No Cahill, no worries as City overcome Adelaide

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Melbourne City have recorded their first home win of the season after a convincing 2-1 victory over Adelaide United.

Captain and star striker Bruno Fornaroli scored City’s two goals in a Man of the Match performance, sending his side to equal top of the table.

The men in light blue had won just three of their last 11 league matches against Adelaide United, but City played mesmerising football at times at a quality not often witnessed in the Hyundai A-League.

The home side dominated the early parts of the match as Fernando Brandan and Bruce Kamau both looked ominous.

Ben Garuccio was Adelaide’s facilitator, using his impressive touch and light feet to deceive the City defence.

City’s first chance came in the 9th minute as a slick pass from Josh Rose found Bruce Kamau before the speedster sent a fizzing shot from 25-yards that kissed the top of the crossbar.

In the 11th minute, a stunning strike from Bruno Fornaroli sent City 1-0 up. Fernando Brandan jumped on a shocking first touch from the Adelaide United defence, before passing to Fornaroli. The Uruguayan did the rest, curling a wonderful shot into the top right hand corner.

City’s next opportunity to extend their lead followed quickly in the 22nd minute as a Luke Brattan cross was met by a Fornaroli volley that whistled just shy of the post.

At the other end, Adelaide United’s first real chance came in the 26th minute through Ryan Kitto but his shot rebounded off the woodwork and out of play.

No A-League game is played without controversy and tonight was no different. Tempers flared and Josh Rose was unequivocally frustrated at referee Chris Beath’s decision to hand him a yellow card. Replays showed his foul on Jordan O’Doherty was softer than a baby’s bottom.

Star of the night, Fornaroli had a golden opportunity to double the lead in the 45th minute but his attempt flew over the bar.

The score should have been 1-1 at halftime as City almost conceded from another set piece, something Perth Glory exploited to their advantage last week. An Isias freekick put Ryan Kitto in a dangerous position before his header thundered into the woodwork.

Melbourne City fans harmoniously blew a sigh of relief as Chris Beath signalled for halftime, the home side leading 1-0.

The first chance of the second half came in the 52nd minute after Brattan sent in a bullet cross to Fornaroli, whose header went just wide. City looked threatening.

A clumsy 55th minute Guardiola handball in City’s box saw Chris Beath point to the spot. Fornaroli stepped up to the plate and scored his second, doubling City’s lead to 2-0.

To the contrary of the home crowd’s confidence, the game was not over. In what looked to be a training drill, Sergi Guardiola was given an abundance of space and he opened the scoring for Adelaide in the 64th minute, nodding in Garuccio’s cross. The score was 2-1.

Enter Fernando Brandan. The speedster had a ten-minute purple patch, as he used his finesse and aggression to easily break through the Reds’ defence. His work went unrewarded as Adelaide ‘keeper Eugene Galekovic was too good in front of goal.

The last ten minutes had the entire 10,053-person crowd on the edge of their seats. Adelaide United continued to press hard for an equaliser and City ‘keeper Dean Bouzanis was almost left red-faced as he narrowly kept out a Tarek Elrich shot from over 30 yards.

Ultimately, it was City who prevailed. A tense, but deserved 2-1 victory for the home side over a still-winless Adelaide United.

Melbourne City 2 (Fornaroli 11’ 56’)
Adelaide United 1 (Guardiola 64’)

Stadium: AAMI Park

Crowd: 10,053

Referee: Chris Beath
Assistant Referee 1: David Walsh
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Shchetinin
Fourth Official: Jonathan Barreiro

Melbourne City: 2. MUSCAT Manny, 3. ROSE Josh, 4. CHAPMAN Connor, 6. MALIK Osama, 8. KILKENNY Neil, 11. KAMAU Bruce (12. FITZGERALD Nick 82’), 18. RETRE Paulo, 20. BOUZANIS Dean (GK), 23. FORNAROLI Bruno (C), 26. BRATTAN Luke (10. CACERES Anthony 85’), 27. BRANDAN Fernando (CAVALLO Christian 90’)

Adelaide United: 1. GALEKOVIC Eugene (GK) (C), 3. LA ROCCA Iacopo, 4. McGOWAN Dylan, 8. ISAÍAS, 9. GUARDIOLA Sergi, 14. MELLS George (18. McGREE Riley 74’), 16. MAKAROUNAS Jesse (45. CHOI Danny 65’), 19. GARUCCIO Ben, 21. ELRICH Tarek, 22. KITTO Ryan (13. MARINO Marc 79’), 24. O’DOHERTY Jordan

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Adrian Johnsonhttps://thefootballsack.com.au
A-Grade football fan, C-grade player

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