Melbourne City FC has recorded back-to-back wins with a 3-0 win over Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday evening.
Bruno Fornaroli opened the scoring with a 42nd minute strike from close range, before Dario Vidosic doubled City’s lead with a towering header eight minutes into the second-half.
Vidosic would secure the three points and his brace when he fired a spectacular free-kick past Jack Duncan in the 77th minute to make it 3-0.
For the first time this season the Jets were held goalless, as Warren Joyce’s men produced a brilliant all-round display.
City will look to continue their winning streak when they host Central Coast in their last home game of the season at AAMI Park next Saturday night, kick-off 7:50pm (AEDT).
Head Coach Warren Joyce made no changes to the starting XI that defeated Western Sydney 3-0 last weekend at AAMI Park. It’s the third consecutive week that City’s line-up remained unchanged.
In warm conditions at McDonald Jones Stadium, it was the Jets who started the match brightest.
Ernie Merrick’s side were the stronger of the two in the opening 10 minutes, as Roy O’Donovan, Riley McGree and Nikolai Topor-Stanley all had opportunities to break the deadlock.
Upon his return from suspension, O’Donovan had two chances inside the opening five minutes to open the scoring. The first of those chances came, when he pounced on Daniel Arzani’s misplaced back pass but his effort from inside the box was well wide, the striker then came close to dispossessing Dean Bouzanis in the penalty area, although the City goalkeeper did well to recover.
McGree then went on a solid run down the left, before a brilliant block denied him from Bart Schenkeveld, who forced the ball behind for a corner. The resulting set-piece saw Topor-Stanley rise tallest, although his effort sailed over the crossbar.
Warren Joyce’s men appeared to flick a switch in the 13th minute, as Arzani’s brilliant run on the left looked to have inspired the side from Melbourne into action.
The 19-year-old starlet skipped past Ivan Vujica with ease, before finding Stefan Mauk in the penalty area. Mauk went agonisingly close to extending his recent goal tally, but his effort went inches wide of Duncan’s right upright.
As City began to dominate possession, it was Arzani again who looked most threatening. This time, the youngster picked up the ball on the half-way line before moving past Vujica with ease and threading the needle between the Jets defence finding Fornaroli one-on-one with Duncan. As Fornaroli moved in on goal, Duncan was equal to the task, producing a solid save to deny the Uruguayan.
The pressure on the Jets defence continued to mount as City looked more and more threatening in the attacking third as the game progressed.
In the 41st minute, Fornaroli went centimetres away from handing City a 1-0 lead with a spectacular effort. Bozanic’s set-piece was met by the attacker, whose brilliant bicycle kick was fired into the crossbar, the rebound then fell to Topor-Stanley whose clearing header again cannoned into the crossbar – the Jets dodging two quick fire bullets.
A minute later, City’s dominance would eventually prevail as Fornaroli made it 1-0. Luke Brattan whipped in a dangerous corner, which was met by Fornaroli at the back post with the attacker making no mistake from close range – his ninth goal in six matches against the Jets.
City started the second period, much like they ended the first, in dominant fashion.
In the 53rd minute City would double their lead, as Dario Vidosic climbed tallest from another superbly taken corner by Brattan – a brilliant header by the attacking midfielder.
The injection of Pato Rodriguez appeared to give Newcastle a boost, as the Argentine looked to add some much-needed creativity to the Jets attacking third.
In the 65th minute, the midfielder found Ugarkovic in the penalty area but his effort was directed straight into the arms of Bouzanis. Moments later Rodriguez combined brilliantly with Vujica who then produced a well-weighted ball across the area, which just evaded the fast approaching O’Donovan.
Joyce then made an attacking substitution of his own by bringing on Nick Fitzgerald. The pacey winger made an immediate impact, as Ugarkovic was forced to foul the 26-year-old on the edge of the area. Vidosic stood over the set-piece, before firing the ball brilliantly into the back of the net to make it 3-0, giving Duncan no chance in goal.
In the 84th minute, Nathaniel Atkinson went agonisingly close to registering his first A-League goal. The youngster made an intelligent interception before finding himself one-on-one with the keeper. His effort looked to be heading towards the far post but Duncan made a solid diving save to deny the youngster.
Two minutes later Newcastle had an opportunity to peg a goal back, but Dimi Petratos’ fierce free-kick – which was heading for the top corner – was expertly denied by Bouzanis.
City looked damaging throughout the 90 minutes in the attacking third, but Joyce’s defence were equally as impressive, nullifying the attacking threat of Newcastle and keeping them goalless for the first time this season.
City will look to continue their unbeaten run when they host Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park on Saturday, 7 April, which will be the Club’s last home game in the regular season before the 2017-18 finals series.