Melbourne City FC remains undefeated and top of the A-League Men’s table following a comprehensive victory over Perth Glory at AAMI Park on Saturday evening.
City dominated throughout the contest, but the damage wasn’t done until a scintillating second half where it hit the back of the net four times.
Jamie Maclaren netted a double whilst fellow Socceroos Marco Tilio and Mathew Leckie also were amongst the goals.
Head Coach Patrick Kisnorbo made two changes at the selection table, one forced and one tactical for Saturday’s clash.
Thomas Lam’s suspension saw Nuno Reis make his first appearance of the season in the heart of defence, while Richard van der Venne replaced Taras Gomulka in midfield for what would be his first City start.
On the other side of the fence, former City fan favourite Stefan Colakovski was named on the bench for the Glory.
Starting XI: 1. Tom GLOVER (GK), 25. Callum TALBOT, 4. Nuno REIS, 22. Curtis GOOD, 38. Jordan BOS, 13. Aiden O’NEILL, 8. Richard VAN DER VENNE, 14. Valon BERISHA, 23. Marco TILIO, 7. Mathew LECKIE, 9. Jamie MACLAREN (C).
Substitutes: 33. Matthew SUTTON (GK), 2. Scott GALLOWAY, 3. Scott JAMIESON, 15. Andrew NABBOUT, 16. Taras GOMULKA, 18. Jordon HALL, 36. Kerrin STOKES.
If you happened to arrive at AAMI Park a little late on Saturday afternoon, you wouldn’t have missed much in the early stages other than Jordan Bos tearing up the left-hand side.
van der Venne also started well in his first City start, but it wasn’t until the quarter hour mark that the hosts got a proper hold of the momentum.
Back-to-back corners saw pressure begin to mount on Perth, and Maclaren had the first chance of the night with a header flicked on following a Valon Berisha set-piece, but it was easy enough for Liam Reddy to gobble up.
Marco Tilio and Mathew Leckie both got better as the half went on, providing a timely reminder to Socceroos Head Coach Graham Arnold ahead of his World Cup squad announcement next week.
Although City dominated the first half with 9 shots to 0, the score line remained unchanged at half time.
While City’s dominance may not have shown on the scoreboard in the first 45, it certainly did from that point on.
It took just four second half minutes for City to break the deadlock, and who else but Jamie Maclaren was the man to find the back of the net.
After some classic City pressing won the ball back in the opposition’s half, Valon Berisha put his head down and drove forward, finding Tilio in the box. The young winger lost his footing after his initial touch into the area – but as usual – Maclaren was in the perfect position to smash the ball into the back of the net.
City continued its dominance, not letting up for even a minute with some ferocious pressing off the ball and some dynamic attacking play while on it.
The referee may’ve initially missed a handball in the 70th minute but VAR didn’t, a penalty eventually being awarded to City for a chance to double the advantage.
In what has been pretty much a weekly occurrence so far this season, Maclaren made no mistake in despatching the spot kick.
The final 15 minutes of the contest couldn’t have been any different from the week prior as City put its foot down further and looked to heap on the pain.
Tilio was on the scoresheet for the second week in a row, firing into the bottom corner from outside the box in the 82nd minute catching the Glory defence and keeper off guard.
A quick glance at the goal scorers told a fitting story at the final whistle, with Leckie adding his name alongside his fellow duo of aspiring Socceroo World Cup selections.
Unlucky not to get a goal for all his good work on his first City start, a late van der Venne attempt cannoned into the woodwork and right into the path of Leckie, who tapped home into an empty net from close-range.
The only downside of the comprehensive victory was a concussion concern for defender Nuno Reis who had to be stretchered from the pitch after he copped a ball to the head from very close range. Positive news came post-game though, as Kisnorbo confirmed he was in good spirits in the change rooms and feeling okay.
City will travel away to Newcastle next week for what will be its final fixture before the World Cup break. The team will return home on Saturday 17 December for the second Melbourne Derby of the season and tickets for that huge clash will go on sale next Thursday!