After a disappointing result against league leaders Sydney FC, Michael Valkanis was pleased with Melbourne City’s start to the match.

“I think the first 35 minutes was going really smooth… according to plan”.

“I was very happy with the game”.

The Melbourne City train came off the rails thanks to a rattled performance from Manny Muscat.

The City defender gave away the penalty to gift Bobô the opener and was sent off for a second booking for a blatant shirt tug to Alex Brosque all within the first 40 minutes.

Despite Muscat’s performance, Valkanis wasn’t blaming him for the result.

“Manny is a good player” Valkanis said.

“If things went according to plan no one would be pointing the finger at Manny.

“Sometimes in football these things happen.”

Whilst concerns that a third place is now the best finish that City can muster, there were no such concerns from Graham Arnold.

His Sydney side are only weeks away from wrapping up the Premiership, but despite suffering their first defeat of the season to Western Sydney Wanderers last week Arnold was never worried about his team’s fight.

“It was never really in any doubt in my mind that the boys wouldn’t get back on the horse straight away” Arnold explained.

“It wasn’t one of our goals to go through the season undefeated.

“Our goals are the Premiership, the Grand Final.

“We are on track”

With performances on the pitch showing a real comradery amongst the group, Arnold was keen to show his feelings about the playing group.

“We have a special group. In the six years I’ve been coaching in the A-League this is a great group.

“It’s a joy to coach them.”

One player singled out for Arnold’s praise was Milos Ninkovic.

The Serbian international has been in inspired form this season and Arnold was keen to remind us all of that.

“In my view he is technically one of the best players to have ever played in the A-league.

“And he is such a good man”

The result leave Sydney 11 points clear at the top of the table whilst City are sitting third but could drop to as low as fifth depending on results this weekend.

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Passionate Football writer, commentator, but most importantly fan.