Sydney FC 12 Points Clear After Melbourne Masterclass

Summary

Sydney FC 4 (Bobô 32’, 65’, Ninkovic 44’, Mierzejewski 79’) def Melbourne City 0

After absorbing a barrage of City attacks, Arnie’s men took the lead via Bobô from the spot with Ninkovic making it two for the Sky Blues with yet another fantastic goal close to half time.

It was much of the same in the second half as Bobô got his second before Mierzejewski wrapped up the three points ten minutes from time. The Brazilian’s second goal sets a new record for the quickest player to reach the 20-goal mark in an A-League season.

The Sky Blues next match is at the ‘Fortress’ as they kick-off their AFC Asian Champions League campaign against Suwon Bluewings.

 

What They Said

Graham Arnold: “Melbourne City started well and through everything at us in first 20 minutes. After we addressed some things at half time, I thought we played a very controlled second half.

“All the boys are excited (about the Asian Champions League). The focus was on winning against Melbourne but we’ll get the boys back home and get ready for Wednesday night.

“We’re in great shape and we’ll be able to manage the two competitions very well with the split round system.

“Everyone is super fit and we have the best fitness and medical staff in the league.”

Adrian Mierzejewski: “We always want more and we want to be Premiers very soon.”

Michael Zullo: “We just have so much quality. We played well in patches but we can always get better.

“The coaching staff and the players are not accepting just winning, we expect good performance and that’s paying dividends.”

“Something to proud of (three assists) but there are still things I can improve.”

 

Goals

32’ BOBÔ FROM THE SPOT – Adrian’s pace and playmaking brilliance allows Brosque to get in behind with the Sky Blues captain brought down by Bouzanis; official points to the spot. The City keeper gets a hand to Bobô’s effort but the power sends it off the crossbar and in.

44’ SUBLIME STRIKE NINKOVIC – Zullo pinches the ball high up the pitch and squares it to Ninkovic around the ‘D’ of the area. Taking the ball on the bounce, he strikes the ball with the outside of the foot on the half volley to send the ball into the top right.

65’ BOBÔ HEADS IT HOME – Zullo whips in an inch perfect ball for the Brazilian forward to connect with a bullet header past Bouzanis. His 20th goal breaks the A-League record for the quickest player to reach the landmark.

79’ MIERZEJEWSKI MAKES IT FOUR – Great build up play again leads to yet another perfect Zullo cross met on the half volley by the Polish midfielder puts the game to bed.

 

Key Moments

9’ GREAT PRESSURE WILKINSON – Arzani for City attempts to twist and turn to wriggle free of the experienced defenders grasps but Wilkinson sticks to his man like glue and quells the danger.

17’ AMAZING FEET FROM NINKOVIC – Mierzejewski rolls the ball out to Ninkovic on the left as the midfield maestro gets through multiple challenges but pushes it just slightly far of an onrushing Bouzanis.

24’ BOBÔ GOES CLOSE – A fast counter for the Sky Blues almost leads to the opener after Ninkovic’s killer ball plays in to the forward but the City keeper sticks a foot out to deny him his 19th goal of the season.

42’ BRICK WALL REDMAYNE – Not the most conventional save as the Sky Blues custodian sits on City’s goal bound effort.

69’ DISALLOWED GOAL FORNAROLI – The City striker hammers home from close range but is adjudged to have pulled back Buijs to create the chance and the goal is ruled out.

70’ SO CLOSE FOR NINKOVIC – Bobô pinches the ball off Bouzanis and unselfishly squares it to Ninkovic who has his goal bound effort cleared off the line. Question marks on a potential penalty as the midfielder appears to be knocked from behind.

90+3’ UNBELIEVABLE SAVE REDMAYNE – City is through on goal and fires across the face but the Sky Blues keeper ensures he’ll keep a clean sheet with a fingertip save.

 

Team News

Sydney FC 4 (Bobô 32’, 65’, Ninkovic 44’, Mierzejewski 79’) def Melbourne City 0

Ground: AAMI Park

Referee: Kurt Aims

Sydney FC: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 4. Alex WILKINSON, 5. Jordy BUIJS, 6. Joshua BRILLANTE (8. Paulo RETRE 90’), 7. Michael ZULLO, 9. BOBÔ (18. Matt SIMON 84’), 10. Milos NINKOVIC, 11. Adrian MIERZEJEWSKI, 13. Brandon O’NEILL, 14. Alex BROSQUE (17. David CARNEY 72’), 26. Luke WILKSHIRE.

Subs Not Used: 20. Alex CISAK (gk), 2. Aaron CALVER.

Yellow Cards: 26. Luke WILKSHIRE 19’, 6. Joshua BRILLANTE 71’

Red Cards: None.

Melbourne City: 1. Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 2. Manny MUSCAT (23. Bruno FORNAROLI 64’), 3. Scott JAMIESON, 4. Harrison DELBRIDGE, 5. Bart SCHENKEVELD, 10. Dario VIDOSIC, 13. Stefan MAUK (15. Denis GENAROU 80’), 14. Daniel ARZANI (11. Bruce KAMAU 82’), 27. Marcin BUDZINSKI, 22. Michael JAKOBSEN, 26. Luke BRATTAN

Subs Not Used: 18. Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 7. Nick FITZGERALD.

Yellow Cards: 26. Luke BRATTAN 85’

Red Cards: None.