Match Report: Newcastle 2-4 City

Melbourne City FC has gotten back to winning ways with a convincing 4-2 away win against Newcastle Jets. Jamie Maclaren was at the heart of things for City, scoring twice and assisting Mathew Leckie’s first league league goal for the Club, whilst Florin Berenguer opened the scoring in the first half. Beka Mikeltadze and Angus Thurgate scored goals for the home side in the second period.

Starting XI

With Patrick Kisnorbo not able to travel with the squad after testing positive to COVID in the morning, it was Petr Kratky who stood in and named the starting lineup, one that featured wholesale changes from City’s last game against Western United.

Mathew Leckie, Jamie Maclaren, Connor Metcalfe and Andrew Nabbout all slotted back into the XI, whilst newly-capped Socceroo Marco Tilio was named to the substitutes’ bench. Curtis Good also made his long-awaited return to the starting lineup, having not featured in a matchday squad since the Christmas Derby.

What happened?

The visiting City team started brightly, with Leckie getting an early sighter in the 3rd minute to sting the palms of Jack Duncan for the first save of the game.

Though a small handful of minor Jets chances filled the time in between, it was Leckie who came close again for City in the 14th minute, cutting inside from the right and driving a left-footed strike narrowly wide of the post.

Following that chance the game largely fell into a holding pattern until the 35th minute, when a defensive mistake in the box allowed Maclaren to latch onto a spilled ball, swivelling and shooting, but the striker was unable to beat Duncan who pulled off an impressive reflex save.

City’s dominance of the big chances eventually paid off, with the visiting side finally finding the back of the net in the 40th minute – though with a little help. Florin Berenguer was at the centre of the move as he relied on his close control to find a shooting opportunity amidst defensive pressure, squirting out an on-target effort that was inches away from crossing the line until it was helped along by Riley Warland, who cleared it straight into his own net.

It was all City after the teams came out from the half-time break, with the visitors getting two great chances in the first five minutes before the floodgates burst open in the 52nd. A flowing attacking move culminated with Berenguer at the edge of the box, who then slipped Maclaren through into the area with the striker shooting across Duncan to place his shot into the bottom right corner.

It didn’t take long to find a third either, with Maclaren teeing up Leckie for a simple finish inside the area just four minutes later.

Whilst Newcastle would net a consolation goal from the spot courtesy of Beka Mikeltadze in the 59th, the comeback didn’t last long, with Maclaren being credited with a second goal in the 66th minute after Metcalfe blasted the ball towards goal, taking a fortuitous touch off City’s #9 on the way through.

The home side remained spirited over the remainder of the contest though and were rewarded for their persistence with another consolation goal in the 82nd minute, with Angus Thurgate managing to navigate his off-balance effort into the bottom corner, but it was City who ran out 4-2 winners in the end.

What’s next?

The three points and four goals scored will serve as a massive confidence boost for the boys after some disrupted form in 2022 thus far. The team now faces a short turnaround to its next fixture, with the team set to travel again to take on Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday night.