Koren stars as City embarrass Jets

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Melbourne City have extended their unbeaten run to four matches with a bruising 5-2 victory over the Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Robert Koren was the star for Melbourne with the Slovenian international bagging a hat trick as City demolished the Jets early scoring three goals in the first half-hour.

The former Premier League recruit has spent most of the season sidelined through injury but strikes in the ninth, 63rd and 73rd minutes saw the marquee signing live up to the pre-season hype in his starting debut.

City coach John van’t Schip said he was pleased with the team’s performance as a unit but singled out 34-year-old for individual praise.

“Overall we are very happy and there a lot of positives including three goals to Robbie Koren,” van’t Schip said.

“He [Koren] played 50 minutes and if he plays 90 minutes he’s going to score even more so he’s an important player.

“He’s a midfield player who can play a bit higher and that’s why we got him in, I’m happy he played that he played this amount of minutes but of course he’s still not ready for the full 90 minutes.”

Fellow off-season import and Republic of Ireland international Damien Duff also put in a commanding performance for the visiting team scoring his first goal for City and setting up two others.

The victory keeps Melbourne in the hunt for the playoffs and moves them to within two points of Sydney FC in fifth place on the A-League ladder.

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But van’t Schip said he wants his team to take each game as it comes and ‘keep both feet on the ground’.

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“It was a good win, we went up 3-0 within the first half hour though we still have to learn and get better at a lot of other things,” van’t Schip said.

“But were dominant in goals tonight, not in the play.

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“I’m happy about the effort and attitude that the boys have and we’re very hard to beat at the moment.”

The defeat leaves Newcastle nine points behind the 6th and final playoff position and in serious danger of missing out on the finals for the fifth consecutive year.

Newcastle gaffer Phil Stubbins was at loss to describe what is happening at Jets who have so far secured only one victory from 13 attempts.

“To concede the goals that we did tonight in the manner did in the opening period was certainly not good enough,” Stubbins said.

“I don’t know if I put my hand up for that or the players put their hands up for that but we were 3-0 down before we even started playing.

“I think the last two weeks took the toll on the players, we just couldn’t match Melbourne City tonight and we were a yard off the pace the whole game.”

An Aaron Mooy penalty gave City the lead within the first four minutes after Jets defender Alan Welsh brought down Duff in the box.

Two more goals to Koren and Duff gave the visitors a 3-0 lead with just 25 minutes gone on the clock.

The Jets brought on captain Kew Jaliens in the place of James Virgili at halftime but the move did little to stem the flow of goals with Koren bagging his second in the 63rd minute.

Jets striker Edson Montano made in 4-1 to give home fans something to cheer about with just under

20 minute remaining but the celebration was short lived with Koren getting his third just minutes later.

Jeronimo Neumann scored for the Novocastrians ten minutes from full time but it did little to appease a disappointed and dejected home crowd that booed their team from the pitch when the final whistle blew.

Newcastle Jets: Ben Kennedy, Scott Neville (Jacob Pepper 67’), Adrian Madaschi (Jeronimo Neumann 61’), Allan Welsh, James Virgili (Kew Jaliens 45’), Ben Kantarovski, Zenon Caravella, Andrew Hoole, Joel Griffiths, Edson Montano, David Carney

Unused – Mark Birighitti, Mitchell Cooper

Melbourne City: Tando Velaphi, Rob Wielaert, Connor Chapman, Patrick Kisnorbo, Ben Garuccio, Erik Paartalu, Aaron Mooy, Jacob Melling (David Williams 55’), Damien Duff, James Brown (Mate Dugandzic 64’), Robert Koren (Iain Ramsay 75’)

Unused – Andrew Redmayne, Ross Archibald

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