Sunday saw our first three points of the season and an important win for Melbourne City. We look at five talking points that came out of the match.
1. El Tuna Spectacular
Bruno Fornaroli was a relative unknown when he first arrived in Australia, after signing from Danubio F.C. The Uruguayan striker came to the Club from stints in Europe and his native league but many were not sure about how ‘El Tuna’ would fare in the Hyundai A-League. Well, six competitive games in, Fornaroli has already scored six goals and another double this weekend confirms he is the real deal.
Although he may not be the tallest striker in the league, Bruno’s strength, touch and nous in and around contests has made him a formidable opponent and his two goals on the weekend showed he has a knack of being at the right place at the right time.
2. Gameiro and Williams return to the frame
It was a great moment for City fans on the weekend when David Williams and new signing Corey Gameiro stepped onto the pitch for the first time this season. The duo played important roles in keeping the Mariners under pressure in the second half with Williams picking up the assist for Fornaroli’s first goal and Gameiro coming agonisingly close to scoring on debut.
With fire-power coming off the bench for City, keep an eye out for the Club’s second halves this season with fresh legs and talent beginning to burst at the seams.
3. ‘M’ is for midfield
Sunday saw a midfield trio of Mooy, Mauk and Melling start and it was an industrious performance from all three in creating and keeping the attacking Mariners midfield at bay. Although Nick Fitzgerald’s goal resulted from a 50/50 midfield tussle, the City midfield did well to rotate and contain the all-out attack from Tony Warmsley’s men.
With an average age of 22, the trio were by far the youngest engine room in the A-League this week.
4. Squad depth paying dividends
With a number of players out of the side, John van’t Schip said his squad depth would be tested over the month and the performance against the Mariners showed that his young chargers have what it takes to compete for positions when the side is fully fit. Stefan Zinni, Steve Kuzmanovski, Ben Garuccio and Jacob Melling made their first starts this season and the team look settled from the get-go, rewarded with the early goal in the first half. van’t Schip said competition was key to making his side stronger and if the current side continue their way, the Head Coach will have the headaches he wants during squad selection.
5. Polar opposites
The Central Coast Mariners and the Newcastle Jets are only separated by the Pacific Highway but the football styles of both clubs in 2015/16 could not be further apart. The Mariners played a high-risk, high-reward style on Sunday and at stages had City on the back foot. But with their risky style came space in midfield and defence which the potent City attack cut through, creating a range of goal scoring opportunities. The Jets however are a complete different entity. With two wins and a tight loss to Sydney this year, their defensive block has been hard to penetrate. For the Jets, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it and City will need to adjust quickly to the varying styles.