Melbourne City has picked up a gutsy three points on the road, defeating Adelaide United 2-0 at Coopers Stadium on Sunday night.
A second half goal from Luke Brattan added rounded off the result in the City of Churches as Adelaide defender Jordan Elsey turned the ball into his own net in the first stanza.
The result means City jump the Reds into fourth position on the A-League ladder as Warren Joyce’s side prepare for the 28th edition of the Melbourne Derby.
Ritchie De Laet returned to the eleven after recovering from a knee injury sustained late last week while Curtis Good sat out the contest with a one-match suspension. Osama Malik and Michael O’Halloran moved onto the bench for this first time this season after overcoming long-term injuries.
— Melbourne City FC ?️ (@MelbourneCity) December 16, 2018
It was a fast start at Coopers Stadium as both sides looked to bounce back from the disappointment of last week’s respective losses against Perth and Victory.
The Reds looked dangerous with the speed of Ben Halloran and Nikola Mileusnic as both wingers found their way past the City fullbacks, unable to create any danger to the City goal.
Up the other end, it was Lachlan Wales and Riley McGree who’s combination looked to damage the Adelaide defence and two heavy through balls from the latter in the opening half saw goalkeeper Paul Izzo collect at the feet of the flying Wales.
City were dealt a blow after 23 minutes as Ritchie De Laet succumbed to the knee injury that left him out of the side last week as Ramy Najjarine’s introduction forced a re-shuffle in the visitor’s defensive ranks.
It was only moments later though City would find the lead as Wales and McGree combined again to see the latter’s cutback to the penalty spot ricochet off Jordan Elsey and into the back of the net.
The goal put City in the ascendancy moving forward until the final minute of the opening stanza. An unmarked Craig Goodwin was unable to make the most of the space afforded to him in the penalty area as his header bounced just wide of Eugene Galekovic’s upright.
The break saw City come out of the sheds back on top and they doubled their lead after 50 minutes. A high press saw Wales force a turnover with the youngster cutting back into the area for Dario Vidosic who then put it on a platter for Brattan to bury home his effort.
The second goal saw the visitors put up a more defensive front, inviting pressure from the Reds who looked to salvage a result at home.
First, it was Goodwin who found his way into the six-yard box, flashing his effort past the goal-face while Scott Galloway’s strike on the edge of the area fizzed past the far post as the Reds continued to look for a way back into it.
It was then a moment of brilliance from Eugene Galekovic to keep his clean sheet intact as the 37-year-old made a stunning reflex save off Galloway after 74 minutes to deny the Reds once again.
The custodian continued to make crucial interventions as City left the City of Churches with a clean sheet and more importantly, all three points from the contest.
It’s the massive Melbourne Derby up next for City as they return to AAMI Park on Saturday 22 December, kick-off 7.50pm.