everywhere trying to complete his hat-trick.
89 min: Brisbane make one last throw of the dice … with a defensive substitution, Luke De Vere on for Avraam Papadopoulos.
Unless there is a dramatic turn-around in the final minutes, Melbourne City fans will be going home happy tonight.
83 min: Brisbane boss John Aloisi rolls the dice, bringing on youngster Rahmat Akbari for Nicholas D’Agostino. The Afghan-born attacker is immediately in the action, forcing the first save of the night for City keeper Eugene Galekovic.
82 min: Bruce Kamau with another nice run towards the Brisbane box, but the double goalscorer is brought down. Melbourne City make two substitutes: marquee Marcin Budzinski on for Ross McCormack; Nick Fitzgerald for Scott Jamieson.
More insight from the twittering class.
One of the strangest individual games by Bruce Kamau, turns it over, can’t stand up, loses the ball, scores twice #MCYvBRI
Maccarone is cooked #MCYvBRI
Seagulls look fresh after the long offseason. Terrific work rate. #MCYvBRI
73 min: Goal! Bruce Kamau gets a brace. Nick Fitzgerald with a slicing pass from the left finds Kamau in the box, and even a deflection can’t prevent the 22-year-old from finding his second of the night. All over for Brisbane Roar?
72 min: Bruce Kamau lobs in a ball to Ross McCormack, who plays it to Stefan Mauk to blaze over.
71 min: Bruce Kamau wins a corner for Melbourne. City fans – thoughts on your Kenyan-born winger? He has been single-handedly the most frustrating and most exciting player tonight. As is often the way, I guess.
69 min: Another opportunity for Brisbane, before City counter quickly through Bruce Kamau. Closed down by the Roar at the top of their box, but Melbourne regather. Dangerous stuff.
67 min: Brisbane’s Petros Skapetis takes the ball on the right-hand side, dances down the flank and along the byline, before hitting it straight at Melbourne custodian Eugene Galekovic.
The seagulls are everywhere tonight. Perhaps one of the Melbourne teams should hire a bird trainer and put them to use as a collective 12th man. Innovative.
The seagulls are playing well….. #MCYvBRI
65 min: City’s Nick Fitzgerald puts in a floating ball for Ross McCormack at the back post, but the Aston Villa loanee can’t control.
‘Maccarone saving his legs.’ It’s R1!!! #MCYvBRI
62 min: Brisbane marquee Massimo Maccarone dances through the Melbourne defensive line but ultimately comes unstuck. Maccarone has had a few dangerous moments, but generally been too anonymous for the Roar tonight.
59 min: Petros Skapetis with an incisive run down the right-hand flank for Brisbane, but his cross can’t find an orange-shirted colleague.
Brisbane gaffer John Aloisi, he of that famous 2005 penalty strike against Uruguay, has been touted as a possible replacement to current Socceroos manager Ange Postecoglou. Will Aloisi still be with the Roar come April?
55 min: Some nice build-up play from Melbourne City, with Bruce Kamau again involved. Nothing comes of it, but the pressure is increasing on Brisbane.
52 min: Brisbane are struggling to find the attacking chances they need to have any hope of drawing level with the home team. I wonder whether the Roar’s Afghanistan-born wonderkid, Rahmat Akbari, might be substituted on to add some flair.
47 min: Fahid Ben Khalfallah collects the match’s third yellow for a nasty tackle on Osama Malik.
46 min: Referee Jarred Gillett resumes play. Can Brisbane get back in the game? Asked this very question, Fox Sports commentator Robbie Slater offers an inspired answer: “With a goal”.
Some statistics courtesy of the A-League. Second half about to get underway.
City’s Bruce Kamau unleashes his goal-scoring strike.
Highlights from Sokkah Twitter.
Ross McCormack really isn’t as exciting a signing as some unknown South American #MCYvBRI
While you’re waiting for the second half, here’s some thought-provoking analysis from Ante Jukic of the Socceroos’ draw with Syria last night. And do write in to let me know your views on the first 45 minutes of the A-League season, via email or Twitter.
Well, a goal right on the edge of the half to Bruce Kamau has livened up the A-League season opener. Otherwise it has been a reasonably balanced affair, neither side controlling the game. Melbourne City has had 66% of the possession, but it had not showed until Kamau’s late strike.
44 min: And Bruce Kamau immediately redeems himself! The resulting corner is headed back to a waiting Kamau, who slots in a slick shot from the edge of the box. Melbourne City with the first goal of the 13th A-League season.
44 min: Bruce Kamau found himself alone in the Melbourne City box, with the offside flag down, but can’t make anything of it. A wasted opportunity there.
43 min: Nasty collision between Nicholas D’Agostino and Luke Brattan causes a stoppage. D’Agostino comes off second best.
41 min: More great defending from Jade North puts out a dangerous Melbourne City cross for the corner. Also, I keep almost typing Manchester City…
39 min: Manny Muscat finds Ross McCormack in the box, who miscontrols and fires wide. That could have been the opener for City…
37 min: Bruce Kamau creates a nice opportunity on the right-hand side for Melbourne City. The ball is then switched to the left before bobbling to Brisbane custodian Michael Theo. A very mixed night so far for Kamau – flashes of brilliance and flashes of ordinariness.
City’s last-minute loan signing Ross McCormack of Aston Villa has had some nice touches tonight, but failed to threaten Michael Theo in the Brisbane goal.
33 min: Petros Skapetis causing more grief for Melbourne City on the right-hand side of their box. Nothing coming of it, yet…
Some of the Twitterati are not inspired with the A-League’s choice of season opener.
So if its a draw at full time, we award the 3 points to whomever had the most possession right? #MCYvBRI
Cam Melling has been in touch via Twitter. He wants to know whether Brisbane fans are happy with Massimo Maccarone as their marquee. “Surely too old now,” he offers. Thoughts, Roar supporters?
29 min: Petros Skapetis fizzes a ball across the goal mouth, but Nicholas D’Agostino cannot convert for Brisbane.
24 min: 22-year-old Bruce Kamau has been active for Melbourne City, but his first-touch is looking shaky. I’m told Kamau wants to be a rapper. Who would win a rap battle among the A-League clubs?
Ron Smith, a respected coach and technical analyst, doesn’t think much of the Brisbane strip.
That has to be the worst strip Brisbane Roar have ever had to wear. #MCYvBRI
21 min: City’s Manny Muscat collects the first yellow card of the A-League season with a reducer on Fahid Ben Khalfallah.
Brisbane’s bald-headed marquee Massimo Maccarone has had some nice early touches during his A-League debut.
18 min: Luke Brattan plays a nice slicing pass to Stefan Mauk on the right-hand flank, but Brisbane’s Jade North cuts it out. Moments later some nice build-up play unleashes Nicholas D’Agostino for the Roar, who comes close to an opening goal.
No prizes for guessing who Tim Cahill is cheering for, as he watches the game with his Socceroos team mates in Sydney.
Let’s go CITY ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/oGb2xQt54t
14 min: Luke Brattan has been involved in plenty of the early action for Melbourne City. He’s also had a haircut.
12 min: Bruce Kamau goes on a marauding run through the Brisbane Road midfield, although it comes to nothing. Moments later Iacopo La Rocca lays off for Stefan Mauk on the edge of the box, but Mauk blazes wide.
9 min: Nothing too exciting to report – the ball gets bogged down on one flank and we have about five consecutive throw-ins. Meanwhile, AAMI Park’s seagulls are enjoying themselves in the City half.
5 min: End-to-end football so far, with Brisbane and City both creating some nice attacking movement. The Roar’s bright orange new playing strip is causing controversy on Twitter. Thoughts, fashion critics?
2 min: Brisbane’s new signing Maccarone already in the thick of the action, holding the ball up near the City box before picking out team-mate Caletti who shoots just wide.
1 min: Peeep! Referee Jarred Gillett commences proceedings at AAMI Park. Melbourne City v Brisbane Roar – the 13th A-League season is underway!
Can someone take the memes away from the A-League? Okay, I’ll admit I am a little excited too.
What are your predictions tonight? I’m reliably informed that there has NEVER been a goalless encounter between these two teams, so a 0-0 tip would be brave. Let me know your thoughts via email or Twitter.
It will be interesting to see how many Melburnians turn out for the A-League season opener, after a sport-packed past month. Journalist Vince Rugari is in the stands:
While we’re waiting for kick-off (7.50pm AEDT), have a read of the best A-League pre-season analysis in town: Jonathan Howcroft’s three part preview. The contenders, the outside chances and the underdogs are all put under scrutiny by Jonathan. Recommended reading!
Team news is in – McCormack up front for Melbourne City and Brisbane’s marquee Maccarone also starting.
Lucky 13? The latest season of the A-League begins tonight with Australian football on the brink of crisis. The enigmatic Socceroos are in very real danger of failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, while the brawl between Football Federation Australia and other stakeholders (A-League clubs among them) shows no sign of detente. Amid the gloom, will the domestic league emerge as a ray of hope?
Player recruitment has been sensible, if not splashy, and administrators have revamped the competition’s marketing. The likes of Xavi Torres (Perth Glory) or Tom Hiariej (Central Coast Mariners) might not improve gate receipts, but they do bring European quality to the pitch. With little to separate the top six or seven sides, fans could be in for a riveting season. As the off-field drama inevitably continues, perhaps some actual football could do everyone a world of good.
Kieran will be here shortly. In the meantime, have a read of Jonathan Howcroft’s season preview.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2017/oct/06/melbourne-city-v-brisbane-roar-a-league-season-opener-live
Despite war between clubs and FFA and a summer full of big sporting events, A-League fans have much to look forward to
If the turmoil wasn’t so familiar it would be tempting to regard the 13th instalment of the A-League as cursed. On the eve of the new season clubs are at war with the governing body (again), the Socceroos are shredding nerves in a World Cup playoff (again), and the once clearish air of midsummer will be tested like never before with an Ashes series, an ascendant Big Bash League and the nascent AFLW competing for attention. Fortunately, the on-field product promises to be robust following one of the smartest off-seasons of player recruitment yet.
The season kicks off tonight with Melbourne City hosting Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park. City will be without Tim Cahill, who 12-months ago was almost single-handedly responsible for any hype around the competition. This time around he will be recovering from the first leg of Australia’s AFC playoff against Syria in Melaka and preparing for the vital second leg in Sydney on Tuesday.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/06/a-league-off-season-recruitment-augers-well-for-new-season
Manchester City will bank what is set to be an Australian record transfer fee as pure profit after they signed the midfielder for nothing from Melbourne City
The City Football Academy in Melbourne’s north is one of the most impressive sporting amenities in Australia. Architecturally, the complex funnels the attention of staff towards the training ground, as a permanent reminder of the site’s purpose. Those pitches use state of the art hybrid grass technology and their most recent occupants included Lionel Messi, with Argentina using the centre as a training base for the recent SuperClàsico. The facility cost its owners, the City Football Group (CFG), $15m. For context, they acquired City’s A-League licence for $11.25m.
On a tour of the centre shortly after it opened I was taken from the reception atrium into the inner sanctum. One of the first things to emerge behind the security doors was the communal lounge where staff and players ate lunch and played video games. In the corner of the room a noisy table tennis contest was taking place. Among the participants was Aaron Mooy.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jun/19/likely-big-money-aaron-mooy-move-sets-alarm-bells-ringing-in-a-league
Six wins in 20 games tells its own story, but even those damning numbers hide constipated play and an uncertainty in tactics and selection
Perth Glory and Brisbane Roar progressed from contrasting elimination finals to move within one game of the A-League championship decider, but it was Melbourne City’s abject capitulation against the former that grew into the story of the weekend. Uncertain in possession, apathetic without the ball, the home side looked overawed by the occasion at AAMI Park. It was a desperately timid end to a campaign that could hardly have begun with greater fanfare.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/24/melbourne-citys-desperately-timid-ending-is-a-microcosm-of-their-slump
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/23/perth-glory-post-rare-away-win-to-move-within-a-game-of-a-league-grand-final
- ‘I like it like this. We know what’s on the line,’ says Melbourne City star
- City face Perth Glory in Sunday night’s A-League elimination final
- John Aloisi blames salary cap for the departure of Thomas Broich
Tim Cahill has dared A-League opponents to write off Melbourne City for the title, but the odds are stacked against City, who face Perth on Sunday night in an elimination final for a place in the final four.
Cahill’s side has beaten top-six opposition just twice all season, the last being three months ago – a 1-0 win over Western Sydney. City also have losing form against the Glor, and the latest of two losses this season came last Sunday in a madcap 5-4 loss in Western Australia.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/19/tim-cahill-relishing-underdog-status-ive-been-written-off-my-whole-life
- Melbourne City 1-0 Adelaide United at AAMI Park
- Tim Cahill heads home stunning winner to push side close to home final
Melbourne City are within touching distance of a home A-League final after Tim Cahill’s stunning header earned them a well-deserved 1-0 win over Adelaide United. Yet again, Cahill produced the goods for City, elevating his side above above the Reds in a fiery contest on Friday night.
The veteran Socceroo arched his back perfectly to flick Nicolas Colazo’s corner over the Reds defence and inside the back post on 36 minutes. It was a goal that very few could have scored or would have even attempted, putting City in the box seat to return to AAMI Park in a fortnight’s time for just their second home final in their history.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/07/tim-cahill-magic-earns-melbourne-city-a-league-win-over-adelaide
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/06/roy-hodgson-brought-to-a-league-by-melbourne-city-in-advisory-role
- New technology to be introduced to top-tier football in Australia
- Players effectively told to ignore video reviews
A-League players will be shown a yellow card if they urge referees to video review a decision once the technology comes into play from Friday night’s Melbourne City-Adelaide match.
Australia’s elite competition will become the first top-tier league in the world to use the technology and Adelaide defender Michael Marrone says players have been warned about how they should react to it.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/03/a-league-players-to-be-booked-if-they-appeal-to-referee-for-video-referral
- Second-half blitz from Sydney seals victory
- Bobo hits brace after Brosque opener
Just when you thought they couldn’t get any better…
Another second-half masterclass of high-pressing, high-tempo football from Sydney FC as they roar towards the finals. I’m trying to think of any potential chinks in their armour, something that might offer hope to the other title contenders, but the only weakness I could see was the pitch. It was brutal.
That’s all she wrote. Ominous, ominous stuff from Graham Arnold’s men – they are looking unstoppable.
90 mins: Someone call the vet because City need to be put out of their misery. Bobo adds the cherry on the cake for the Sky Blues, heading home at the back post from a deep cross.
89 mins: Bobo latches onto a pass from O’Neill and tries to dink it past the keeper – but it’s deflected for a corner. City clear it comfortably enough and head on the counter attack. Somehow, after being on the attack moments ago, Sydney have got their entire team back in the box waiting to defend. Ninkovic eventually makes the block. That’s why they’re champions.
86 mins: Kamau has worked hard since he’s come on, but he can’t find a way through. Grant outfoxes him this time, harrying him until Sydney get the ball back. It’s been a typical Sydney performance, hard work and high pressing – with several players who can finish off a chance. They are in flying form heading into the finals.
84 mins: Genreau with a strike that forces Vukovic into a smart save. A goal for City now would make the last five minutes interesting. I can’t see it happening though, more likely to go the other way. Talking of making things more interesting, Matt Simon is coming on. Enough time for a booking? Off comes Brosque.
82 mins: Just counting down the clock now, both teams seem to have gone down a gear. Caceres comes on for Colazo in a last roll of the dice for City.
80 mins: Ooo, it was almost three. Carney lashes one into the sidenetting after some poor scrambling in defence. Dimitrijevic comes on for Brillante.
77 mins: Having said that, I’m just starting to feel like the Sydney defence have taken their foot off the gas. A few uncharacteristic errors creeping in, nothing too serious though. A bandaged-up Cahill comes off for Arzani.
76 mins: Is it possible that Sydney are actually playing better now than they have done all season? It’s a frightening thought.
75 mins: Grant flashes a powerful shot straight at Bouzanis, who saves it comfortably. City race to the other end and win a corner. They haven’t given up, but Sydney have just been too good. Calver gets a head to the corner… but it flies backwards for another one. The second corner is overhit and goes out for a throw.
73 mins: City still down to 10 men as Cahill’s cut keeps him off the pitch. O’Neill booked for taking too long with his throw. You’d think he’d want to hurry things up while they have a numerical advantage. Sydney still in total control.
70 mins: Sydney’s first sub of the night, Holosko off for Carney. Cahill needs some treatment for a nasty cut above his eye. He’s had a quiet night.
69 mins: Valkanis in deep discussion with his staff. It’s going to take something special to turn this around. There’s a glimmer of hope when Kamau breaks into the box, but a wall of Sky Blue eventually forces the ball back out of the danger zone.
67 mins: Game over? It’s got that feel to it now. City were more than a match for Sydney in the first half but it’s been one-way traffic since the break. If City don’t pull a goal back soon, I can’t see it ever coming. Ninkovic tries from distance after some nice footwork, but it flies over. The Cove don’t mind though, they’re still celebrating the second goal.
64 mins: Zullo finds himself in acres of space on the left and whips an excellent ball into the box. There’s a very slight deflection but it goes straight to the back post where Bobo is lurking like the predator he is. He doesn’t miss from that distance, sliding it home with ease.
63 mins: Sydney have got their tails up now. They can smell blood. Kamau gets his first touch, looking to find a way through down the right. He’s eventually forced to pass backwards and Sydney win possession.
61 mins: Changes ahoy. Kamau comes on for Fitzgerald in a like-for-like swap. City looking to shake things up.
59 mins: The question now is how will City respond? After defending solidly for so long, it was a pretty poor effort to let a throw-in bounce all the way to the six-yard box. Ninkovic chips one into the box but it’s cleared. City under pressure.
57 mins: A long throw eventually bobbles its way to Brosque who nips in front of his marker and pokes it past Bouzanis. There was a sense that was coming. The Cove are in full voice as Sydney take a grip on the game.
55 mins: An odd, lofted cross into the box from O’Neill. Bouzanis plucks it out of the sky harmlessly. City go right up the other end but the move breaks down courtesy of an offside.
53 mins: Speaking of which… Franjic is forced into a clearance on the line from Grant’s shot after a goalmouth scramble. Bouzanis was stranded after making a previous save. Sydney starting to crank up the pressure.
52 mins: Sydney don’t seem to be in a rush to get a goal, but then why would they? Considering their track record in second halves this season, they must be pretty confident a chance will show itself.
50 mins: For all their defensive woes in the absence of Michael Jakobsen, City have looked pretty good at the back today. I’ve even had to revise my opinion of Muscat, who has looked solid throughout. #kissofdeath
48 mins: Scrappy start to the half so far, both teams seem to be looking for that killer pass but both defences have answered everything asked of them… with the possible exception of Grant’s passback in the first half. Less said about that the better.
45 mins: Peeep! And we’re back, slightly late due to a cameraman obliviously waiting around on the pitch as the players wait to kick off. Graham Arnold doesn’t look best pleased. But then he never does.
That’s it for now folks, no goals in the first half but at the risk of jinxing it, I suspect that will change in the next 45. See you in 15.
45 mins: City struggling to find a way out of their own half, Sydney’s forwards not giving them an inch of space. Eventually Colazo runs clear and wins a corner on the right. He’s arguably been their most dangerous player. The corner comes to nothing though, Sydney have been solid in defence. A minute of added time to come.
43 mins: Half-time ahead and City will probably be thankful for it – Sydney are just starting to build up a head of steam. Brosque booked for a foul on Brattan.
42 min: Zullo with a deep cross that finds Holosko in the box. He meets it with his head, but doesn’t get enough on it and it slips wide. Great footwork from Ninkovic on the left to set up the cross for Zullo. No wonder Sydney are so keen to keep him for next season.
39 mins: Great challenge from Muscat to stop a Sydney counter-attack. Just starting to sense that the
Premiers are getting on top as the half-time break looms.
37 min: Muscat with a header that goes well wide. It was a difficult one, the ball was a little behind him when he connected with it, he actually did well just to steer it in the right direction. Sydney decide to take things down a notch, passing it around, cool and calm, probing forward then bringing it back.
35 mins: I’m still not sure who’s on top here, chances at either end with Sydney arguably having the better ones in the last 10 minutes or so. All that intensity is finally starting to create a few cracks.
33 min: Ninkovic! Ooo, a lovely feint to get away from his marker, then the Sydney star hits a dipping effort that just goes over the bar. I think Bouzanis had it covered to be fair but it would have been awkward.
31 mins: Zullo with a wicked cross that Bobo heads just wide under pressure from Tongyik. Good defending at the near post. A few openings just starting to show themselves.
30 mins: Fornaroli with a scissor kick… that flies harmlessly away into the sea of Sky Blue known as the Cove. Laughter from the Sydney fans. Would have looked spectacular had it come off. But it didn’t. All that was missing was a swannee whistle.
28 mins: The game needs someone to grab it by the scruff of the neck, it’s been an evenly matched arm-wrestle so far. Cahill maybe? Is he capable of doing that these days?
25 mins: It’s been a bit of a see-saw game so far, just when one team looks to be pressing home an advantage, the momentum starts to tilt the other way. Nothing between them so far. We’ve got a game on our hands. Colazo almost clean through after a cross from Genreau… but he’s marginally offside.
23 mins: Ooo, that could have been a clanger. Calver saves Grant’s bacon after a shocker of a passback that Cahill almost latches onto. Calver gets a crucial touch to get it to safety. Big Timmy would have been clean through.
21 mins: There’s a high intensity to the game yet neither side has looked dangerous in the final third so far. Some silky skills from Bouzanis under pressure to throw a charging Grant off the scent. Shades of Schmeichel snr from about 20 years ago.
17 mins: City seem to have adopted a similar/less intense high-pressing tactic to Sydney’s, which you’d think would lead to openings at either end. Both teams have defended well so far though, nothing on offer from open play in terms of chances. Not yet anyway.
15 mins: That little hold-up seems to have slowed the pace of the game, which was a little overly frantic in the opening 10 minutes. Brillante whips a free-kick into the box but it’s easily cleared by the City defence.
12 mins: Bouzanis charges off his line to punch away a deep cross into the box. City eventually clear it, but it looks like Holosko has been hurt by the big shotstopper in the challenge. There’s a pause in proceedings as the physio comes on to have a look.
10 mins: The hosts respond well to that little scare, putting their foot on the ball and calming things down a bit with some simple passes in the defence. They eventually work it all the way into the penalty area but Bobo’s eventual shot is easily blocked by his marker.
8 mins: Oooof! Fornaroli curls it past the wall and it smacks the outside of the post, bouncing away for a goal-kick. Warning sign for Sydney.
7 mins: City playing the ball around nicely in the Sydney half. Fornaroli has a crack from the edge of the box but its miles wide. Not that it matters, Peter Green has given them a free-kick for a challenge just before the strike. Dangerous position.
5 mins: It’s been a bit of a physical start from both sides, hard tackling and free-kicks the order of the day. Pretty 50-50 so far, City possibly shading it.
3 mins: Zullo gives away a free-kick on the left-side of the box. Colazo looks like he’s going to whip it in. Cahill lurking. But it’s too close and low to Vukovic who dives on it. Good first touch for the keeper.
1 min: Peeeeep! And we’re off. Sydney get us underway and Rose greets Holosko with a meaty challenge for a high ball. Free-kick. That’ll have woken him up.
Not long to go
The players are coming onto the pitch, which doesn’t look in great shape to be honest. I’ve said that far too often this season. Doesn’t bode well for free-flowing football, although it might lead to a few nerves in defence.
The loss of key defender Michael Jakobsen to a suspiciously lengthy calf injury has certainly hampered City in the run up to the finals but the form of Bruno Fornaroli will give them hope of breaking down that stubborn Sydney defence. Can he overhaul Berisha in the race for the golden boot? Just one goal in it at the minute.
Melbourne City: Bouzanis, Muscat, Franjic, Tongyik, Rose, Genreau, Colazo, Brattan, Fitzgerald, Cahill, Fornaroli. Subs: Sorensen, Caceres, Kamau, Retre, Arzani
Here’s something a little more encouraging for City fans, footage from the last time this fixture was played in Sydney. City came within a whisker of ending the Sky Blues’ unbeaten run before it had really begun – only to be denied by a late penalty.
FT: Newcastle 0-3 Wanderers
So the Wanderers have continued their run of form with a comprehensive victory over the Jets that puts them just two points behind City in third. It also means just three points separate third place from sixth. The prospect of City finishing sixth would have been laughable a couple of months ago…
Speaking of April Fools
The A-League got into the spirit of April 1 with a couple of ‘hilarious’ *cough* stories. Judging by the outrage directed at the Melbourne Victory-Big Bash yarn, they seemed to have fooled a few people.
Evening everyone, thanks for joining me tonight for a fixture that may well be repeated in a few weeks when we finally get into the nitty gritty of finals football. Whether that happens or not basically depends on City, who seem to think the word “consistency” is some sort of April Fools prank to be avoided. Do they have the talent to beat this season’s runaway
Premiers? Certainly. But the fact that they’re a whopping 23 points behind the league leaders tells you just how often they’ve failed to hit the heights they’re capable of this season.
For Sydney, the opposite has been true, and anyone who thought Graham Arnold’s premiership steamroller might veer off the road once he picked up the Premiers Plate got a rude awakening in Perth last week – when the Sky Blues rode right over poor Glory in a 3-0 shellacking. With Arnold also eyeing up a record points haul for the season, and urging his players to play for their finals places, a lack of motivation doesn’t seem to be an issue. City will have to be at the top of their game to get something from this one.
Richard will be with you shortly. In the meantime, check out Joe Gorman’s stroll down memory lane with NSL pioneers Canberra City.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2017/apr/01/sydney-fc-vs-melbourne-city-a-league-live
Watching City briefly reach a level comparable to last season brought home how many A-League teams have stagnated or declined year on year
On Saturday night, a funny thing happened: Melbourne City entertained their home crowd for a full 90 minutes. The 4-0 rout of Newcastle Jets was only the second time City have scored more than twice at AAMI Park this season and the first occasion they’ve won at home by more than a single goal.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/20/melbourne-city-give-reminder-that-for-football-to-flourish-it-has-to-entertain
- Melbourne City 4-0 Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park
- First-half Cahill header puts City on path to home final
Tim Cahill delighted both his club and country bosses on Saturday night, sending Melbourne City on their way to a 4-0 A-League rout of Newcastle Jets. The Socceroos veteran kept City in control of the race for third place on the ladder, and a home final, with a trademark first-half header against the Jets.
Nick Fitzgerald, who replaced him as a second-half substitute, doubled their lead with a delightful chip before Bruno Fornaroli’s late double. But Cahill stole the show on the way from AAMI Park to two World Cup qualifiers in the next fortnight. The 37-year-old hung in the air on the back of young defender John Koutroumbis, powerfully heading past goalkeeper Jack Duncan.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/18/a-league-tim-cahill-sparks-melbourne-city-rout-of-jets