ALM Report: Macarthur 1-1 City

Melbourne City was held to a draw away to Macarthur on Sunday night, sharing the points in a contest that ended 1-1.

The hosts opened the scoring in the first half before a dangerous run and cross from Jordan Bos forced an own goal in the 66th minute.

Team News

Head Coach Rado Vidosic made one forced change to his line-up from last weekend’s win over Brisbane Roar.

Thomas Lam missed through suspension due to yellow card accumulation, opening the door for Nuno Reis to make his return to the XI.

Four City Academy products in Jordon Hall, Patrick Hogan, Sebastian Esposito and Emile Peios, were named among the substitutes.

Starting XI: 1. Tom GLOVER (GK), 25. Callum TALBOT, 4. Nuno REIS, 22. Curtis GOOD, 38. Jordan BOS, 3. Scott JAMIESON (C), 13. Aiden O’NEILL, 14. Valon BERISHA, 23. Marco TILIO, 15. Andrew NABBOUT, 9. Jamie MACLAREN.

Substitutes: 33. Matthew SUTTON (GK), 3. Scott GALLOWAY, 18. Jordon HALL, 36. Kerrin STOKES, 43. Sebastian ESPOSITO, 50. Emile PEIOS, 51. Patrick HOGAN.

What happened?

City flexed its muscle early in the contest, controlling the tempo virtually from the opening whistle.

The possession stats for the opening 45 minutes fluctuated around the 80% mark in City’s favour, with Aiden O’Neill and captain Scott Jamieson doing plenty of work in midfield to ensure the game was played on our terms.

Perhaps taking a little inspiration from his opposite full-back, Callum Talbot went on a dazzling run down the right, beating numerous Bulls defenders with some quick feet before cutting back to Jamie Maclaren but the shot was blocked.

Despite City’s dominance of possession, Macarthur would get on the scoresheet first through Jason Romero in a quick transition move in the 26th.

Maclaren was finding some dangerous areas and working hard to find an equaliser, but it was almost an unlikely hero scoring a rare goal in what was our best chance of the half.

Thriving in his new defensive midfield role, Jamieson played a quick 1-2 with Talbot and received a few yards outside the box before firing a lethal strike towards goal which sadly for the City fans watching back home, cannoned into the crossbar.

City would continue to put plenty of pressure on the Bulls defence for the remainder of the half following that 34th minute strike, but it couldn’t find a way through and headed into the sheds to re-group at 1-0 down.

Macarthur came out strong in the second half putting City’s defence on the back-foot immediately, although we were able to quickly wrestle back the momentum winning back-to-back corners.

City looked to have a golden chance at an equaliser right on the hour mark when Maclaren was brought down in the box with the referee quickly blowing for a penalty.

That chance to get back on level terms didn’t take long to disappear though, with VAR intervening and ruling our number 9 offside by the slightest of margins.

Thankfully, we wouldn’t have to wait too much longer to finally find a goal, a moment of Jordan Bos magic working a treat.

The soon-to-be Socceroo once again showed off his sensational dribbling skills and close control, beating a couple of defenders before cutting back a ball that Macarthur defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis could only turn into his own net.

The pace of the game quickly lifted from there, with City stepping up its play even more, frantically searching for a winner in the final 20 or so minutes.

Macarthur seemed happy to sit back and take a point, making it tough for City to create too many clear-cut chances despite pressing hard.

O’Neill was brought down in the box in the 92nd minute and for the second time in half an hour, it looked like City would have a spot-kick after the referee awarded a penalty, but once again it wasn’t to be with VAR stepping in.

Just about everything other than the kitchen sink was thrown at the Bulls in the final moments, but the hosts were able to see off a few late set-pieces to keep a share of the points.

What’s next?

Majority of City’s squad will now have a few days off with no A-League Men action next weekend due to the international break.

City will return home to face Newcastle Jets on Sunday 2 April and you can click here to get your tickets!