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May 22, 2021   |  11:15PM AET

Match Report: City 1-0 Central Coast

Match Report: City 1-0 Central Coast

Melbourne City FC has climbed the A-League summit, securing its first Premiers Plate with a 1-0 win over the Central Coast Mariners at a rocking AAMI Park on Saturday night.

The home fans had to wait until the 59th minute when a Craig Noone header fired City in front before a frenetic finish.

Starting XI

Head Coach Patrick Kisnorbo rung the changes after having rested a number of key players. The likes of Jamie Maclaren, Scott Jamieson, Aiden O’Neill and Noone returned to what was a full-strength City line-up.

What happened?

The game started brightly for the home side with Noone menacing down the left-hand flank. A superb cross fell to Jamie Maclaren just seconds into the fixture with the Golden Boot leader’s headed attempt going just over the crossbar.

City continued to have the better of the early stages of the game but a resolute Mariners defence held the premiers-in-waiting at bay as the game began to settle.
A Craig Noone rocket cannoned into the side netting, before at the other end, a delightful ball over the top played in Matt Simon who was denied by pure defensive brilliance by Curtis Good.

All square at the break and once again ,City came out all guns blazing to open the half and it was again Craig Noone that looked the most likely. A Mark Birighitti save denied a cross-cum-shot before Noone turned on the razzle dazzle with a sensational run and a curling shot that fizzed past the far post.
The Englishman didn’t have to wait much longer to open the account when Connor Metcalfe’s looped cross to the back post found its way to Adrian Luna via Marco Tilio. Luna’s low and hard cross to the back post was met by an onrushing Noone who thumped the header past Birighitti from a difficult angle.

The final half hour was met with a resolute Melbourne City defence who, whilst ceding possession, shut down any attack Central Coast could muster and on 85 minutes it was Jamie Maclaren who bundled the ball into the back of the net for what looked like the sealer.
Controversially however, the VAR intervened and overturned the goal, setting up a grandstand finish.
Melbourne looked to be in control as the clock ran down but as the Mariners earned themselves a late corner, disaster struck with the away side awarded a penalty. Mariners keeper Mark Birighitti came up for the corner and in tracking back with the flight of the ball, tripped over the legs of the stationary defender and was awarded the spot kick.
Once again the VAR saw things differently and following a nervous few minutes for almost everyone present, the decision was overturned and City ran out the dying moments to claim its first A-League Premiers Plate.

Jubilant scenes were omnipresent as players, fans, staff and coaches alike celebrated a hard earned, and well-deserved premiership in our beloved home city of Melbourne.

What’s next?

The Premiers travel to Brisbane now to take on the Roar on Tuesday night at Moreton Daily Stadium from 7.05pm, before returning home to face the Newcastle Jets next Saturday night.