Melbourne City FC returned to the NPL 2 West winners list in style with a resounding 7-0 win over Nunawading City FC at the CFA Melbourne on Saturday afternoon.
Joe Palatsides’ side responded in outstanding fashion to a disappointing 3-3 draw against Werribee City last week, outplaying a hapless Nunawading outfit from start to finish in a dominant attacking display.
Cristopher Cristaldo was City’s inspiration in attack with a well-taken brace, while Giuseppe Marafioti and Leo Athanasiou also found themselves on the scoresheet during a rapid four-goal blitz in the opening half.
Ali Eyigun added his name to the scoresheet in the second half with a drilled free-kick, with substitute Tom Barforosh capping off a lively display with a late second-half brace to seal the emphatic win.
In perfect conditions for football at the Club’s Academy pitches, City stamped its authority on the contest right from the first whistle, controlling possession and heaping pressure on a nervy Nunawading defence with rampant pressing in the final third.
A neat run from Marafioti resulted in a penalty inside the opening five minutes, which Cristaldo dispatched with aplomb past Nunawading keeper Jason Koutsodontis to open the scoring.
The Nunawading shot-stopper was in for a busy afternoon, producing a sharp save to deny Marafioti in the 17th minute, until the attacker displayed his composure to side-foot into the bottom corner nine minutes later to double the lead.
City continued to create chances at will and it took a crucial fingertip save from Koutsodontis in the 34th minute to divert a stinging drive from Athanasiou over the crossbar.
Athanasiou made it 3-0 from the resulting corner, while Cristaldo completed his brace only a minute later with an emphatic finish into the bottom corner to fire City into a formidable lead at the break.
Nunawading kept their heads up and showed some grit and determination in the opening stages of the second-half, with striker Daniel Patterson forcing City ‘keeper James Delianov into a smart save with his foot only minutes after the restart.
The visitors’ defence was once again breached in the 65th minute when Eyigun smashed a free-kick through the wall and hands of Koutsodontis, while Barforosh’s late brace capped off a dominant performance.
City’s U20’s side started the day on a bright note, cruising home to a 5-1 win over Nunawading City earlier in the afternoon.
PlayStation 4 NPL 2 West – Round 10
Saturday, 30 April 2016
Melbourne City FC 7 (Cristopher Cristaldo 6’, 35’, Giuseppe MARAFIOTI 26’, Leo ATHANASIOU 34’, Ali EYIGUN 66’, Tom BARFOROSH 80’, 90’)
Nunawading City FC 0
Venue: Melbourne City FC Academy Pitches, La Trobe University.