Resilient Melbourne City make it two from two

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A Jamie Maclaren double in his 100th Melbourne City outing was enough to help his side secure a strong 2-0 victory against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

The Melbourne outfit dominated proceedings early, their weight of possession creating plenty of attacking opportunities.

Mathew Leckie’s early header attempt was denied by the stingy hands of Jordan Holmes, a clear indication of Melbourne’s prowess in attack that would only become more fruitful as the night wore on.

The opening 20 minutes of the action favoured last year’s runners-up as they dictated ownership of the ball 75 per cent to the Roar’s 25%.

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All of City’s control over the contest was finally rewarded courtesy of a powerful strike from Andrew Nabbout that deflected off Maclaren to put the away side ahead 1-0 in the 21st minute.

Nabbout was poorly guarded by the Roar defence as Thomas Lam and Leckie easily found their outside man to finish in the left corner, after brushing Maclaren’s boot.

Melbourne City recruit Valon Berisha was awarded a yellow card for his challenge on Joe Knowles, who recovered to set up a scarce Roar opportunity, but Charlie Austin wasn’t home.

The one-way traffic persisted as Maclaren, in his 100th City outing, finished a penalty chance in the box for his second before proceeding to rub salt into the wounds by celebrating in front of Brisbane’s fans.

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The striker nearly added a third goal just on half-time, his attempt encapsulating a first-half controlled from start to finish by the men in light blue.

Referee Tim Danaskos validated his own decision after Video Assistant Referee intervention by penalising City’s Taras Gomulka with a red card for his slide on Roar’s Kai Trewin in the first moments of the second-half.

Melbourne’s loss of their 11th player stifled the Roar into action momentarily, but the away side ultimately repelled multiple challenges, including an audacious Jordan Courtney-Perkins’ bicycle kick attempt in the 64th minute.

Brisbane incrementally turned the tide of the contest in a desperate bid to get their first goal on the board in the 2022/23 ALM season.

City goalkeeper Matthew Sutton consecutively kicked the ball straight back to the Roar and Leckie was penalised with a yellow card, but the home side couldn’t capitalise thanks to a lack of polish and precision.

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Despite being down a man for most of the second stanza, City and their 2-0 lead couldn’t be reeled in by Brisbane in what was a determined display from the visitors.

Roar will travel for the first time to face Western Sydney Wanderers next week, while Melbourne City will play rivals Melbourne Victory.

Brisbane Roar 0

Melbourne City 2

Stadium: Suncorp Stadium

Referee: Tim Danaskos

Assistant Referees: David Walsh and Misuk Park

Fourth Official: Alireza Faghani

Brisbane Roar: Jordan HOLMES (GK), Scott NEVILLE, Thomas ALDRED, Connor CHAPMAN (Jez LOFTHOUSE 60’), Riku DANZAKI, Charles AUSTIN, Carlo ARMIENTO (Cyrus DEHMIE 69’), Jack HINGERT (Jordan COURTNEY-PERKINS 46’), James O’SHEA, Kai TREWIN, Joseph KNOWLES (Rahmat AKBARI 46’)

Unused subs: Macklin FREKE (GK), Jesse DALEY, Louis ZABALA

Melbourne City: Thomas GLOVER (GK), Scott JAMIESON, Thomas LAM, Mathew LECKIE, Jamie MACLAREN (Marco TILIO 90’), Aiden O’NEILL, Valon BERISHA (Scott GALLOWAY 69’), Andrew NABBOUT (Richard VAN DER VENNE 54’), Taras GOMULKA, Callum TALBOT, Jordan BOS

Unused subs: Matthew SUTTON (GK), Jordon HALL, Luke ORESTI, Kerrin STOKES

Featured image credit: Melbourne City

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Liam Cook
Aspiring football enthusiast. Covering Brisbane Roar in 2022/23.

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