Five things we learned: City v Adelaide

Another win and an important three points to bounce back after last week’s Perth loss. See the five things we learned from the contest.

He’s well on his way

Four goals in four league matches this season and Bruno Fornaroli doesn’t look like he’s going to fall victim of the second year blues in the A-League. Our marquee man was brilliant once again on Friday night with his smart hold-up play and his ability to be in the right place at the right time.

His finish for the first goal was world class and the cheeky Paneka penalty down the middle just showed the air of confidence this man is riding on at the moment. Can he replicate the 25 goals from last season? It’s early days but we feel ‘El Tuna’ could go very close in 2016/17.

Change of the guardian?

Dean Bouzanis looks to have dislodged Thomas Sorensen in City’s goalkeeper ranks with the 26-year-old starting his fourth game this season. Speaking to the media after the match, Head Coach John van’t Schip declared Bouzanis at this moment is “our number one”.

“He did well when he came in, he did well in the Derby. I also said he was very good in the pre-season that there was competition with Thomas,” van’t Schip said.

“They are two very different types of goalkeepers, he got the opportunity and he deserved to continue. Like every other player, Dean has to keep focused and keep on working hard and make sure he stays number one.”

Derby hangover lesson

After our last Melbourne Derby, our press and creativity with the ball were a shadow of that magical night at Etihad Stadium, with Perth humbling us on our own turf. This time around, it was a different story.

There were no signs of complacency against Adelaide on Friday night as our boys put in an outstanding first half to be completely dominant over the Reds. The second was a much more even contest with the effects of Tuesday night’s finally catching up to us but to dig in and grind out the result showed we’re ready to fight week-in, week-out.

Four at the back? No worries

Friday night saw a reshuffle into a defensive back four and our last line looked the goods throughout the match. The short turnaround from Tuesday’s FFA Cup Semi Final saw Michael Jakobsen miss out against Adelaide, with Connor Chapman and Osama Malik coming into the side to fill the hole left by the former Danish International.

The duo looked solid in the heart of defence allowing Manny Muscat and Josh Rose to play their regular full-back position and freeing up Neil Kilkenny to play in the defensive midfield role. The malleability of John van’t Schip’s side was in full sight on Friday night, giving opposition teams nightmares in preparing to take us on.

Squad depth

It wasn’t only Michael Jakobsen who was feeling the full effects of the short turnaround but a brutal Melbourne Derby saw Tim Cahill miss the match as well with a swollen Achilles from a challenge early in the match.

Paulo Retre filled the hole left absent by Cahill and didn’t look for a second out of place, putting in a tireless shift to get his side over the line. This was the same all over the park with Anthony Caceres and Luke Brattan as well as Nick Fitzgerald and Fernando Brandan being the other examples of the strong depth and competition within our squad and it can only be a good thing for the team.