Category: Melbourne City FC

Melbourne City FC News

Nov 24

Melbourne City coach sees red over VAR system as Glory prevail

Ten-man City battle valiantly but go down 3-1 to Glory‘There’s got to be something a bit more instant,’ Warren Joyce saysBoth Melbourne City and the A-League’s video assistant referee are in for a week of scrutiny after Perth Glory’s 3-1 win at AAMI Pa…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/nov/25/melbourne-city-coach-sees-red-over-var-system-as-glory-prevail

Nov 03

Socceroos dealt major blow as Tim Cahill limps out of A-League clash

Striker sustains ankle injury in Melbourne City’s defeat to Sydney FCScans will determine fitness before World Cup qualifier against Honduras Socceroos star Tim Cahill was sent to hospital and is in doubt for Australia’s win-or-bust World Cup qualifier…

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

Oct 06

Melbourne City 2-0 Brisbane Roar: A-League season opener – as it happened

  • Bruce Kamau brace settles first game of new campaign
  • City get their season off to decent start at AAMI Park

12.05pm BST

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.

11.49am BST

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.

11.47am BST

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.

11.44am BST

89 min: Brisbane make one last throw of the dice … with a defensive substitution, Luke De Vere on for Avraam Papadopoulos.

11.42am BST

Unless there is a dramatic turn-around in the final minutes, Melbourne City fans will be going home happy tonight.

11.39am BST

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.

11.38am BST

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.

11.34am BST

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

11.29am BST

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?

11.28am BST

72 min: Bruce Kamau lobs in a ball to Ross McCormack, who plays it to Stefan Mauk to blaze over.

11.27am BST

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.

11.25am BST

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.

11.24am BST

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.

11.23am BST

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

11.21am BST

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.

11.20am BST

Indeed.

‘Maccarone saving his legs.’ It’s R1!!! #MCYvBRI

11.18am BST

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.

11.15am BST

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.

11.13am BST

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?

11.10am BST

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.

11.08am BST

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.

11.02am BST

47 min: Fahid Ben Khalfallah collects the match’s third yellow for a nasty tackle on Osama Malik.

11.01am BST

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”.

10.59am BST

Some statistics courtesy of the A-League. Second half about to get underway.

MATCH STATS | @MelbourneCity led all the stats in the first half. Did they deserve their 1-0 lead? #ALeague #MCYvBRI pic.twitter.com/BoKqbrbG7f

10.57am BST

City’s Bruce Kamau unleashes his goal-scoring strike.

10.51am BST

Highlights from Sokkah Twitter.

When Maccarone meets Kevin Muscat in round 6 #MCYvBRI #Aleague pic.twitter.com/L7dQKBBugY

Ross McCormack really isn’t as exciting a signing as some unknown South American #MCYvBRI

When Kamau scored #MCYvBRI pic.twitter.com/o8T6u6dYGi

10.48am BST

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.

Related: Socceroos: Postecoglou’s tactical decisions leading to risky outcomes

10.46am BST

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.

10.41am BST

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.

10.40am BST

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.

10.39am BST

43 min: Nasty collision between Nicholas D’Agostino and Luke Brattan causes a stoppage. D’Agostino comes off second best.

10.38am BST

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…

10.36am BST

39 min: Manny Muscat finds Ross McCormack in the box, who miscontrols and fires wide. That could have been the opener for City…

10.35am BST

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.

10.33am BST

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.

10.30am BST

33 min: Petros Skapetis causing more grief for Melbourne City on the right-hand side of their box. Nothing coming of it, yet…

10.29am BST

Some of the Twitterati are not inspired with the A-League’s choice of season opener.

#MCYvBRI pic.twitter.com/N1JtwzHHTd

So if its a draw at full time, we award the 3 points to whomever had the most possession right? #MCYvBRI

10.27am BST

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?

10.27am BST

29 min: Petros Skapetis fizzes a ball across the goal mouth, but Nicholas D’Agostino cannot convert for Brisbane.

10.22am BST

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?

10.20am BST

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

10.18am BST

21 min: City’s Manny Muscat collects the first yellow card of the A-League season with a reducer on Fahid Ben Khalfallah.

10.17am BST

Brisbane’s bald-headed marquee Massimo Maccarone has had some nice early touches during his A-League debut.

10.15am BST

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.

10.12am BST

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

10.11am BST

14 min: Luke Brattan has been involved in plenty of the early action for Melbourne City. He’s also had a haircut.

10.09am BST

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.

10.06am BST

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.

10.02am BST

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?

9.59am BST

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.

9.56am BST

1 min: Peeep! Referee Jarred Gillett commences proceedings at AAMI Park. Melbourne City v Brisbane Roar – the 13th A-League season is underway!

9.55am BST

Can someone take the memes away from the A-League? Okay, I’ll admit I am a little excited too.

The wait is almost over!!! Kick-off to season 2017/18 is only moments away #MCYvBRI pic.twitter.com/R6Z53rrt9F

9.53am BST

9.46am BST

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.

9.40am BST

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:

Not too many bodies in at AAMI Park at this stage #MCYvBRI pic.twitter.com/ruQUxyxH9X

9.36am BST

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!

9.31am BST

Team news is in – McCormack up front for Melbourne City and Brisbane’s marquee Maccarone also starting.

Our first team is in for the new @ALeague season! #MCYvBRI Kick-off 7.50pm. pic.twitter.com/yQbHLch8cA

TEAM NEWS | The wait is over! @ALeague season 13 kicks off tonight as we take on @MelbourneCity at @AAMIPark #FEELTHEROAR #MCYvBRI pic.twitter.com/xTolveuOEU

9.24am BST

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.

4.09am BST

Kieran will be here shortly. In the meantime, have a read of Jonathan Howcroft’s season preview.

Related: A-League: off-season recruitment augurs well for new season

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2017/oct/06/melbourne-city-v-brisbane-roar-a-league-season-opener-live

Oct 05

A-League: off-season recruitment augurs well for new season

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.

Related: A-League 2017-18 season preview part one: the teams bubbling under

Related: A-League 2017-18 season preview part two: the outside chances | Jonathan Howcroft

Related: A-League 2017-18 season preview part three: the title contenders | Jonathan Howcroft

Related: Next Generation 2017: 60 of the best young talents in world football

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/06/a-league-off-season-recruitment-augers-well-for-new-season

Jun 18

Big-money Aaron Mooy move sets alarm bells ringing in A-League | Jonathan Howcroft

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.

Related: ‘We want to win it, mate’: Postecoglou aims high at Confederations Cup

Related: David Squires on … a busy week for Australian football and aeronautics enthusiasts

Continue reading…

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

Apr 23

Melbourne City’s desperately timid ending is a microcosm of their slump | Jonathan Howcroft

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.

Related: Perth Glory post rare away win to move within a game of A-League grand final

Related: Brisbane Roar knock Wanderers out of A-League finals on penalties

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/24/melbourne-citys-desperately-timid-ending-is-a-microcosm-of-their-slump

Apr 23

Perth Glory post rare away win to move within a game of A-League grand final

Perth Glory beat Melbourne City 2-0 at AAMI ParkGlory to play Sydney FC next Saturday for place in championship deciderDiego Castro embarrassed Melbourne City in their elimination final and sent Perth Glory into the final four of the A-League for the f…

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

Apr 19

Tim Cahill relishing underdog status: ‘I’ve been written off my whole life’

  • ‘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.

Related: Arturo Vidal rages at referee after Bayern Munich go out to Real Madrid

Continue reading…

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

Apr 07

Tim Cahill magic earns Melbourne City A-League win over Adelaide

  • 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.

Related: Football transfer rumours: Koscielny, Giroud and Sissoko to Marseille?

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/07/tim-cahill-magic-earns-melbourne-city-a-league-win-over-adelaide

Apr 06

Roy Hodgson brought to A-League by Melbourne City in advisory role

Former England manager to spend month with City coaches and leadersFriendship with City executive Brian Marwood paves way for moveFormer England national team coach Roy Hodgson has been seconded to Australia in an advisory role to assist A-League club …

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

Apr 03

A-League players to be booked if they appeal to referee for video referral

  • 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. 

Related: Western Sydney emerge as unlikely title contenders with Antonis pulling strings | Jonathan Howcroft

Continue reading…

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

Apr 01

Sydney FC 3-0 Melbourne City: A-League – as it happened!

  • Second-half blitz from Sydney seals victory
  • Bobo hits brace after Brosque opener

12.09pm BST

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.

11.48am BST

That’s all she wrote. Ominous, ominous stuff from Graham Arnold’s men – they are looking unstoppable.

11.45am BST

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.

11.44am BST

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.

11.41am BST

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.

11.38am BST

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.

11.37am BST

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.

11.33am BST

80 mins: Ooo, it was almost three. Carney lashes one into the sidenetting after some poor scrambling in defence. Dimitrijevic comes on for Brillante.

11.32am BST

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.

11.29am BST

76 mins: Is it possible that Sydney are actually playing better now than they have done all season? It’s a frightening thought.

11.28am BST

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.

11.26am BST

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.

11.25am BST

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.

11.24am BST

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.

11.22am BST

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.

11.18am BST

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.

11.17am BST

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.

11.15am BST

61 mins: Changes ahoy. Kamau comes on for Fitzgerald in a like-for-like swap. City looking to shake things up.

11.14am BST

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.

11.12am BST

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.

11.10am BST

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.

11.07am BST

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.

11.06am BST

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.

11.05am BST

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

11.03am BST

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.

11.00am BST

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.

10.43am BST

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.

10.42am BST

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.

10.39am BST

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.

10.37am BST

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.

10.35am BST

39 mins: Great challenge from Muscat to stop a Sydney counter-attack. Just starting to sense that the

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Premiers are getting on top as the half-time break looms.

10.34am BST

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.

10.32am BST

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.

10.30am BST

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.

10.27am BST

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.

10.26am BST

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.

10.25am BST

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?

10.23am BST

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.

10.20am BST

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.

10.19am BST

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.

10.16am BST

10.13am BST

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.

10.12am BST

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.

10.10am BST

10.08am BST

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.

10.07am BST

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.

10.05am BST

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.

10.04am BST

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.

10.01am BST

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.

9.59am BST

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.

9.57am BST

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.

9.55am BST

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.

9.50am BST

Top scorer

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.

9.48am BST

Line-ups

Melbourne City: Bouzanis, Muscat, Franjic, Tongyik, Rose, Genreau, Colazo, Brattan, Fitzgerald, Cahill, Fornaroli. Subs: Sorensen, Caceres, Kamau, Retre, Arzani

9.44am BST

Last time

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.

9.41am BST

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…

9.38am BST

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.

9.33am BST

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

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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.

4.27am BST

Richard will be with you shortly. In the meantime, check out Joe Gorman’s stroll down memory lane with NSL pioneers Canberra City.

Related: Canberra City: a blueprint for current A-League expansion hopefuls | Joe Gorman

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2017/apr/01/sydney-fc-vs-melbourne-city-a-league-live

Mar 19

Melbourne City give reminder that for football to flourish it has to entertain | Jonathan Howcroft

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.

Related: A-League: Tim Cahill sparks Melbourne City rout of Jets

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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

Mar 18

A-League: Tim Cahill sparks Melbourne City rout of Jets

  • 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.

Related: Pep Guardiola’s zonal theory will take time for Manchester City to learn | Jonathan Wilson

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/18/a-league-tim-cahill-sparks-melbourne-city-rout-of-jets

Mar 05

Melbourne City hold on in frantic finish to keep Central Coast at bay

  • Central Coast Mariners 2-3 Melbourne City
  • Newcastle Jets 1-3 Brisbane Roar

Melbourne City climbed into third place after surviving a frenetic 3-2 A-League thriller against 10-man Central Coast, thanks to some luck and Paul Izzo’s goalkeeping implosion.

A Bruno Fornaroli brace, own-goals and goalkeeping howlers were the order of the day as Mariners captain Nick Montgomery and young City defender Ruon Tongyik both found the wrong net, before Izzo’s 62nd-minute red card and the subsequent penalty finished City’s job for them.

Related: Further frustration for Wanderers in stalemate with struggling Adelaide

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/05/melbourne-city-hold-on-in-frantic-finish-to-keep-central-coast-at-bay

Feb 18

A-League: Wanderers win Sydney derby as Melbourne City thrash Phoenix

  • Western Sydney Wanderers 1-0 Sydney FC
  • Wellington Phoenix 1-5 Melbourne City

Western Sydney have sent Sydney FC to their first A-League defeat this season, shocking the runaway leaders 1-0 to claim their first derby win in more than three years.

Thirty-seven months after Brendon Santalab scored the winner in the Wanderers’s last cross-town victory, the veteran striker set the stands alight on Saturday night with a 26th-minute opener that was never answered at ANZ Stadium.

Related: A-League: Adelaide United too good for Newcastle Jets in heated encounter

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/18/a-league-melbourne-city-thrash-phoenix-in-wellington-western-sydney-wanderers-sydney-fc

Feb 11

Depleted Melbourne City come back to earn draw against Brisbane Roar

  • Melbourne City 2-2 Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park
  • Second-string City side recover from two goals down

Melbourne City’s second-stringers showed their wares, earning a point with a gritty comeback to draw 2-2 with the Roar in Brisbane.

Bereft of star power with seven suspensions and a further two injuries to senior players, City looked gone for all money when Jamie Maclaren put his side two up by half-time.

Related: A-League: Castro nets twice as Perth Glory thrash Adelaide

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/11/depleted-melbourne-city-come-back-to-earn-draw-against-brisbane-roar

Feb 10

Glory coach: pressure on cashed-up Melbourne City in W-League final

  • Bobby Despotovski says Melbourne City are no longer untouchable
  • ‘We all try to be like City. But we don’t have the funds of tycoons’

Perth Glory women’s coach Bobby Despotovski insists Melbourne City are no longer untouchable, and says all the pressure will be on the cashed-up club in the W-League grand final.

City went undefeated on the way to winning last season’s title in their maiden campaign in the W-League, but the star-studded squad have done it much tougher this time, overcoming a mid-season slump to scrape into fourth spot.

Related: Melbourne City down Canberra United in extra-time to reach W-League final

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/10/glory-coach-pressure-on-cashed-up-melbourne-city-in-w-league-final

Feb 05

Ignorance over Melbourne derby slur opens door to wider education | Francis Awaritefe

This is a big opportunity for FFA to harness the power of sport to promote non-discrimination, diversity and the principle of inclusivityLate in the highly charged atmosphere of the A-League Melbourne derby, Melbourne City goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis clas…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/06/ignorance-over-melbourne-derby-slur-opens-door-to-wider-education

Feb 05

Dean Bouzanis apologises for Besart Berisha ‘gypsy’ slur in Melbourne derby

  • City goalkeeper admits remarks made out of ignorance
  • Pair had clashed all night during Melbourne derby

Melbourne City goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis will undergo an education course after abusing Melbourne Victory striker Besart Berisha in Saturday night’s A-League derby.

The keeper has apologised to the Albanian for calling him a “fucking gypsy” in heated scenes at Etihad Stadium. The pair clashed all night, with Bouzanis saving Berisha’s penalty with the scores locked at 0-0.

Related: Victory seal controversial comeback win in Melbourne derby

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/05/dean-bouzanis-apologises-for-besart-berisha-gypsy-slur-in-melbourne-derby