Melbourne City FC nearly produced a stirring comeback but eventually fell to a narrow 4-3 defeat to Western Sydney Wanderers at Pirtek Stadium on Friday night. We take a look at some of the key Quotes and Notes to come out of the Round 17 clash.
Melbourne City FC Head Coach John van’t Schip
Thoughts on the narrow defeat…
“In the end we had to dig a bit too deep, coming back from 1-0 behind, then 2-0 and 3-0. It was going to be hard anyway, the boys put in a great effort to close the gap. We just came short and playing with 10 in the end didn’t help. We have to move on, it was another exciting game.”
“I think the first 20 minutes were even, they had chances and we had chances. We looked dangerous going forward but we were also struggling in closing down their play, we were too far away. I think the second half was better – even though they punished us when we lost the ball twice in midfield and on the break.”
“The second part of the second half we got new energy with Benny and Pauly. They had a good impact coming on. I think the only negative is the result and that Anthony Caceres got sent off. In my opinion it was for nothing, but we have to take it. He was devastated after the game that he got a red card."
On the impact of Patrick Kisnorbo’s injury...
“We also lost Aaron Hughes, who pulled up sore as it was a short turnover from the game against Wellington…we pushed Osama Malik into his position. After two minutes we had to take Patrick, he had problems with his achilles and we put Jack (Clisby) in.”
“That always of course doesn’t help. Normally during the week you want to train and let the boys prepare in a good way. It wasn’t possible for this game, Malik had to jump in and Jack had to jump in after two minutes so we had to shuffle a bit around. That is something you have to deal with.”
On the Wanderers’ physicality…
“They were very physical and as we expected they were targeting Bruno, Harry and Aaron Mooy. We didn’t have a right answer for that so they wanted it more. I think in the beginning there was a big situation when Harry went one-on-one with the goalkeeper but Topor-Stanley was clearly holding him, and the referee didn’t do anything."
“That could have been an important moment in the game but in the end they were aggressive and really wanting to get a good result and maybe we didn’t have that enough.”
Western Sydney Wanderers Head Coach Tony Popovic
Thoughts on the game…
“It was an extremely satisfying result. For 75 minutes we were excellent and it just shows if you drop off a percent here or there, [City] have so much quality that the game can change quickly. That’s a good little reminder for us but overall it was a fantastic three points.
On defending against a free scoring City attack…
“When you look defensively, you’re not playing against players that are lacking confidence. They are scoring every week at will. For 75 minutes as a team we defended superbly…we made everything difficult for them and we deserved our lead."
“In the end it shows you why [City] are a good side as well. We had a reminder the last game at 2-2 they scored a fantastic goal and tonighttwo great goals brought them back in the game.”
- Midfielder Aaron Mooy was the catalyst behind City’s rousing second-half fight back. The Socceroos midfielder assisted each of his side’s three goals against the Wanderers, taking his tally to an astounding 14 assists for the season, nine ahead of Roar midfielder Thomas Broich (5)
- Bruno Fornaroli’s exquisite 78th minute strike was the Uruguayan’s 14th goal of the season, placing him one goal ahead of Melbourne Victory’s Besart Berisha at the top of the Golden Boot standings.
- Clashes between the Wanderers and City have certainly provided fans with a great deal of entertainment, with both sides netting a combined 15 goals from three meetings this season.