Melbourne City FC overcame a slow start to record a magnificent come from behind win over the Central Coast Mariners on Sunday afternoon. We take a look at some of the key Quotes and Notes to come out of the 4-1 win at AAMI Park.
City Head Coach John van’t Schip
Thoughts on the win: “It’s an important win, because you are looking at the teams that are all very close together and the results this weekend were important for us to have this win. It’s easier said than done, coming 1-0 behind didn’t make it look that easy for the second half but I think the boys bounced back. It was a very good reaction and I think the win was more than deserved."
On the half-time talk: “I think we created some opportunities [in the first-half] but in the final third we were a bit rusty or our last pass was not on…We needed to be more determined in the way that we wanted to play and be more threatening on the wings. Nicky (Fitzgerald) and Benny (Garuccio) improved a lot and we asked from Osama to get a bit more involved and higher up the pitch when we had the ball."
On the team’s fitness levels: “All the other players we talked about are getting fitter and fitter. Ivan played 90 minutes, Malik again 90 minutes, Alex Wilkinson 90 minutes. If you look at that it’s important because we have a short turnover. Hopefully they pull up well and we can have a good fresh team when we play Wellington."
On Aaron Mooy: “Aaron is showing that he’s not only a good player when he has the ball but he is getting more complete. He’s becoming a midfielder who works, who wins balls back, who’s really leading the team by example and I think that’s picked up after he had a bit of an injury. It took him a bit of time in the different role he had when we played 3-5-2, now he is more involved in the build-up and we know he can come into the 18-yard area. He’s been important for the team all year, but today he was one of the players that took the team by hand."
On the chance to go top against Wellington next week: “It should drive you if you are a professional player, that’s what we want. Our goal is to finish in the highest possible position. We know Wellington is coming back from a loss and at home are a different team. We have to make sure we are prepared and defensively we are looking better and better every game."
Mariners Head Coach Tony Walmsley
Thoughts on the Mariners first-half performance: “We’ve been making progress in number of areas. We were our worst enemy in the first-half, the biggest threat was when we turned the ball over in our half and we set ourselves up to avoid that. A couple of counter attacks of theirs were the most dangerous efforts. We felt if we could maintain that with a young side – and with the way that Jacob Poscoliero and Harry Ascroft handled Fornaroli for the game was immense for two young guys against the leading striker in the competition.”
On the morale of his side: “The ability to maintain [the effort] when you know you are in a situation with players whose mentalities are a bit scarred from a series of things that happen over the course of a season, we just waited for that time where they take that step and today was a big leap second-half. To concede off a set-piece early in the second-half was the last thing we needed, followed quickly by an injury (to Storm Roux) and a penalty. After that, it was very hard to come back."
On goalkeeper Paul Izzo: “He’s showing incredible resilience at the moment. He’s copped a lot of stick, he’s very young and playing behind a team that has struggled to contain some strong teams all year. I thought he had an outstanding game today and it’s worth paying credit to him for his resilience because he gets unfairly slaughtered by people…Even though the last goal went in off the post, maybe he took a step the other way, but Mooy is an expert at that and credit to him, but Izzo has done great today.”
- Sunday’s comprehensive result represents City’s third win against Central Coast this season – the first time the Club has beaten the Mariners on three occasions in the same season.
- John van’t Schip’s side continued their free-scoring form in front of goal, with the 4-1 win taking the Club’s tally to a whopping 50 goals for the season; a record achieved in just 20 matches.
- Ben Garuccio enjoyed the extra freedom of an advanced left-wing role, netting his first ever Hyundai A-League goal in the 69th minute with a powerful strike to give City a 3-1 lead.
- Alex Wilkinson built upon a solid first outing in the Melbourne Derby last week by playing a full 90 minutes against the Mariners on Sunday. The defender was one of two City players on the field to have formerly represented Central Coast, along with winger Nick Fitzgerald.
- Aaron Mooy continued his stellar A-League campaign with a brace and goal assist against the Mariners. The Socceroos midfielder has now contributed directly to 26 of City’s 50 goals for the season, registering 17 assists and scoring nine times.