Sydney FC’s impressive home form continued with a 3-1 win over Melbourne City at Allianz Stadium on Friday night. In what was a physical and – on occasions – spiteful match the Sky Blues were able to come from a goal down to extend their lead at the top of the table.


The home side had the lion share of chances in the opening period but were harried constantly by a City team eager to prevent them from settling into their game. That resulted in a half that was more hustle than flow with constant niggle interrupting the match.

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City’s hard work was rewarded after 38 minutes when they took the lead in another case of VAR interference. Luke Brattan met a ball into the box with a thunderous shot that came crashing off the bar, onto the ground and then back out into play. It wasn’t until minutes later that the VAR signaled the referee and the goal was rightly awarded.

Unfortunately for Melbourne City that goal awoke the Sky Blues into a frenzy in what was left in the half. In a matter of minutes the hosts went from 1-0 down to 2-1 up after a moment of brilliance from Mierzejewski and a costly error from City’s defence.

In what was almost a carbon copy of his goal in the Sydney derby last week, Sydney’s Polish international made a case for a World Cup call up with another looping free kick to pull his side level.

Not content with the stalemate Sydney probed further and were awarded with a penalty after Jordy Buijs was clumsily brought down following a set piece. Up stepped Bobo to confidently send the champions into the lead and send City into the sheds not quite knowing what had just happened.

The second half slowed down slightly from the frantic finish of the first but the physicality certainly didn’t subside. With the challenges coming thick and fast a moment of madness by Bobo seemingly went overlooked.

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In what will almost certainly be looked at by the match review panel Sydney’s Brazilian forward seemed to lash out at Manny Muscat away from play. Muscat stayed down in what seemed to be an attempt to get the attention of the referee and the VAR however neither took any action against the Sydney man.

Muscat turned from victim to villain minutes later when he cynically threw his elbow at Michael Zullo. The VAR caught this incident and Muscat was sent to the sheds. Whilst City may feel that Bobo should have also been caught they can have no complaints about the referee’s decision on this occasion.

Sydney settled into the match after that and looked like extending their lead more than relinquishing it and were rewarded with a moment of magic from captain Alex Brosque in the dying seconds.

A long ball over the top found Brosque who took his shot on the half volley and blasted it past Dean Bouzanis. It was a special end for the captain who earned his 215th appearance in Sky Blue, the most of any player in club history.

The Sky Blues sit eight points clear for the time being with second place Newcastle hosting Adelaide on Saturday.

Referee: Shaun Evans

Attendance: 10,688

Sydney FC

1. Andrew Redmayne (Gk), 4. Alex Wilkinson, 5. Jordy Buijs, 6. Josh Brillante, 7. Michael Zullo, 8. Paulo Retre, 9. Bobô, 10. Milos Ninkovic, 11. Adrian Mierzejewski, 13. Brandon O’neill, 14. Alex Brosque (C), 16. Anthony Kalik, 17. David Carney, 18. Matt Simon, 20. Alex Cisak, 21. Charles Lokolingoy, 22. Seb Ryall, 26. Luke Wilkshire.

 

Melbourne City
1. Dean Bouzanis (Gk), 2. Manny Muscat, 3. Scott Jamieson, 5. Bart Schenkeveld, 6. Osama Malik, 7. Nick Fitzgerald, 8. Neil Kilkenny, 12. Braedyn Crowley, 13. Stefan Mauk, 14. Daniel Arzani, 18. Eugene Galekovic (Gk), 21. Ruon Tongyik, 22. Michael Jakobsen, 25. Iacopo La Rocca, 26. Luke Brattan, 27. Marcin Budzinski, 37. Nathaniel Atkinson, 44. Ross McCormack.

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Football fan, writer, and post-grad journalism student at the University of Technology Sydney. Joined the team in 2017 to cover Sydney FC and the Central Coast Mariners.