In the sixth annual Blue Ribbon Cup Melbourne City and Sydney FC played a hard fought match in front of 10,706 people at AAMI Park.

Melbourne City came out of the gates with purpose dominating the opening 40 minutes of the match but a penalty, red card and some Milos Ninkovic magic gave the Sky Blues a 3-1 win.

To Michael Valkanis’ frustration, Manny Muscat conceded a second penalty in as many weeks, bringing down Filip Holosko in what can only be described as school boy defending.

Bobô stepped up and dispatched the penalty giving Sydney the 1-0 lead with their first meaningful effort on goal in the 24th minute.

Yet it was only a minute later before City equalised through a Nick Fitzgerald special.

The City winger picked the ball up from a Bruno Fornaroli flick on and after by-passing a weak challenge by Josh Brillante curled the ball with the outside of his foot into the top corner from 18 yards.

Everything that City’s number 12 touched turned to gold as he gave Michael Zullo a torrid time down on the right flank in the first half.

But Melbourne City’s night would turn sour.

Manny Muscat was sent off with a second yellow for a tug back on Alex Brosque’s shirt after he lost the ball in defence.

The defender clearly panicked in the 39th minute and despite there being cover in Osama Malik felt the need to pull Sydney’s top scorer down.

Sydney FC couldn’t capitalise on the extra man before the break closing out a half of football that had everything.

The start of the second surprisingly had City still with much of the posession despite being a man down.

Cahill was taken off so that Ruon Tongyik could restore stability to the back four after Muscat’s sending off.

Sydney did finally take advantage of the extra man and restored their lead in the 56th minute.

After substitute Tongyik was penalised for a soft handball just outside the box Brandon O’Neill stepped up and hit a delightful freekick past Thomas Sorenson to give Sydney a 2-1 lead.

With City fans becoming restless and audibly frustrated in the stands City pushed for an equaliser to no avail; Fornaroli and Brandan looking the most likely.

It was Sydney FC who wrapped up the points ten minutes later after Milos Ninkovic split the defence slipping a deft ball through to Bobô who scored his second of the evening.

The win gives Sydney a firm grip on first place atop the Hyundai A-League ladder, whilst City could possibly slip to fifth if Brisbane and Perth Glory win their respective matches this round.

Melbourne City 1 (25′ Fitzgerald)
Sydney FC 3 (24′ (P), 67′ Bobô, 56′ O’Neill)

Referee: Jarred Gillet
Assistant Referees: George Lakrindis and Luke Brennan
Fourth Official: Shuan Evans

Attendance: 10,706

Melbourne City: 1. SORENSON Thomas (GK), 5. FRANJIC Ivan, 2. MUSCAT Emmanuel, 6. MALIK Osama, 3. ROSE Joshua, 8. KILKENNY Neil, 26. BRATTAN Luke, 17. CAHILL Timothy (45′), 12. FITZGERALD Nick (78′), 10. CACERES Anthony (62′), 23. FORNAROLI Bruno (C)
Substitutes: 11. KAMAU Bruce (78′), 18. RETRE Paulo, 21. TONGYIK Ruon (45′), 27. BRANDAN Fernando (62′), 40. SOZER Yaren (GK)

 

Sydney FC: 20. VUKOVIC Daniel (GK), 23. GRANT Rhyan, 4. WILKINSON Alexander, 5. BUIJS Jordy, 7. ZULLO Michael, 6. BRILLANTE Joshua (57′), 13. O’NEILL Brandon, 21. HOLOSKI Filip (71), 10. NINKOVIC Milos, 14. BROSQUE Alex (C) (78′), 9. BOBÔ
Substitutes: 1. REDMAYNE Andrew (GK), 8. DIMITRIJEVIC Milos (57′), 11. IBINI-ISEI Bernie (71′), 17. CARNEY David (78′), 18. SIMON Matthew

 

 

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