Melbourne City FC maintained their perfect record over Western United with a come from behind win at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
Four changes for City from the side that took on Adelaide, with skipper Scott Jamieson (suspended) and Aidan O’Neill (injured) forced to sit out, and Marco Tilio and Florin Berenguer dropping to the bench.
Gaffer Patrick Kisnorbo handed a first start of the season to Scott Galloway and City starting debuts to Taras Gomulka and Naoki Tsubaki. Adrian Luna returned from his suspension to give a welcome boost to City’s engine room.
Conspiracy theorists will have had a field day with Kisnorbo electing to unleash the 5G network in defence (Glover, Galloway, Good, Griffiths and Garrucio) whilst Gomulka held down the 6 position with Luna and Connor Metcalfe sitting front. A front three of Tsubaki, Jamie Maclaren and Craig Noone rounded out the XI.
The game got off to a lively start for City with several near misses in the opening 15 minutes. Craig Noone was productive down the right-hand side and threatened for the opener.
Western United started to get a foothold in the game and after firing a couple shots across the bow they snatched the lead as Ivan Vujica headed home past a diving Tom Glover.
City fans didn’t have to wait long to get back on level terms however as scarcely 10 minutes later Craig Noone jinked his way past two defenders and curled an absolute peach of a goal in off the far post.
Just two minutes later a slick move involving Galloway and Noone down the right fell to the debutant Gomulka who was just inches away from scoring one of the great A League goals from the resultant volley.
Rostyn Griffiths’ night ended early due to injury late in the first half. This opened the door for youngster Kerrin Stokes to make his competitive debut for the side.
It was an arm wrestle after the break until the 67th minute sub of Marco Tilio for Naoki Tsubaki which proved to be a turning point in the game as City slowly began to take control of the game.
No doubt Paddy Kisnorbo will sleep well tonight after his final set of subs; Berenguer for Gomulka and Colakovski for Noone, turned the game on its head.
The young winger’s pace proved far too hot to handle for a tiring United defence whilst the Frenchman’s experience appeared to bring a calm and fluency to the home sides midfield that they had perhaps struggled with to that point in the game.
Following a slew of near misses, the moment fell to Adrian Luna picking out one of the more exquisite through balls you’ll see to play Colacovski in behind, maintaining his composure to cut back to Maclaren who buried the rock in the onion bag on the 83rd.
Far from going into their shell, the men in blue pressed on and went excruciating close to finding a third on multiple occasions before the final whistle was blown and City made it a perfect 5 from 5 against Western United.