Melbourne City FC has claimed another big victory in the A-League Men, downing Sydney FC 4-0 in a Grand Final rematch at AAMI Park on Wednesday night.
Jordan Bos opened the scoring with an incredible first-half strike that proved the difference at half-time, before a Mathew Leckie double and Jamie Maclaren’s 14th of the season ensured a comprehensive win for the City boys.
Rostyn Griffiths made his first start in over a month following making a full recovery from injury, whilst Connor Metcalfe similarly returned to the starting lineup after spending time away with the Socceroos. Jordon Hall and Taras Gomulka were the unlucky ones to miss out.
Though City looked good in the early stages, it took until the 26th minute for either team to fashion any sort of chance. In fact, it was the most unlikely of opportunities that Jordan Bos faced when the ball spilled out to him outside the box, but the young defender pulled off a goal of the season contender when he volleyed a strike through a sea of bodies and into the bottom right corner for his debut A-League Men goal.
City’s next chance arrived eight minutes later when a flicked-on corner was met with intent by Andrew Nabbout with the header, but his aerial effort was comfortably saved by Tom Heward-Belle in goal.
Sydney’s first opportunity arrived in the 38th when City failed to clear a corner, which was met at the back post by James Donachie. The central defender’s initial effort deflected back to him and his ferocious follow-up strike was crucially blocked by multiple City defensive bodies.
The 55th minute brought confusion and then jubilation for the home City fans when Mathew Leckie was able to head home from Nabbout’s cross, with the goal immediately ruled out by the linesman who stated that the ball had crossed the byline in the build-up.
Upon VAR review, this hadn’t proven to be the case and the goal stood to the delight of those in the stands.
An exciting couple of minutes followed, with big chances for Tilio up one end – with the winger trying to place his effort, which made for a comfortable save by Heward-Belle – and then Adam Le Fondre, who stung the palms of Glover as he sprung low to his right.
In a near-identical sequence between Nabbout and Leckie that set up the latter’s goal, City’s left-winger this time elected to head across goal for Jamie Maclaren. Unfortunately, our #9 struggled to deal with the awkward bounce and wasn’t able to get a decisive touch on the chance.
Maclaren would get his goal just minutes later in the 70th though, teed up superbly by Marco Tilio who evaded a would-be tackler and played the striker through on goal for a simple one-on-one finish to make it 3-0.
Leckie wouldn’t let Bos’ incredible first-half strike steal all the headlines though, scoring his second of the contest with a scorching volley in the 72nd that left Heward-Belle with no chance.
With such an insurmountable lead, the City boys were then able to see out the remaining time with some professional game management and run out 4-0 winners.
The win not only ensures another vital three points, it also saw the team set a new club record for the most games played without defeat, with our undefeated streak extending to 11. The team will hope to continue their good form with a Melbourne Derby win on Saturday night.