A disappointing loss to Western United last weekend will place extra emphasis on Tuesday’s A-League Men clash against Newcastle Jets for Melbourne City FC, with the team now desperate to establish sustained momentum with a winning run for the first time in 2021/22.
City’s loss against Western United finished with the same scoreline as when the teams met earlier in the season: a narrow 1-0 in favour of the team in green and black.
Playing without a gluttony of Socceroos talents like Mathew Leckie, Jamie Maclaren, Connor Metcalfe, Marco Tilio (all on national team duty), Andrew Nabbout (minor niggle) and Curtis Good (illness), Patrick Kisnorbo’s side was always going to be up against it to score goals against one of the league’s better defensive outfits in Western United.
Even without many of its stars, a youthful-looking City side still created some great attacking opportunities and forced some brilliant saves from Jamie Young, whose performance between the sticks was topped only by Tom Glover up the other end. The City shot-stopper made a string of unbelievable saves throughout the contest, even denying Alessandro Diamanti from the penalty spot, before being brought undone by a Steven Lustica strike through a sea of legs which would prove the difference between the teams.
Now with 12 points from its opening nine games, the City boys will be desperate to secure all three points against Newcastle Jets for fear of leaving our return to our very best form too late.
Newcastle has played the equal-fewest number of games this season, so reading into their current ninth-place position on the table could be a dangerous move for City fans, especially with the Jets coming off a 2-1 win at home against Brisbane Roar last Thursday.
An evenly contested game amidst unpleasant weather conditions, the fixture was decided in the 70th minute by Angus Thurgate, with the midfielder launching a pinpoint strike from distance to find the back of the net and secure the three points for his side.
The upcoming clash between City and Newcastle will likely be a high-scoring affair if the stats leading into it are anything to go by, with the two sides’ matches this season averaging more goals than all other teams in the league. Both outfits have secured just one clean sheet apiece in 2021/22 and respectively rank first and second for total shots per 90 minutes.
Izuzu UTE A-League
Newcastle Jets FC vs Melbourne City FC
Tuesday 8 February, kick-off 8:05pm
McDonald Jones Stadium