Grand Final Match Report: City 3-1 Sydney


Your Melbourne City are 2020/21 A League Premiers & Champions, after a dominant 3-1 win over Sydney FC on Sunday night at AAMI Park.

Goals to Nathaniel Atkinson, Scott Jamieson and Scott Galloway sealed a maiden A-League Championship following a season where the Melburnians conquered all challengers.

Starting XI

After an intense week of speculation over the fitness of Craig Noone and Andrew Nabbout, Patrick Kisnorbo named an unchanged line up to take on Sydney. The aforementioned Noone and Nabbout were named on a star-studded bench that promised to take the game by the scruff of the neck if required, whilst for Sydney an unchanged line-up also took part with Johnny Warren Medallist Milos Ninkovic returning to the team via the bench as well.

What happened?

City was in the mood for it from minute one, following an inspiring rendition of ‘Happy Together’ from the home fans, and captain Scotty Jamieson fired an early warning shot across the bows of the Sydney defence.
The premiers dominated the early exchanges, however Sydney were to strike first when Kosta Barbarouses thumped home a stunner from outside the box after 20 minutes of play.
City took just seconds to mount their response when a blistering Stefan Colakovski run down the left hand flank cut the Sydney defence to pieces, the in-form Nathaniel Atkinson finding the resulting pass and lashing home the equaliser into the roof of the net.

A jampacked, COVID-safe capacity crowd rose to their feet in unison as the game went back to even terms and on 35 minutes a key moment in the match arose that would greatly tip the balance in the home side’s favour.
Ex-City midfielder and key Sydney cog Luke Brattan went into the book for a second time following a rash challenge on Marco Tilio and the visitors were reduced to ten men.
City were comfortable and collected in the following minutes and their patience was rewarded as the game ticked towards stoppage time with Adrian Luna felled after a surge into the box by Anthony Caceres.
Skipper Scott Jamieson was the man to step up and take the spot kick and to the delight of the home fans he buried the penalty into the right hand side of the net to hand Melbourne the lead.

The second half well and truly belonged to City as the premiers took total control of the match, denying Sydney possession and any semblance of a chance.
At the other end, City continued to generate chance after chance, none more prominent than a gorgeous bit of play from Florin Berenguer who was denied only by the outstretched fingertips of Tom Heward-Belle.

As the game ticked into four minutes of stoppage time, City displayed a masterclass in closing the game out and it was Scott Galloway, following a plethora of half chances, that drove past the central defender and scored the sealer from the edge of the penalty area. The full-back put the finishing touch on a fantastic season with a terrific low, hard finish to the bottom right corner and City fans entered delirium.

The final whistle rang out and the premiers were made champions, completing fairy-tale 11 years in the making and ensuring the boys in City Blue would take home all trophies on offer following an outstanding season.

Nathaniel Atkinson was awarded the Joe Marston Medal after a swashbuckling performance on the right wing, whilst the Melbourne motto installed going into the finals’ series rang true on all three fronts.

Anyone. Anytime. Anywhere.

champs 2021