Genreau and Griffiths moved into the starting side, as Erick Mombaerts makes two changes to Wednesday’s FFA Cup Final line up. Luna and Metcalfe move to the bench, while Najjarine was the 19th man.
— Melbourne City FC ?️ (@MelbourneCity) October 27, 2019
Looking to atone for their midweek cup final, City came out of the blocks on the front foot, dictating play from the opening whistle.
The visitors looked dangerous down the right and that was where they found their first chance of the match as Josh Brillante’s cutback saw Philip Kurto parry the effort into the vacant penalty area. With Wales and Maclaren hovering for scraps, the goalkeeper recovered to smother the effort on goal.
It was then an almost goal of the season contender that saw City go agonisingly close as Rostyn Griffiths blasted an effort from range. The shot – heading straight to the top corner from 30 yards – forced Kurto into a stunning save.
As City pressed, they finally found their answer in front of goal and who else but Jamie Maclaren. A wonderful dink over the United defence by Denis Genreau found the Socceroo inside the penalty area as he brought down the ball and slotted home through Kurto.
The hosts did have their chance to enter the sheds level as Scott McDonald directed his header down towards goal. A sharp stop from Bouzanis denied the 36-year-old the leveller as the visitors took a deserved lead into the break.
United came agonisingly close to finding the back of the net out of the break as Besart Berisha found time and space in the penalty area. The striker swivelled on the spot and turned his shot towards goal as it hit the base of the post.
But the hosts found their way back into the game via the penalty spot. A stray pass from Connor Metcalfe opened the door for Berisha to drive on goal as Harrison Delbridge slid in to halt the forward, resulting in a penalty. The offence was Delbridge’s second yellow as he was given his marching orders while Berisha made no mistake from the spot after 66 minutes.
10-man City meant the match opened up for both sides as City looked dangerous on the counter while United threw bodies forward.
It was that man again however who would put the game to rest after 85 minutes as Maclaren latched onto Josh Brillante’s clearance and finished with aplomb from the angle to give his side the late lead.
As the hosts pushed, they came closest to finding a goal in the final minute of stoppage time as a Berisha header blasted just over the bar from close range however the three points would return to Melbourne over the Westgate as City moved into second spot on the A-League table.
It’s back home to Melbourne for City as they return to AAMI Park on Sunday to take on Wellington at AAMI Park, kick-off 4pm.