Melbourne City became the first side this season to travel to the west and triumph, doing so in a thrilling A-League men’s classic.
Two changes were made following their 6-1 thumping against Macarthur by Rado Vidosic: Scott Jamieson and Andrew Nabbout replaced Curtis Good and Marco Tillio. Glory made just one switch, with Jack Clisby returning from suspension in place of youngster Joseph Forde.
Within fifteen minutes, a magical strike into the rightmost corner of the goal from Jordan Bos gave City the lead. He had swindled his way into the glory box via incredible deception and skill.
Directly after, and in spectacular fashion, the Melbourne defenders managed to impede Mark Beevers’ ability to shoot and deny him the chance to make an instant response from two yards out.
A superbly executed free kick by Jack Clisby that somehow found its way into the back of the nett without striking anyone helped Gory tie the score in the 25th minute.
Four minutes later, Jordan Elsey was to claim a flagrant penalty. Tom Glover made the mistake with an erroneous and ill-timed tackle. Mustafa Amini stepped up to take it—his last goal had been for Sydney 11 months earlier—but the penalty was ultimately revoked thanks to a VAR offside decision. Providing a vital lifeline to Melbourne.
The away team completely controlled the following 10 minutes, both in terms of possession and chance creation. In particular, Jordan Boss ravaged Glory, steaming past Glory defenders with ease, and eluding an intense Glory press—a high pressing approach that Zadkovich has effectively deployed this season.
Burke-Gilroy and Luke Bodnar made way before beginning the second half, Johnny Koutroumbis and loanee Zachary Duncan coming on.
But despite this, early in the half, Socceroo Matthew Leckie’s direct dribbling caused Lachman to supposedly trip him, which resulted in a highly disputed red being shown for the Curaçao international. Berisha converted from the penalty spot, guiding the ball past Cook and into the bottom right corner to score his first goal in Australian football.
That anger and outrage generated did not go unanswered as David Williams’ guided header levelled the score and seemingly cast a spanner in the works.
But the story wasn’t written, and yet another twist in the tale was introduced, with Mathew Leckie once again at the centre of it, but this time he turned goal scorer, converting with an incredible, acrobatic finish in the 75th minute. Bringing silence to the Glory faithful for a second but not final time as Florin Berenguer bundled in a fourth not soon after. Once again, coming from a quick transition and a bit of individual brilliance by Matthew Leckie.
Supplying an emphatic full stop to a brilliant and competitive outing.
Jelacic honoured his two-year contract renewal in style. Creating two big chances and being central to all Glory attacks, Keegan Jelacic’s composure and ability to get out of tight spaces were unparalleled in this fixture.
With a scarcity of young, creative midfielders currently in the A-League, it is fantastic business to tie him down for two more years.
Melbourne City’s Character Proves Strong
Despite a roaring crowd and fierce opposition in Perth Glory, Melbourne proved themselves worthy winners.
Now that they’re eight points clear with a game in hand, it’s surely impossible for anything but a first-place finish, right?
Perth Glory 2 (Jack Clisby -25th and David Williams -71st minute)
Melbourne City 4 (Jordan Bos -16th, Valon Berisha -62nd, Mathew Leckie -76th, and Florin Berenguer -92nd minute)