Melbourne City have recorded a convincing victory over the Newcastle Jets, taking out a 3-0 win at AAMI Park as the side now sits three points clear at the top of the table.
Melbourne City started strong out of the blocks, and looked threatening early with City’s Marco Tilio coming close to scoring the opener inside 10 minutes, though would be denied by Jets keeper Jack Duncan. He’d then create City’s second biggest chance of the game, going on an impressive run from the centre of the pitch to the the centre of the box, but would shoot wide of the mark.
With the game needing a spark, tensions would heat up in the 22nd minute after Andrew Nabbout was awarded a free kick on the wing following a bad foul from Jason Hoffman. Nabbout wouldn’t take too kindly to the attention, scuffling with both Hoffman and Taylor Regan.
Both Nabbout and Hoffman would receive yellow cards for their troubles with Regan then being booked 20 minutes later for his foul on Tilio.
On the stroke of half time City would break the deadlock through the league’s leading scorer Jamie Maclaren, shooting on his right foot from the centre of the box having been set up by a Florin Berenguer’s cross.
Ahead 1-0 at the main change, Matthew Leckie would double City’s advantage in the 52nd minute, having been teed up perfectly by Tilio.
Tilio would then be in amongst the action once again, being brought down just outside the penalty box with Regan again upending him. Regan would be shown a second yellow with the Jets night going from bad to worse.
Tilio would then directly be involved in City’s third goal in the 64th minute, this time setting up Carl Jenkinson to seal the game for City. Having secured an emphatic 3-0 victory, City now currently sit three points clear at the top of the table having won three of their the past four games.
A FIRERY FRIDAY NIGHT CONTEST
With the Jets needing a win to stay in touch with the top six and City needing a victory to assert themselves at the top of the table, a win was valuable for both sides.
Both sides came out to physically impose themselves on the contest, with the game finishing with 23 fouls, with the opening half being particularly firery as Nabbout, Hoffman and Regan all received yellow cards.
Nabbout would get tensions flying in the 22nd minute, shoving Hoffman to the ground and tying up with Regan on the boundary after receiving a hard foul. Hoffman’s reckless challenge got him in the refs book, with Nabbout booked for fighting.
Regan who was on a fine line having scuffled with Nabbout, and would then also receive a yellow card following is heavy challenge on City’s Marco Tilio.
In the second half, referee Tim Danaskos showed Regan a second yellow card after recklessly challenging Tilio for a second time. There’d be no bookings thereafter but the rough challenges continued. With the two sides giving away 16 fouls in the opening half, a further seven would be committed in the second.
MACLAREN AND BERENGUER INVOLVED AGAIN
With the opening half looking likely to finish scoreless, Jamie Maclaren would bob up to score in the final stages of the half, to give the home side a 1-0 lead heading into the main break.
Having started slow out of the blocks, Maclaren has heated up in the past month, now the leading scorer in the league with nine goals for the season. The man who set him up, Florin Berenguer has also been in fine form.
Having been involved in six City goals this season, five have come in the last six games as the Frenchman appears to be having a purple patch of late, with the midfielder ranked in the top 10 in the league for crosses and chances created.
TILIO’S STELLAR NIGHT OUT
Despite being fouled throughout the night, Marco Tilio wouldn’t be phased by the rough attention he’d receive from the opposition, putting in one of his best performances for the season.
Having been threatening in the opening half, coming close to scoring and making several impressive runs, he’d make an impact in the second half having been directly involved in setting up City’s second and third goal of the game.
He’d first make a clever pass to put Matthew Leckie through on goal from close range unmarked. He’d then set up defender Carl Jenkinson for City’s third goal, with Tilio assist giving the former Arsenal man his second goal in Melbourne City colours.
A-League Men, AAMI Park
Melbourne City 3 (Jamie Maclaren 45+2m, Matthew Leckie 52m, Carl Jenkinson 64m)
Newcastle Jets 0
How did the managers react?
Melbourne City: Patrick Kisnorbo
“I thought they [Newcastle Jets] were better [in the] first half, they moved us around a bit…[and] we needed to improve, especially after the first half, I thought we did that,” he said postgame.
“I know they had 10 men too in the end but I think we controlled the game, especially coming out of the first half.
Newcastle Jets: Arthur Pappas
“First half probably our best half since our return from the break, our football was very good up until the last third,” he said.
“Still not enough in the front third, made some poor decision, should have done created some better opportunities considering how frequently we were getting to that point, we controlled possession.
“Then we concede on half time, probably against the run of play, should defend better in the box, and then the games changes in two moments in the second half.”