Why City have not got the championship sewn up just yet

-

Melbourne City are the clear class team of the A-League as it stands and on their current form have every right to be title favourites.

It’s easy to say the title is sewn up for them. Rarely have they been challenged in the last two months, their only loss coming to Western United in a game they could have won 2-1 or 3-1, had luck been on their side in the second half.

Embed from Getty Images

Jamie Maclaren, Connor Metcalf and Craig Noone – among others – have been fantastic up front for City, kicking a stunning 18 goals more than second placed Central Coast Mariners this year.

Yet, their defence is also not their weak point, as captain Scott Jamieson and co. have conceded the third fewest goals in the league.

Patrick Kisnorbo is operating a well-oiled machine that looks like it would take an army to beat.

As mentioned, City’s premier weapon is their attack. No club has come close to scoring the number of goals City has this year. While their defence has been good, it’s their final third that is there point of difference.

However, the final third is likely not to be the difference in the grand final, should they make it there. Stating the obvious, pressure goes right up in finals and teams double down on defence.

Embed from Getty Images

It happens with every sporting code in the world. When the pressure piles on, it’s a more contested, ferocious game, and that leads to a drop in scoring.

Highlighting this fact, in the last four A-League grand finals no team has scored more than one goal and there have only been four goals kicked in these four games.

This is not to condemn City’s defence, only to say defence is what wins premierships.

If they were won in the final third, City’s premiership odds would be little more than bank interest. However, as we have seen in recent years, it is a defence’s ability to not concede multiple goals that have won or kept teams in grand finals, not their ability to score.

Embed from Getty Images

As mentioned, history suggests you can not concede more than one goal and still win the A-League grand final. In fact, in the 15 A-League grand finals, only once has a team conceded more than one goal and gone on to win in penalties.

City have conceded at least two goals on four occasions this year. Certainly not a disastrous fact by any means, but perhaps an indicator to the idea the race to this year’s premiership is still wide open.

Patrick Kisnorbo’s men are playing some of the most exciting and dynamic football the A-League has ever seen, and we could not love them more for it. All we are saying is, the job’s not done yet for City.

Feature image credit: Melbourne City FC

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

Seb Mottram
Sports nut studying Media comms and Marketing at Monash.

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required