Three goals from three new faces, a dynamic strike duo and an Argentine presence in attack. Here are five things we learned from our 4-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers on Wednesday night.
Acrobatic Jakobsen makes his mark at both ends.
What a way to endear yourself to the City faithful at AAMI Park.
Only two minutes into his first competitive appearance for the Club, new defender Michael Jakobsen announced his arrival in style with a spectacular bicycle kick to give John van’t Schip’s side an early lead.
It was the Dane's first touch in a City shirt, one he is certain to remember for a very long time.
“I’ve scored goals before but never that way,” he said. “It was a good feeling to start the game with so I was happy about it.”
Jakobsen was a figure of composure alongside Connor Chapman and Josh Rose in a three-man defence, nullifying the threat of Wanderers striker Kerem Bulut in a display which showcased his aerial prowess and strength in the tackle.
“He's really adapted himself in a quick way to the group, you can see he's an experienced player, with a good left foot. Even more important he was organising and taking care of the defence," Head Coach John van’t Schip said.
Scoring spectacular goals was perhaps not the reason he was brought to the Club, but Jakobsen has the ability and experience to be a central figure of City’s first-team this season.
The Cahill and Fornaroli show earns rave reviews.
What do you get when you pair Australia’s all-time top goal-scorer with last season’s A-League golden boot winner?
The answer is simple: goals.
Those who queried whether Tim Cahill and Bruno Fornaroli could form an effective strike partnership were provided with a resounding answer, as the duo displayed an instant connection against the Wanderers.
On their first competitive start alongside each other, both found the back of the net and both assisted as City continually found a way through a typically watertight Wanderers defensive unit.
Cahill excelled in the No.10 position behind Fornaroli, providing the assist for the Uruguayan’s goal by squaring the ball for a tap in after some neat play in the build-up from Luke Brattan and Bruce Kamau.
He also teed up Fornaroli for a one-on-one with Wanderers ‘keeper Andrew Redmayne with a deft flick which lead to a penalty and dismissal of Nikolai Topor-Stanley, before stepping up to bury the penalty into the top corner.
Head Coach John van’t Schip was delighted with their performance.
“They can play together, that is very clear,” the Dutchman said.
“They worked very hard together, they played some good football together and also gave each other an assist and goal. You can clearly see there’s a good understanding between them on the pitch.”
It is the start of what promises to be one of the most exciting strike partnerships in A-League history.
Argentine presence in attack
Cahill and Fornaroli may have spearheaded a rampant attacking display, but van’t Schip will no doubt be pleased about the contributions of Argentine duo Fernando Brandan and Nicolas Colazo.
Colazo, who was only unveiled as City’s latest marquee signing on Tuesday, came off the bench and made an immediate impact, with a superb cross teeing up Fornaroli whose header crashed off the post.
That play was finished off by Brandan, who was on hand to tap in the rebound and net his first City goal. The diminutive attacker was among the standout performers, probing the Wanderers defence on numerous occasions with incisive forward runs.
Both players showed encouraging signs and will only go from strength to strength as the campaign progresses.
Maestro Brattan pulling strings in midfield.
Luke Brattan showed on Wednesday night he is capable of stepping up to lead City’s new-look midfield.
The former Brisbane Roar midfielder looked a class act against the Wanderers, controlling the midfield alongside partner Neil Kilkenny and giving City another dimension going forward with his eye for a pass.
His ability from set-pieces a posed a constant threat to the Wanderers defence, with a wicked free-kick setting the stage for Jakobsen to net his spectacular opening goal.
Brattan knows what it takes to succeed in the A-League following a trophy laden spell in Brisbane, experience which will prove valuable in City’s quest for honours this season.
Next stop, the Semi Finals!
With confidence sky-high after an impressive performance against the Wanderers, City will feature in the last four of the Westfield FFA Cup for the second consecutive season.
John van’t Schip has every reason to be satisfied with Wednesday night’s convincing win, as his side put last season’s A-League Grand Finalists to the sword with a relentless display of attacking football.
The Club won’t discover its Semi Final opponents until the completion of the remaining Quarter Final matches next week, but Sydney FC’s name will be in the hat after sweeping aside NSW NPL side Blacktown City on Wednesday,
The prospect of a Melbourne Derby Semi Final still looms large as the Club’s cross-town rivals face NPL Victoria side Bentleigh Greens next week, while Green Gully square off with Canberra Olympic in the other Quarter Final.
Regardless of the opponent, City will be confident of going one step further this season.