The City boys will be back in action on Saturday night, with the team set to take on Western United at AAMI Park. It’ll be another quick turnaround for the squad, who will have played three games in seven days by the time the final whistle blows, but we’re confident the boys have what it takes to secure an important three points early in the season.
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It’s been a solid start to the new season for Melbourne City, with the team now undefeated across its opening five games in all competitions. Most recently, that run was extended thanks to a win in the FFA Cup over Hume City on Wednesday night, seeing us through to the competition’s quarter-final stage.
With Patrick Kisnorbo naming a very youthful-looking starting lineup, a win was also going to have to be well-earned and the City boys certainly had to fight for the result, with the match finishing 0-1 in their favour.
Mathew Leckie netted his first Melbourne City goal in the 20th minute after being teed up to score from close range by Manuel Pucciarelli, who made his first competitive appearance for the club since arriving in September.
Whist the remainder of the encounter saw good chances for either team, with Raphael Borges Rodrigues especially impressive for the visiting City team, Leckie’s opener proved to be the decisive goal.
In City’s most recent A-League Men’s fixture, however, fans will remember a disappointing result on the road to Adelaide United, where City had held a 2-0 lead with 20 minutes to go before a late pair of goals saw the points shared.
Andrew Nabbout was in the mood on Saturday night, assisting Jamie Maclaren for City’s opener before scoring an incredible outside-of-the-boot goal from outside the box to make it 2-0 early in the second half.
However, a late defensive lapse saw City concede goals to Stefan Mauk – courtesy of some unfortunate rebounds off of both the post and Tom Glover’s back – and then Ben Halloran in stoppage time, with the winger chipping Glover from outside the area in what was a frustrating moment for fans.
This Saturday, however, it’s Western United we’ll be coming up against and they’ll be feeling good after securing their opening win of the new A-League Men’s season against Perth Glory last weekend.
The encounter was a narrow affair, settled only by a 78th-minute Dylan Wenzel-Halls tap-in after Connor Pain was able to beat his man and send in a cross from the left that bounced off the far post and fell straight into the striker’s path less than a metre out from the goal line.
The teams had wrestled for control of the match leading up to that moment, but United defended well against a Glory side that failed to capitalise on some good chances inside the opposition area, running out 1-0 winners in the end.
Fans will be counting on City’s impeccable record as the home team against Western United to continue, with the side never having failed to win in such fixtures.
Izuzu UTE A-League Round 3
Melbourne City FC vs Western United FC
Saturday 4 December, kick-off 7:45pm