Melbourne City FC moved to within two points of first placed Western Sydney Wanderers with a commanding 3-1 win over Wellington Phoenix on Monday night. We take a look at some of the key Quotes and Notes to come out of the Round 16 clash at AAMI Park.
Melbourne City FC Head Coach John van’t Schip
Thoughts on City’s strength in attack…
“I think both Harry and Bruno, and of course Aaron in behind them [are feared], because the third goal was the perfect goal of giving something away. You could clearly see Aaron had a possibility to shoot, but he passed it on to Harry and he made a great goal."
“I think that showed that everybody is playing for each other and the other goals were also quality with Bruno and the first one with Harry. I’m pleased because that is what we are working on and we have to continue doing that.”
On the team’s versatile defensive structure…
“This week on Friday (against Western Sydney) is going to be a new game. We know Jacob (Melling) can play in defence, he can play in midfield but we put him back because Jack Clisby was suspended. He played a solid game, so we just have to see how we fit everyone in when everybody is fit and knocking on the door."
“It is up to us to make some hard choices for some players but that’s what we all want. We want to be competitive, we want to be strong and the players have to show us who is playing in a good way.”
On the performance of Club’s new signings…
“Osama (Malik) was put on in midfield and I think he did well. He immediately showed he was involved in the team in defensive actions but also on the ball. It’s normal for him, he hasn’t played for a while – when he was at Adelaide he didn’t play the last games.”
“Anthony (Caceres) has been out for a small period but he is physically a bit further because he was still playing, that’s why we started him immediately.
“Nick (Fitzgerald) got his little minutes just to get a sniff of the atmosphere and the team. I’m happy for those three and for the whole team of course.”
On Bruno Fornaroli’s season to date…
“He’s been really good for us and Bruno is a player that never stops. If you see him on the pitch and in the dressing room, he has been great and I have been very happy with his performance and his contribution to the Club and to the team.”
On the upcoming top of the table clash against Western Sydney…
“It’s going to be a big game. It’s not that long ago that we played them here (the 3-2 win in Round 14) so it’s already quick that we go up there. [Western Sydney] showed they are a quality team, they have good players and as a team they play very good. For us now it is another big exam to show that we are a team that wants to be there until the end.”
Wellington Phoenix Head Coach Ernie Merrick
Thoughts on the result…
“I think Melbourne City played some really good football at the start of the game and we never got going. The difference was in the front third, the two high strikers were very good. Novillo and Fornaroli were always a threat and were getting good quality service from Mooy, but also the two wingbacks were overlapping and creating a two on one.”
“It took us a good 35 minutes to come to terms with the way they play, in getting three on two or two on one in defence. They got their second goal in the 31st minute, so it took us too long to get organised at the back and in midfield.
“But the last 10 minutes of the first half I thought we started playing much better football. We made a couple of changes at half-time and we had good possession and good play, but we just don’t have the killer instinct in front of goal. We are really struggling inside the penalty box.”
- City are now undefeated in its last five matches at AAMI Park (W4 D1) and have scored an impressive 15 goals in that period, including a 5-1 demolition of Perth Glory.
- John van't Schip's side have now scored a whopping 40 goals for the season - the most after 16 games in Hyundai A-League era and the fourth highest in Australian domestic league history.
- City continued its recent dominance against its trans-Tasman rivals, with Monday night’s win extending City’s unbeaten record against Wellington to four matches.
- Bruno Fornaroli’s 12th minute strike means the Uruguayan has now scored against all nine other Hyundai A-League clubs, extending his tally to an impressive 13 goals from just 16 matches this season.
- Harry Novillo continued his sensational goalscoring record at AAMI Park with another brace against the Phoenix. The Frenchman has now scored four goals in his last four home appearances.
- Defender Michael Zullo made a telling contrubution from the left wing-back position against Wellington, registering two assists and leading all players for final third entries (14), open play crosses (3), successful dribbles (3), tackles (5) and interceptions (5)
- New signings Anthony Caceres, Nick Fitzgerald and Osama Malik all made their debut for Melbourne City FC against Wellington - the first time in the Hyundai A-League era that three mid- season recruits debuted in the same match.