Melbourne City

  1. Dean Bouzanis – 5

His distribution is still causing issues, as he shanked another clearance straight into the onrushing attacked. Nearly fumbled a long-range effort from Konstandopoulos, and looked shaky coming for crosses. Goalkeeper remains a position of concern for the club.

  1. Scott Galloway – 6.5

A greatly improved player this season, confident and tidy in the Mombaerts system. Sometimes caught out of position on the break, and turned inside out by Toure in injury time.

  1. Richard Windbichler – 7

Went up for the header that led to Maclaren’s 2nd goal. Miscommunication with Griffiths to contest the same cross, but somehow it paid off. Great sliding challenge on Mileusnic. Made a case for starting ahead of Good on Wednesday night.

  1. Harrison Delbridge – 6.5

Kept Opseth quiet, frequently by manhandling him, but got away with it most of the time. Another physical, intimidatory showing.

  1. Scott Jamieson – 7.5

Mombaerts’ tactical wrinkle to bring him infield during build-up continues to confound A-League defences. Victory last week simply stayed in their shape and did not follow him, leaving the captain with acres of space. Adelaide, in contrast, kept tight and man-to-man, leaving them vulnerable to Metcalfe’s bursts down the left. Put in the cross that led to City’s 2nd.

  1. Rostyn Griffiths – 6

Good challenge to rob Mileusnic on the edge of the box. Held his position at the base of the three, and didn’t try anything outside his skill set.

  1. Lachie Wales – 6

Nice reverse pass to pick out Najjarine in the opening moments. Great interception in the 16th minute to again tee up the teenager on the break. Completely burned Jakobsen for pace in the 55th minute before failing to pick out a teammate in the box. Sometimes seems to be running too fast for his brain to keep up. Substituted on the hour mark.

  1. Connor Metcalfe – 8

If you’d never watched him before, you’d think the 19 year-old was a veteran of this league. Pressure on a bouncing ball in midfield led to the opening goal, as his deflected shot fell kindly into the path of Maclaren. Teed up Noone for what should have been the sealer in the 75th. His combination of tireless stamina, physical presence, and attacking intent make him a frankly scary prospect for the future.

  1. Ramy Najjarine – 6.5

Inches away from squeezing the ball past Izzo at his near post in the 7th minute, but the keeper managed to push his shot onto the post and gather before it trickled over the line. Elaborate stepovers in the 16th minute but was blindsided by the 2nd defender. Didn’t put in the defensive shift that Mombaerts demanded, and was substituted at halftime on his first A-League start. Let’s hope there’s many more to come.

  1. Craig Noone – 6.5

A mixed bag for the Englishman. Always active and demanding the ball. Looked set to come off with injury early in the second half but battled through to complete the 90.  Should have sealed the win in the 75th minute, but leant back and skied his chance.

  1. Jamie Maclaren – 8

The A-League’s ultimate penalty box poacher. Controlled Metcalfe’s deflected shot well before flicking the ball past the onrushing Izzo. Doubled his tally after Windbichler and Griffiths both went up for a header from a neatly-worked short corner routine, smashing it into the back of the net as it fell kindly in the six yard box. Substituted to an ovation in the 79th minute.

 

Subs:

  1. Javier Cabrera – 5.5

Found his way into some very promising attacking positions, but couldn’t provide the telling pass. His technical ability in tight spaces remains very impressive – now he has to put that to better use.

  1. Josh Brillante – 6

Good through ball to Metcalfe in the 75th minute. Made some late runs into the box.

Adrian Luna – 5

11 minute cameo in place of Maclaren, and didn’t provide much defensively or going forward.

 

Adelaide United

  1. Paul Izzo – 6

Little he could do for either of the goals. Just about saved himself the embarrassment of being beaten at his near post by a teenager.

  1. Yared Abetew – 5.5

Looked better when he trusted his ability on the ball and didn’t second-guess himself. Went down with an injury and was eventually substituted at halftime after a fairly unremarkable 45 minutes. May eventually prove more comfortable as a central defender rather than a right back.

  1. Michael Marrone – 6.5

A solid, dependable shift in the heart of defence by the converted fullback, but was ultimately let down by a lack of protection from his midfield.

  1. Michael Jakobsen – 4.5

Tried his utmost to hold a makeshift Adelaide backline together in the first half. Brilliant sliding interception in the 53rd minute to prevent Maclaren running through on goal. Followed it up with a horror show of a second half. Burned for pace by Wales, before badly misjudging a long ball and almost letting Maclaren in for his hattrick. Turned the ball over several times.

  1. Ryan Kitto – 5

Given a hard time by Najjarine in the first half. Poor decision-making in the 59th minute left Vince Lia in hot water. Mileusnic’s movement was opening up promising channels for him to overlap, but he either didn’t read the situation, or didn’t have the stamina.

  1. Louis D’Arrigo – 6

Ineffectual in the first half, but grew into the game in the second. Floated corner to the back post led to Adelaide’s first goal, and made a good interception to set Adelaide away for what should have been the equaliser. Will need to have more of an impact in general play if he is to justify a starting spot.

  1. Vince Lia – 4.5

The veteran continues to do his thing at the base of midfield, but based on today’s display, the absence of Isaias is frankly glaring. Continually beaten to the ball by the likes of Metcalfe.

  1. Riley McGree – 7

Continually the most positive participant in the Adelaide midfield, always trying to play forward. Rewarded in the 67th minute with a goal against his former club, smashing in a loose ball after City failed to clear a corner. Should’ve equalised in the 71st minute after Mileusnic found him wide open at the back post, but the Olyroos captain blasted just wide.

  1. Michael Maria – 5.5

Switch of play to absolutely nobody in the 10th minute. Nice feet to dribble his way out of trouble and past the attentions of 3 defenders shortly afterwards. Couldn’t keep McGree’s cross in play after Mileusnic’s lung-bursting run. Shifted to right back at halftime, but having to cut in on his left made things tough, and he was unimpactful in the second period.

  1. Nikola Mileusnic – 7.5

Failed to distribute the ball quickly enough in the opening half hour, being crunched by Griffiths and Windbichler as a result. Brilliant passage of play in the 39th minute that should have resulted in a goal, playing a one-two with Lia, another one-two with Opseth, teeing up McGree for the cross and just failing to make contact, having sprinted 2/3rds of the length of the pitch. Great run down the left in the 71st minute, teeing up McGree for what should surely have been 2-2. Substituted in the 72nd minute for Toure.

  1. Kristian Opseth – 4.5

Kept very quiet by Delbridge, and never looked in danger of troubling the scorers. Showed some competent link-up play when Adelaide managed to find his feet, but those moments were few and far between. So far unclear what he offers as a visa player.

 

Subs:

  1. Lachlan Brook – 5

Came on at halftime for Abetew, but didn’t offer anything significant in attack.

  1. Nathan Konstandopoulos – 6

Came on for Lia with 20 minutes to go and injected some energy into the Adelaide midfield. Tested Bouzanis from long range with a thumping drive.

  1. Al Hassan Toure – 6.5

Out of position on the left, but provided a spark nonetheless, with one eye-catching dribble leaving Galloway for dead and nearly teeing up the equaliser. Should start upfront ahead of Opseth on Wednesday night.

 

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Josh Parish
josh@footballnationradio.com.au