A-League Pre-Season Report: Bentleigh 0-1 Melbourne City

Melbourne City FC has finished its pre-season with a 0-1 win against Bentleigh Greens at Kingston Heath on Friday night.

An Adrian Luna goal in the 11th minute was enough for City to finish it’s pre-season undefeated and take plenty of momentum and confidence into the coming A-League season.

Starting XI

1. Tom GLOVER (GK), 3. Scott JAMIESON (c), 7. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 8. Aiden O’NEILL, 9. Jamie MACLAREN, 11. Craig NOONE, 15. Andrew NABBOUT, 18. Connor METCALFE, 19. Ben GARUCCIO, 20. Adrian LUNA, 22. Curtis GOOD.

What happened?

City got off to a fast start as it controlled all of the possession in the early stages and put the Greens on the back foot right from the opening whistle.

Adrian Luna and Andrew Nabbout were both dynamic early as they ran at defenders and showed plenty of creativity with their passes.

A strong Craig Noone tackle won the ball back for City in a dangerous area in the 11th minute with Adrian Luna taking full advantage.

Despite the Uruguayan’s initial shot rebounding off both the post and goalkeeper, he was able to put the follow up into the back of the net to open the scoring.

City continued to control possession in what was a high tempo opening half and created a number of chances but couldn’t find the back of the net.

Noone’s 26th minute header flew inches over the bar after he was well found by a Nabbout cross.

City’s advantage was almost doubled in the 35th minute when an inch-perfect lofted ball from Luna found an unmarked Maclaren in the box but a strong save by the Greens keeper kept the score 0-1.

The second half continued on the same trend as the first, as City continued to dominate play but couldn’t quite find the back of the net.

Noone found himself unmarked in the box with the ball at his feet in the 53rd minute but a Bentleigh defender popped up at the last second to clear a shot that looked destined for goal.

After his worldie in City’s last pre-season game, Aiden O’Neill tried his luck from range in the 63rd minute but the Greens keeper did well to keep out the blistering strike.

Minutes later, Noone tried from a similar distance but  was also denied as City continued to heap pressure on the Bentleigh defence.

After not threatening for most of the game, the Greens found some momentum in the closing minutes and were able to ask some big questions of the City defence.

If not for a remarkable effort from Tom Glover, Bentleigh would’ve equalised but City’s number one pulled off a sensational double save from point blank range in the 88th minute to secure the win.

What’s next?

City will kick off its 2020/21 A-League campaign on Wednesday December 30 against Sydney FC at Nestrata Jubilee Stadium.

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