Melbourne City FC made it back-to-back wins over Sydney based opponents when it saw off the Wanderers 0-2 at Bankwest Stadium on Tuesday night.
City welcomed back Nuno Reis to starting line-up with Adrian Luna missing out due to injury. An ankle knock in the warm up forced Florin Berenguer out of a start, with Naoki Tsubaki getting the late call-up to the starting XI.
Rostyn Griffiths moved into the defensive midfield role whilst Tsubaki and Connor Metcalfe held down the other two midfield slots.
Melbourne found the scoreboard just six minutes in after an errant pass from Keanu Baccus was cut out by Craig Noone. The Englishman swiftly found Jamie Maclaren in the box who finished expertly past Daniel Margush to the bottom corner.
Rather than take their foot of the gas and defend a lead, the visitors knuckled down and continued on with some swashbuckling football. The wide men in Noone and Andrew Nabbout caused particular issues for the Wanderers back three, whilst a Tsubaki-led team press continued to turn the ball over in dangerous areas.
Indeed a 0-1 lead at half time almost felt underwhelming for the away side on balance, who largely dominated the half. Andrew Nabbout’s shot in the 30th minute cannoned off the post, whilst just before the half time whistle he found the side netting.
The second half picked up where the first left off and once again an early goal was on the menu as VAR adjudged James Troisi to have handled the ball in the area, and Maclaren duly saluted from the spot.
A host of changes for the Wanderers did drag them back into the contest somewhat, however City’s defence was in no mood for conceding and solid performances all round at the back ensured both a clean sheet and three points heading back to Victoria.
The boys will take on Melbourne Victory at 7.10pm at Marvel Stadium this Saturday March 6 in what promises to be a mouth-watering edition of the Melbourne Derby.