Melbourne City knocked off their perch by resolute Western United

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Melbourne City suffered their first defeat of the A-League Men’s season on Saturday night at AAMI Park, as a well-drilled Western United grinded out an impressive 1-0 win over the defending champions.

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The visitors started the brighter with an early corner being headed just wide by star centre-back Leo Lacroix.

The contest was tight for the first 15 minutes as both sides looked to get through the early phases without conceding.

Western United opened the scoring in the 20th minute though when a misdirected Curtis Good header eventually fell to Alessandro Diamanti, whose through ball found Dylan Wenzell-Halls for a finish across his body into the bottom corner. A brilliant strike from a tough angle gave City goalkeeper Tom Glover no chance and ensured a second goal in two weeks for Wenzell-Halls.

Western thought they had a second 10 minutes later when a ball into the box fell to Lachlan Wales for a neat finish, however, the referee soon ruled it out for a foul in the build-up.

John Aloisi’s side proved to be good value for their lead as they continued to mount the pressure on City’s defence.

Meanwhile, Western looked relatively untroubled throughout the half as City suffered from a lack of creative presence in the midfield and predictable attacking patterns down the wings. Jamie Maclaren was unable to get into the game, being comfortably out bodied by Lacroix on several occasions.

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Nonetheless, City manufactured a glorious opportunity late in the half, as a Maclaren header following an Andrew Nabbout cross was only kept out by an outstanding save from Jamie Young to protect Western’s lead into half-time.

City came closest early in the second half when Aiden O’Neill fired a shot from outside the box which rocketed off the post.

Whilst Western continued to demonstrate slick attacking moves spearheaded by Diamanti, Nabbout called Young into action again with a powerful shot 10 minutes into the second half.

The visitors continued to look solid in defence as City resorted to shots from long range, unable to break down their less-fancied opposition even with the spark of Marco Tilio from the bench.

Led by Lacroix at the back, Western were desperate to maintain their perfect defensive record when it came to conceding goals from open play this A-League Men’s season.

Kisnorbo threw more attacking players onto the pitch in a last-ditch effort to salvage a draw, but City were ultimately unable to find the breakthrough.

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An excellent performance from Western United who thoroughly merited their win. City will have to reinvent themselves over the next few days heading into another clash on Wednesday with Perth.

Melbourne City 0
Western United 1
(Wenzell-Halls 20’)

AAMI Park

Referee: Alex King

Assistant Referees: Wilson Brown & Daniel Ilievski

Fourth Official: Lachlan Keevers

Melbourne City: Thomas GLOVER (GK), Scott GALLOWAY, Scott JAMIESON (C), Nuno REIS, Mathew LECKIE, Aiden O’NEILL, Jamie MACLAREN, Florin BERENGUER (Marco TILIO 63’), Andrew NABBOUT (Nathaniel ATKINSON 75’), Connor METCALFE, Curtis GOOD

Unused subs: Matthew SUTTON (GK), Rostyn GRIFFITHS, Jordon HALL, Raphael Borges RODRIGUES, Anthony LESIOTIS

Western United: Jamie YOUNG (GK), Leo LACROIX, Tomoki IMAI, Lachlan WALES, Dylan WENZEL-HALLS (Dylan PIERIAS 72’), Steven LUSTICA, Connor PAIN (Adisu BAYEW 78’), Benjamin GARUCCIO, Joshua RISDON, Alessandro DIAMANTI (C), Neil KILKENNY

Unused subs: Ryan SCOTT (GK), Nicolas MILANOVIC, Jerry SKOTADIS, Christian THEOHAROUS, Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY

Feature Image Credit: Western United FC

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Oscar Rutherford
Oscar Rutherford
Sports tragic studying Law/Arts at Monash University. Second-best paid Oscar working in football who has been to China.

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