City stalls once more as Villa departs

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David Villa’s brief stint in the A-League has come to an unspectacular end with his Melbourne City side going down 2-1 to Adelaide United at AAMI Park on Friday night.

The Spanish superstar whose stay in the league has come to an abrupt end after just four appearances struggled to get into the game, becoming noticeably frustrated with the service he was delivered as the match wore on.

It was a frightening Halloween evening for City in so many ways who are still searching for their first win of the season.

Along with losing superstar Villa and the uncertainty surrounding whether he will be back or not, injury prone defender Jonatan Germano went down with a hamstring problem that will see him out of action for another lengthy amount of time.

The match got off to a perfect start for City with skipper Patrick Kisnorbo putting his side up early before Bruce Djite and a Marcello Carrusca penalty ensured United’s undefeated start to the season remained intact.

City did start the brighter and looked to take on Adelaide from the onset. The hosts came agonisingly close to the breakthrough in just the sixth minute when Damien Duff tested the foundations of the post with a thunderous volley.

They were only made to wait a further three minutes to take the lead when Kisnorbo got his head on the end of a Duff corner much to the delight of the 13,000 plus in attendance.

This match was billed as a battle between two technically gifted sides guided by two cosmopolitan tacticians in John Van’t Schip and Josep Gombau.

That battle was a no-contest with Gombau taking the points unanimously.

Gombau’s Adealide were a treat to watch, switching the ball with ease as with their wonderful passing game on full show. Van’t Schip’s City on the other hand were more trick, playing unimaginable long balls while at time looking clueless.

Their ‘Give It To Villa’ game plan came unstuck too many times against Adelaide with the Reds seeing to it.

After the Kisnorbo goal Adelaide controlled the game in only a fashion only they could. While it wasn’t as polished as they have showed in recent weeks, it was more than enough to get the job done against a poor City showing.

Djite continued his goal scoring ways in the 38th minute after a nice passage of play by the reds.

Working the right flank hard all half finally paid off for United when Tarek Elrich crossed in the most inviting of crosses to Djite who duly obliged in rustling it into the back of the net.

Kisnorbo could have so easily went from hero to villain in the 63rd minute when he took down Djite as the bog forward bared down on goal. Ref Chris Beath saved the skippers blushes with only showing a yellow when a red could have been warranted.

The second half just wasn’t working for City who barely threatened Eugene Galekovic in the United goal.

Their best chance in the second stanza came when Villa skipped past three United defenders to get in a shot only for David Williams to sky the rebound into the stands.

That passage of play summed up the second 45 for City.

The winner for United came from the penalty spot nine minutes from time when Carrusca expertly dispatched a penalty kick that Andrew Redmayne had no chance of saving,

The penalty came about when Redmayne was adjudged to have taken down substitute Bruce Kamau with the teen charging towards goal.

The call was spot on leaving Carrusca the chance to give United the three points.

If that was the last time we will see Villa play in Australia, and it almost certainly will be, it was an unceremonious way for such a superstar of the game to bow out of our league.

Much like the rest of the team, it just didn’t seem to go right for Villa despite the effort he exerted.

Villa’s four-game stint at City brought the club two goals and only two points from a total 12 on offer. But the problems lie much deeper than that.

In the past two games City have managed to score three goals, with each of those coming from a defender (Kisnorbo tonight and Hoffman and Wielaert in the derby last week).

With Villa the only recognised attacking player in the squad to score a goal so far this season, there appears to be a serious problem in the front third for City. Villa’s departure only compounds that fact.

Some drastic changes need to happen and fast, or City’s inaugural campaign will be an awful lot like Heart’s final season.

It’s headed in that direction right now.

Melbourne City: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 2. Rob WIELAERT, 4. Erik PAARTALU, 6. Aaron MOOY, 13. Jonatan GERMANO (19. Ben GARUCCIO), 8. Mass MURDOCCA (18. Paulo RETRE 84’), 11. Damien DUFF, 9. David VILLA, 23. Mate DUGANDZIC (15. David WILLIAMS 58’), 24. Paddy KISNORBO (c), 17. Jason HOFFMAN

Unused Substitutes: 20. Tando VELAPHI (GK), 25. Jacob MELLING

Adelaide United: 1. Eugene GALEKOVIC (GK, c), 3. Nigel BOOGAARD, 5. Osama MALIK, 9. Bruce DJITE (4. Dylan MCGOWAN 84’), 8. ISAIAS, 9. Sergio CIRIO, 10. Marcelo CARRUSCA (2. Michael MARRONE 90+2’), 16. Craig GOODWIN, 18. Jimmy JEGGO, 21. Tarek ELRICH, 17. Awer MABIL (24. Bruce KAMAU 72′)

Unused Substitutes: 20. Paul IZZO (GK), 32. Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS

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