Same story for City after draw with Jets

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For the second week in a row David Villa has saved Melbourne City from defeat, netting an 87th minute equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw against a plucky Newcastle Jets side at AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon.

The Jets were on track for a courageous win after taking the lead in the 63rd minute through Edson Montano until Villa banged in his second goal in as many weeks for City.

City fans could have been mistaken for watching a replay of last weekend’s draw away to Sydney FC with the synopsis of the game almost an exact replica of the round 1 clash, dominating possession in the first half only to fall behind against the run of play early in the second, dominating some more before the Spanish superstar to off an exquisite strike to earn City a share of the spoils.

It’s was an eerily similar story for the Jets too, who were denied a derby draw against Central Coast Mariners last weekend after copping a goal injury time.

Just like last weekend against the Mariners, the Jets were given next to no hope to take anything out of this one and could have easily recorded a famous win if not for some missed chances at the death.

It was an historic day in the brief life of Melbourne City for its first A-League home game. The club non-derby record crowd of 15,717 were despite the result treated to a fine performance from City with all the big guns firing.

No one went disappointed after witnessing the Villa goal, the form of Damien Duff and Aaron Mooy will have City fans salivating of what could be this year.

While Villa will grab the headlines, it was Duff and Mooy who made City tick all day as all attacking play from the home side going through them.

Duff in particular was a standout, working overtime down the right flank giving the Jets nothing but headaches.

City dominated possession in the first half but couldn’t knock down a defiant Jets defence.

The crowd flocked in expecting an attacking master class by the City superstars but were instead treated to a lesson in astute defending and counter play by the unfancied Jets.

The visitors were more than happy to sit back and let City come at them, absorbing the mountains of pressure dished up to them before taking an unlikely lead with the first chance that fell their way.

Montana became the first Ecuadorian player to find the back of the net in the A-League when he got his head on a Joel Griffith cross to stun the home fans.

With the bus firmly placed into the park position, Zenon Carravella had a glorious chance to extend the Jets’ lead in the 82nd minute with an attempted volley dead in front of goal that went high into the stands that he should have buried.

City took full advantage of the big let off the Jets afforded to them and threw everything they had left on the table to find the breakthrough.

The barrage of attacked proved too much for the Jets to handled and squandered their lead three minutes from time when Villa hit a volley on the top of the box that flew past Mark Birighitti in goal.

City manager John van’t Schip spoke post-game about the similarities of last game and how his side need to find the killer edge in front of goal.

“If you look at the first game we played the first half good and second half we were more equal and not in control. In this game the first half of this game we were controlling, we were dominating we were playing good parts. But in the end phase we were not really read for the finishing punch.

“We came back to equalise and in the end they had a very big opportunity to win the game. In the end it’s a result we would have liked to have been different before the game.

“In football you have to scores goals, dominating is not enough for three points.”

Newcastle manager Phil Stubins hopes the performance shown by his boys will earn change the minds of those quick to right off the Jets this year.

“Absolutely, that’s been a driving force for us. We’ve come together as a group and I’ve spoke all along about changing the mindset and attitude and approach of everyone. That then impacts on the environment at the club.

“I think at the moment if anyone was to come and witness what we were doing over there, you’d find it a very buoyant, vibrant place.

“We’ve come to Melbourne City, a second road trip. We’ve got another two to go in Wellington and Perth, certainly from our perspective, it was a positive performance.”

Melbourne City starting XI: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE, 3. Robbie WIELART, 5. Erik PAARTALU, 6. Aaron MOOY, 7. Iain RAMSAY, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 9. David VILLA, 11. Damien DUFF, 15. David WILLIAMS, 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 24. Patrick KISNORBO (c)

Subs: 20. Tando VELAPHI (gk), 27. Ross ARCHIBALD, 23. Mate DUGANDZIC, 14. James BROWN, 18. Paulo RETRE

Newcastle Jets starting XI: 1. Mark BIRIGHITTI, 2. Scott NEVILLE, 3. Taylor REGAN, 4. Kew JALIENS (c), 9. Joel GRIFFITHS, 10. Marcos FLORES, 12. Sam GALLAGHER, 13. Edson MONTANO, 16. Jacob PEPPER, 22. Jonathan STEELE, 23. David CARNEY

Subs: 7. JERONIMO, 8. Zenon CARAVELLA, 11. Andrew HOOLE, 17. James VIRGILLI, 30. John SOLARI (gk)

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