Melbourne City FC surged back into the top six of the Hyundai A-League with an emphatic 5-1 win over Perth Glory at AAMI Park on Friday night.
John van’t Schip’s produced an attacking masterclass during a dominant first half display, racing to a 3-0 lead courtesy of goals to Erik Paartalu, Connor Chapman and Bruno Fornaroli.
Perth reduced the deficit when Sidnei Sciola nodded home a header at the near post on the stroke of half-time, but a second-half strike to Harry Novillo and a penalty to Aaron Mooy fired City to its second home win of the campaign.
Celebrating the birth of his baby daughter Skylar only two days ago, Mooy was at his damaging best for the home-side, having a hand in all but one of City’s other four goals as he controlled the midfield throughout the duration of the contest.
After picking up a valuable point away from home against Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium last week, van’t Schip only made one change to the starting line-up which faced the Roar.
Socceroos defender Ivan Franjic made his long awaited starting debut for the Club after a successful cameo against Brisbane last week, lining up at right-back in place of Matthew Millar, while Hernan Espindola replaced Ben Garuccio on the substitutes bench.
Looking to bounce back from underwhelming results in the two previous home matches at AAMI Park, City made a dream start to the match, taking the lead inside five minutes when Paartalu rose highest to nod Mooy’s whipped free-kick past Ante Covic, albeit a slight deflection of Anthony Golec.
The Glory could no longer afford to sit back and absorb pressure after falling behind, with Sidnei forcing Thomas Sorensen to hold onto a powerful close range effort only two minutes later, while Chris Harold blazed an effort over the bar from a promising position after finding space in behind the defence.
Corey Gameiro then tested Covic with a curling left-foot effort which flew into the grateful arms of the Perth keeper, before a moment of magic from marquee man Mooy doubled City’s advantage.
Receiving the ball on the edge of the penalty area, the Socceroos midfielder left Marc Warren red-faced with an expert dummy and danced inside the challenge of Diego Castro before chipping an inch-perfect cross onto the head of Chapman, who powered a header past Covic to make it 2-0.
It took a combination of superb goalkeeping and desperate defending for City to maintain its advantage as Perth began to make inroads in the final third. Glory captain Richard Garcia forced Sorensen into a superb diving save, before Mooy intervened in at the opposite end with a crucial goal-line clearance to deny Golec’s header from the resulting corner.
Novillo nearly chimed in with a stunning effort of his own, teasing the Glory defence with some fancy footwork before curling his strike agonisignly wide of the post with Covic rooted to the spot, until Fornaroli put City firmly in the driver’s seat with a superb team goal.
It was Mooy who was the catalyst once again, launching a sweeping 40 yard pass which found Gameiro on the edge of the penalty area. The winger then squared back to Fornaroli, who showed great composure to evade the pressure of Warren and Aryn Williams, before sliding the ball into corner for his sixth goal of the season.
Covic prevented Fornaroli from completing a quick-fire double with a superb reaction save, until Sidnei gave Perth a life-line with a goal on the stroke of half-time, nipping in at the front post to head Nebojsa Marinkovic’s fizzing corner past Sorensen.
City continued to attack from the outset of the second half when Mooy launched a rasping drive from long-range which Covic kept out brilliantly with a strong right hand.
But it was Novillo who would restore City’s three goal advantage in the 53rd minute, captialising on a bit of pin-ball inside the penalty area to volley a first-time effort past a stranded Covic into the bottom corner.
The margin could have been even wider were it not for the heroics of the evergreen Covic, first winding back the clock with a superb reaction save to deny Gameiro’s point blank header, then spreading himself well to deny Fornaroli from a one-on-one situation.
Perth’s misery was compounded nine minutes from time when Williams received his marching orders for tugging the shirt of Stefan Mauk inside the penalty area, with Mooy coolly sending Covic the wrong way to cap off a magnificent performance with a deserved goal.
Hyundai A-League Round 8
Friday, 27 November 2015
Melbourne City FC 5 (Erik PAARTALU 5’, Connor CHAPMAN 19’, Bruno FORNAROLI 35’, Harry NOVILLO 53’, Aaron MOOY 82’ [pen])
Perth Glory 1 (Sidnei SCIOLA 45+1)
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Melbourne City FC line-up: 1. Thomas SORENSEN (GK), 4. Connor CHAPMAN, 5.Ivan FRANJIC (Matthew MILLAR 71’), 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Corey GAMEIRO (David WILLIAMS 65’), 8. Aaron MOOY, 9. Harry NOVILLO, 18. Paulo RETRE (Stefan MAUK 80’), 22. Jack CLISBY, 23. Bruno FORNAROLI, 25. Jacob MELLING
Substitutes not used: 20. Tando VELAPHI (GK), 30. Hernan ESPINDOLA,
Yellow cards: Retre 29’, Millar 84’
Red cards: nil
Perth Glory line-up: 1. Ante COVIC (GK), 3. Marc WARREN, 5. Antony GOLEC, 10. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11. Richard GARCIA (C), 13. Diogo FERREIRA, 14. Chris HAROLD (Joseph KNOWLES 57’), 16. Sidnei SCIOLA (Mitchell OXBORROW 88’), 17. Diego CASTRO (Jamal REINERS 72’), 23. Michael THWAITE, 29. Aryn WILLIAMS.
Substitutes not used: 12. Jerrad TYSON (GK), 15. Hagi GLIGOR.
Yellow cards: Thwaite 31’, Williams 75’
Red cards: Williams 82’