Melbourne City secure last-gasp win over Perth Glory

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Melbourne City left it very late on Wednesday night, waiting until the game’s dying minutes to finally break down a valiant Perth Glory thanks to super-sub Nathaniel Atkinson.

The offside flag offered the first major talking point of the match, when City appeared to have found the opener following a driving run into the box from Andrew Nabbout, which deflected off Kosuke Ota into the goal.

Although initially given, VAR intervened to deem Nabbout was offside when he received the ball, keeping the score at 0-0.

Connor Metcalfe was involved regularly in City’s attacking moves throughout the first half, most notably when he played a well-weighted ball to Jamie Maclaren, who could only find the side-netting.

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City mounted a strong period of possession and attacking pressure midway through the half, regularly threatening in and around Perth’s penalty area.

Multiple shots went just wide of the post as Perth’s defenders were called on to make last-ditch tackles and blocks to keep the game scoreless.

Perth’s young goalkeeper Cameron Cook was arguably their best player of the first half, regularly making strong saves and remaining calm under the constant City pressure.

City though clearly lacked a finishing touch, with the likes of Marco Tilio regularly failing to make the most of promising attacking moves with poorly executed passes

Two of the competition’s most fiery characters came face to face when Scott Jamieson and Bruno Fornaroli exchanged pleasantries early in the second half, leading to a brief intermission as both sets of players came together for a physical altercation.

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Nabbout and Tilio both almost scored in a matter of minutes when Nabbout dragged a shot just wide of the post before Tilio fired over the bar.

Still Perth remained resolute, desperate to back up their impressive win over Melbourne Victory just three days earlier.

City’s attacking forays increasingly resembled their efforts against Western United last weekend, as a deep-set defence limited City to shots from long range.

Curtis Good appeared to have finally found the breakthrough in the 83rd minute when a point-blank header was denied by an outstanding fingertip save onto the post by Cook.

Perth’s goalkeeper was putting in a player of the match performance, making numerous saves and commanding his penalty area throughout the contest.

The breakthrough though finally came for City in the 88th minute, when a floated ball from Good found the head of Metcalfe, who directed the ball across to substitute Atkinson to nod home the winner.

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Atkinson was the saviour for Patrick Kisnorbo, devastating a brave Perth side. Still, City desperately need to improve on the variety of their attacking play to more easily break down stubborn teams in future weeks.

Melbourne City 1 (Atkinson 88’)

Perth Glory 0

AAMI Park

Referee: Ben Abraham

Assistant Referees: George Lakrindis & Andrew Meimarakis

Fourth Official: Lachlan Keevers

Melbourne City: Thomas GLOVER (GK), Scott GALLOWAY, Scott JAMIESON (C), Nuno REIS, Mathew LECKIE (Florin BERENGUER 68’), Aiden O’NEILL, Jamie MACLAREN, Andrew NABBOUT (Nathaniel ATKINSON 79’), Connor METCALFE, Curtis GOOD, Marco TILIO
Unused subs: Matthew SUTTON (GK), Rostyn GRIFFITHS, Stefan COLAKOVSKI, Jordon HALL, Anthony LESIOTIS

Perth Glory: Cameron COOK (GK), Aaron CALVER (Joshua RAWLINS 69’), Luke BODNAR (Callum TIMMINS 69’), Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, Adrian SARDINERO (Giordano COLLI 87’), Kosuke OTA, Bruno FORNAROLI (C), Jack CLISBY, Daniel STYNES (Ciaran BRAMWELL 59’), Antonee BURKE-GILROY, Darryl LACHMAN
Unused subs: Nicholas SORRAS (GK), Pacifique NIYONGABIRE, Aidan COYNE

Feature Image Credit: Melbourne City FC

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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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