Scoreless draw a moral victory for Melbourne City

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The match itself might have been uninspiring and at times tedious, but for Melbourne City it was a moral victory in holding league leaders Perth Glory goalless for the first time this season.

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Seeing the league’s best attacking side battle it out against the best defence under the lights on a cloudless night in Melbourne should have been one of the matches of the season.

Instead neither side was able to break through, perhaps an indication of the players’ fatigue at such an arduous stage of the season with both teams having played five matches in under 20 days.

Rather the performance be a spectacle it was gritty and tough with both teams fighting to the end. For Melbourne City, a side whose defensive prowess has perhaps gone unnoticed this season, they will feel as though Wednesday’s loss to the Central Coast Mariners was somewhat rectified.

One of the key contributors to City’s defensive display was returning defender Harrison Delbridge whose tackle on Andy Keogh in the last line of defence saved a near certain goal.

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After laying a rugby like tackle on the Irishman in the first half Delbridge, whilst booked, slid in from behind to stop Keogh who was one-on-one with Eugene Galekovic after receiving a defence splitting pass from Neil Kilkenny.

“The result is a massive positive for us,” Delbridge said.

“To keep Perth scoreless is a big positive and we will use this momentum heading into the next game.

“They threw quite a bit at us towards the end of the game and we stayed strong.

“They have a lot of quality players so we had to make sure we didn’t fall asleep and let them slip past.

“Considering a lot of the boys were battling fatigue we did well to grind out a result.”

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The desperation shown by the City defenders reflective in the team having conceded the least amount of goals this season, in addition City have succeeded in making AAMI Park a fortress this season having lost one out of seven home games.

City currently sit fourth on the table though this could be temporary as Wellington Phoenix could replace them with a win tomorrow.

After a significant defeat in the context of their season, head coach Warren Joyce was pleased by the team’s ability to keep a Perth side with 31 goals in their 14 games scoreless for the first time this season.

“The lads dug deep tonight they worked their socks off,” Joyce said.

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“They’re showing endeavour even digging deeper late on in games.

“There were times when we could have crumbled because they had fresh forwards coming on.

“But we were looking to do everything we could to stop them.

“It’s a credit to the players who put their bodies on the line to stop them at a time when we didn’t look like scoring.”

In relation to the team’s injury concerns Joyce has ruled out Dario Vidosic for the match against the Western Sydney Wanderers on Tuesday but says Osama Malik is a chance to play.

Meanwhile the Glory, who sit four points clear on top of the table, travel back to Perth to face Adelaide United

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Athos Sirianos
Athos Sirianos
RMIT Journalism | Football Nation Radio Like all football fans my general mood for the week is dictated by how my team performs over the weekend.

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