ALM Report: City 7-0 Western Sydney

Melbourne City were in seventh heaven on Tuesday night, putting in our best performance of the A-League Men’s season to make it back-to-back wins.

We had the record books out for the second time this season, equaling and beating plenty of league and Club records on our way to a 7-0 win.

Scorers came from all over the park but Terry Antonis took the headlines with a goal of the season contender in the second half.

Team News

Aurelio Vidmar decided to stick with an unchanged line-up from Saturday’s win over Wellington.

Both Curtis Good and Mathew Leckie were absent from the matchday squad due to illness, although both are expected to return following the international break.

Starting XI: 1. Jamie YOUNG (GK), 25. Callum TALBOT, 4. Nuno REIS (C), 26. Samuel SOUPRAYEN, 14. Vicente FERNÁNDEZ, 8. Jimmy JEGGO, 6. Steven UGARKOVIC, 10. Tolgay ARSLAN, 44. Marin JAKOLIS, 11. Leo NATEL, 37. Max CAPUTO.

Substitutes: 33. Patrick BEACH (GK), 9. Jamie MACLAREN, 15. Andrew NABBOUT, 17. Terry ANTONIS, 18. Jordon HALL, 21. Alessandro LOPANE, 38. Harry POLITIDIS.

What happened?

Under overcast conditions, City took just moments to play some liquid football, Callum Talbot doing great work to keep the ball alive and play a just onside Marin Jakolis forward, the winger’s inch-perfect cross going just wide of the boot of Leo Natel.

The Wanderers’ first big opportunity of the game came and was cooly dealt with in the centre of the box by starting captain Nuno Reis, as was their next attempt minutes later.

Tolgay Arslan kept his name all over the early stages of the game with a few powerful shots blocked away from all angles, while Natel kept the left side of defence busy with probing run after probing run.

After knocking the door down for half an hour, the breakthrough would eventually come.

It was Steven Ugarkovic sending a delightfully bending cross from the edge of the box across the defensive line, catching Lawrence Thomas flat-footed and landing right on the feet of Tolgay Arslan to tap in to make it 1-0.

Straight from the kickoff, Arslan worked his magic again.

Marin Jakolis turned the ball over for Jimmy Jeggo to pass off to our midfield maestro, running almost half the pitch and finishing through four defenders to double the lead in a two-minute brace.

Lachlan Brook tried to get one back for the visitors, but Vicente Fernández chased him down one-on-one to pressure the shot into Jamie Young’s gloves as we maintained our 2-0 lead.

The third arrived nine minutes after the first, with Caputo played through by Jakolis, the City youngster outmuscling his man to thread the ball out of Thomas’ reach to a waiting Natel.

As rain fell and half time beckoned, Caputo turned receiver, slipping through and hitting first time after the ball bobbled off Jakolis’ boot, his low and hard shot finding the back of the net as the scoreboard ticked over to 4-0.

The second half got underway with the visitors setting their own league record, making five changes at the break.

After 10 minutes of action, a breather was given to a well-deserving Jimmy Jeggo and Jakolis, with Terry Antonis and Andrew Nabbout entering the pitch to replace them.

Building the pressure as we came forward time and time again, it was Nuno Reis who broke through for goal number 5.

Steven Ugarkovic’s corner found his head and it was thundered into the back of the net for a long-awaited first City goal for our Portuguese defender.

The goals began to flow again following that, with Jamie Maclaren getting his name back on the scoresheet.

Played in by Natel at close range, he was lifting the first touch and finishing with his second to consign the Wanderers to the worst defeat in their history.

Nabbout thought he’d played Maclaren through for number seven, but it was ruled out for a marginal offside in the buildup as the familiar strike partners combined.

While there may’ve already been six on the board… our City boys certainly saved the best for last.

It was a moment everyone inside AAMI Park on a humid Tuesday night will remember for life, Antonis latching onto a half-volley from just inside the halfway line to net one of the greatest goals ever scored in a City shirt.

Words can’t do it justice, so we suggest you watch the clip below in case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t yet seen it…

Natel and Callum Talbot both tried their best in the search to make it 8, but “seventh heaven” was what it was destined to be for City as we equalled both our own record for biggest win and that of the league, equalling our 8-1 victory in December.

The win sees us return to the top six on the table and take another step closer to securing a place in Finals.

What’s next?

Our re-scheduled fixture against the Mariners means your City boys won’t be in action until after the international break.

We’re set to welcome Newcastle to AAMI Park on Saturday 30 March, and you can click here to get your tickets now!