ALM Report: Western United 1-3 City

Melbourne City secured another three points on a history-making Saturday night at AAMI Park against Western United.

Our star number nine, Jamie Maclaren, entered the contest needing a hattrick to become the outright all-time A-Leagues leading scorer, and he did just that – doing so for the fourth time in City blue.

Team News

Having sealed the Premiership last weekend, Head Coach Rado Vidosic had the luxury of resting some players after sticking with the same starting XI for three consecutive fixtures.

Captain Scott Jamieson headlined the three changes, while Nuno Reis and Scott Galloway also came in and slotted into the back four.

Mathew Leckie and Richard van der Venne made their long-awaited returns via the substitutes bench.

Starting XI: 1. Tom GLOVER (GK), 2. Scott GALLOWAY, 4. Nuno REIS, 6. Thomas LAM, 38. Jordan BOS, 3. Scott JAMIESON (C), 13. Aiden O’NEILL, 10. Florin BERENGUER, 15. Andrew NABBOUT, 23. Marco TILIO, 9. Jamie MACLAREN.

Substitutes: 33. Matthew SUTTON (GK), 7. Mathew LECKIE, 8. Richard VAN DER VENNE, 18. Jordon HALL, 25. Callum TALBOT, 35. Raphael BORGES RODRIGUES, 37. Max CAPUTO.

What happened?

It was a cagey beginning to the affair, although City still managed to control large parts of the possession from the first whistle.

The deadlock was broken in the 13th minute, with who else but Jamie Maclaren getting his name on the scoresheet – edging to within a goal of tying the all-time A-Leagues scoring record.

It came off the back of a patient build-up for City, which saw Andrew Nabbout eventually with the ball at his feet on the edge of the box before whipping in a pinpoint cross to the back-post where a waiting Maclaren found the back of the net from close range.

City’s midfield did a mountain of work and ensured goalkeeper Tom Glover had little to deal with, that was until the 35th minute when he pulled off a fine 1-on-1 save to deny Dylan Pierias.

There was little he could do just minutes later though, Pierias getting on the end of a loose ball in the box to make it 1-1.

The second half was all City, much to the delight of well over half the crowd despite it technically being an away game.

It took around 20 minutes for things to really get going – but the introduction of fan favourites Richard van der Venne and Mathew Leckie in the 64th minute sparked City into a new gear.

Leckie took just two minutes to get an assist to his name, winning the ball on the edge of the box and dribbling through a few defenders before laying off to Maclaren who found the bottom corner, going across Jamie Young with an exquisite finish.

He wasn’t done there though…

Just eight minutes after scoring that goal which equalled Besart Berisha’s all-time A-Leagues scoring record, he was on target again to stand alone on top.

It was his Socceroos teammate Leckie involved again, forcing a diving save out of Young with a powerful header, and as he always is, Maclaren was in the right spot at the right time to smash the rebound into the roof of the net.

He received a well-deserved standing ovation from the AAMI Park crowd when he exited the pitch in the 88th minute, with City going on to see out the 3-1 win thanks to the hattrick from our star man.

What’s next?

Just one match remains for your City boys this season and it’s set to be a big night.

We’ll lift the Premiers Plate at AAMI Park for the third year running in front of the City faithful, this time following the conclusion of our clash against Western Sydney.

Click here to get your tickets if you haven’t already!