ALM Report: Macarthur 2-0 City

Melbourne City suffered a disappointing defeat away from home on Friday night, going down 2-0 to Macarthur.

Scores were level at the break before a second half brace to Bernardo ultimately proved the difference despite some good City chances late.

Team News

Aurelio Vidmar made three changes to his line-up from last week’s draw against Sydney FC, with two of those being forced.

Our Socceroos front four from the last couple of weeks was no more, Mathew Leckie and Marco Tilio not travelling due to minor knocks, while Andrew Nabbout shifted to the bench.

Tolgay Arslan slotted back into midfield as he returned from suspension, and it was a throwback to the early season partnership of Marin Jakolis and Leo Natel on the wings.

Starting XI: 1. Jamie YOUNG (GK), 25. Callum TALBOT, 22. Curtis GOOD, 26. Samuel SOUPRAYEN, 14. Vicente FERNÁNDEZ, 8. Jimmy JEGGO, 6. Steven UGARKOVIC, 10. Tolgay ARSLAN, 44. Marin JAKOLIS, 11. Leo NATEL, 9. Jamie MACLAREN (C).

Substitutes: 33. Patrick BEACH (GK), 4. Nuno REIS, 15. Andrew NABBOUT, 17. Terry ANTONIS, 21. Alessandro LOPANE, 37. Max CAPUTO, 38. Harry POLITIDIS.

What happened?

After close to a 45-minute delay due to lightning, we got underway and required a great bit of tracking back from Curtis Good to deny Jake Hollman a chance to shoot in just the second minute.

We then had our opening chances for the game in the 9th minute following a short corner routine. Natel first saw his attempt from the edge of the area blocked, before Jakolis’ follow-up hit the far post but stayed out.

Jamie Young was called into his first meaningful action of the night a couple of minutes later, pulling off a fantastic fingertip save to deny Ulises Davila’s header after a set-piece.

Other than one moment where Macarthur had the ball in the back of the net before the offside flag was quickly raised, we wouldn’t be troubled again defensively for the remainder of the half.

Vicente Fernández continued to fit into the line-up seamlessly with some good moments on the left side both defending and driving forward, while the addition of Arslan was felt in midfield – controlling the tempo and playing the game at his own pace.

Despite some promising spells of possession, clear-cut chances were hard to come by and we’d enter half time level.

The second half couldn’t have gotten off to a much worse start, Bernardo scoring twice in 10 minutes to leave us with a mountain of work to do in the final 35 or so minutes.

A triple change in the 67th would eventually provide a much-needed spark; Nabbout, Alessandro Lopane and Harry Politidis all entering the pitch.

They didn’t take long to make their presence felt and 10 minutes later, two of that duo had our best chances of the night.

Jakolis first played a pinpoint ball for Nabbout at the back post, a brilliant reflex save from Filip Kurto all that denied him.

Moments later it was Lopane’s turn, the 19-year-old driving forward from midfield and unleashing a lethal strike that seemed bound for the top corner, only for Kurto to pull out another stunning save.

Politidis joined his fellow substitutes in the third minute of added time, putting plenty of power behind his strike following a Lopane cutback – but to sum up the night – it was straight into the head of Kurto who made an unconventional save to keep his clean sheet.

What’s next?

After back-to-back road trips, we’ll return home to AAMI Park next Saturday to host Wellington Phoenix before a quick turnaround to face Western Sydney at the same venue a few days later.

Click here to get tickets for both games!