Melbourne City’s hot form continued in Newcastle

By Corinthian (Paul Green):

Hyundai A-League – Season 11 – 2015/2016 – Round 10
5:05pm, Sunday 13th December 2015  – Hunter Stadium, Broadmeadow

Newcastle Jets FC 0
lost to
Melbourne City FC 4 (Aaron Mooy 43′, 59′, Bruno Fornaroli 56′, 62′)

Newcastle Jets, who began the season with an opening round win in Wellington and then put  together a few satisfactory results, soon after that, have fallen into a bit of a slump and Sunday evening’s game against form side, Melbourne City, was to offer them no way out of it.

City have struck form with a vengeance, so much so that they are already being spoken about as potential title-winners, certainly strong contenders, even capable of putting cross-city rivals, Melbourne Victory, in the shade.

It’s taken the former Melbourne Heart time to hit their straps, last season’s team only showing up well in patches, without really threatening to take the competition by the scruff of the neck.

Under John van’t Schip, who took over from John Aloisi in the middle of last season, after returning to the club where he’d been the inaugural Head Coach, until leaving at the end of the 2011-12 season for another post, City have steadily found their feet again this season

The coach has had to contend with a few issues during his tenure and there was no certainty that he’d be handed the gig again this term, such are the ambitions of a club that falls under the aegis of Manchester City FC, also owners of New York City FC and who effectively rescued a flailing Melbourne Heart, whose support base has dwindled, after making no better than a moderate start as a club.

At least the establishment of a Women’s team this season and a huge financial commitment to that has seen the dividends paying off, as the earlier game here at Hunter Stadium demonstrated.

The Women are unbeaten after eight outings, but the men are fast catching up, under the astute eye of the Dutch-Canadian coach.

He faces the mouth-watering clash against Victory on the coming weekend, but he’ll be a lot more confident this time around, than he was previously, on the strength of a third win in a row here against the struggling Jets.

The fact that Victory have now lost three on the trot won’t hurt his team’s chances either.

City were contained early on in this match, as Newcastle went at them from the opening whistle, appearing to hold no fear in launching a series of attacks.

But this Melbourne team, while still missing some injured personnel, has a very sound defence and a very capable captain in central defender Patrick Kisnorbo.

Furthermore, they have the hot shot midfielder of the A League, local star, Aaron Mooy, who can do no wrong at this stage.

After winning 5-1 at home two weeks earlier they went to Gosford and beat the Mariners by the same scoreline a week later.

Here they put four past the Jets, without reply and one has to say that it was a thorough pasting for the home team, who showed signs of wanting it to all be over, a long way from the finish.

Newcastle were able to bring Leonardo back into the starting line-up and he did his best to spark his side early, as did veteran winger David Carney.

But the absence through injury of linchpin defender and captain, Mike Boogaard, was keenly felt as Newcastle stalwart, Ben Kantarovski, had to shoulder more than his share of duties in the backline, against a formidable strike force deployed by City, that included French striker Harry Novillo and the much improved Bruno Fornaroli, who’s finding the net regularly enough these days.

Both Mooy and Fornaroli scored a brace, deserving no less, with both working hard, aided and abetted by Novillo and a solid midfield, the tall Erik Paartalu a standout, as in most games he plays.

The formula is working well now, so City will want to take the same level of dominance they showed here and against their last two opponents, when they face Victory on the weekend.

Newcastle looked good early in the game, but the danger presented by the visitors was always significant and Jets’ keeper, Mark Birighitti, was kept very busy.

Leonardo was doing his best to fire the Jets into life, returning to the side, having missed a number of games already this season through a persistent injury.

Milos Trifunovic and Enver Alivodic were the striking partners who latched onto the pass from Leonardo in the opening five minutes, which might have given the locals the lead, but it all broke down near goal.

Thomas Sorensen in the Melbourne goal also made a good save from Darren Carney, just two minutes later, with the 10,000 strong home crowd getting right behind the Jets.

Trifunovic blasted wide, after bursting clear in the ninth, but after that early flurry, Melbourne City began to make their own presence felt much more strongly.

After Bruno Fornaroli had been denied by the keeper in the 39th, Aaron Mooy was able to give his side the lead in the 43rd, angling the ball across the keeper and in at the far-post with an authoritative finish.

The second-half began with the Jets once again looking to attack, by now even more in need of an early goal.

After Newcastle had forced some unproductive corners, things once again turned City’s way and it needed a big save from Birighitti, tipping over Mooy’s booming shot in the 53rd, to keep the deficit down to one.

A smart piece of play from 27th minute-substitute, Benjamin Garuccio, led to Fornaroli making it 2-0 in the 56th.

After that it was virtually one-way traffic as Melbourne City held sway, with Mooy in full control in the middle.

Ivan Franjic made a strong run down the flank and crossed for Mooy to bury the ball in the roof of the Newcastle net in the 59th, the City team looking unstoppable by that stage.

Mooy turned provider in the 62nd, releasing Fornaroli, who got the better of his marker, before crisply poking the ball past a spreadeagled Birighitti.

A late chipped effort from substitute, Nicholas Cowburn, was looking like providing a late consolation for a well-beaten Newcastle side, but the reliable Patrick Kisnorbo was able to clear the ball off the line.

A good evening’s work indeed by one of the most improved teams in the A League.

It’s hard to believe that a few weeks ago Newcastle came from two goals down to win 3-2 in Melbourne, but they never looked like replicating that here.

Match details

Crowd: 10,087

Newcastle Jets FC: 1. Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk); 22 Lachlan JACKSON, 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 13 Kijie LEE; 8.Mateo POLJAK (c), 6.Cameron WATSON (24.Nick COWBURN 60); 10.LEONARDO (27 Braedyn CROWLEY; 7.Enver ALIVODIC (Ryan KITTO 69), 9.Milos TRIFUNOVIC, 23.David CARNEY
Subs not used: 20.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 17.Radovan PAVICEVIC

Yellow Cards: Jason Hoffman 42; Red Cards: Nil
Coach: Scott Miller

Melbourne City FC: 1. Thomas SORENSEN (gk); 22 Jack CLISBY, 4 Connor CHAPMAN (19 Benjamin GARUCCIO 27), 24 Patrick KISNORBO (c), 5 Ivan FRANJIC (10 Robert KOREN 69); 6 Erik PAARTALU, 25 Jacob MELLING; 8 Aaron MOOY; 21 Stefan MAUK, 23 Bruno FORNAROLI, 9 Harry NOVILLO
Subs not used: 20 Tando VELAPHI (rgk), 15 David WILLIAMS, 18 Paulo RETRE

Yellow Cards: Erik Paartalu 19; Red Cards: Nil
Coach: John van’t Schip

Referee: Chris Beath

Assistant Referees: Ryan Gallagher and Leigh Pigram
Fourth Official: Stephen Lucas

Points and ratings

Referee 6/10
Match 7/10
Pitch 8/10

Player points:
3. Aaron Mooy (MC)
2. Patrick Kisnorbo (MC)
1. Jacob Melling (MC)

By Corinthian