Melbourne City have stretched their winning run in the A-League to four games with a commanding 3-0 defeat of Macarthur
Melbourne City turned on the style in a dominant 15 minute period in the first-half, effectively putting the game to bed before the interval.
Jamie Maclaren opened the scoring on 23 minutes, but it was all about Andrew Nabbout and Nathaniel Atkinson in the build-up to the No.9’s bullet header.
In a trice it was two with Nabbout setting it up again, this time from the left-hand side, for Maclaren to fire home at the second time of asking after Antony Golec had blocked his first effort on the line.
That took City’s talisman up to 10 goals for the season, the first player to reach the mark in the campaign so far.
And it took just 10 minutes for City to have the home crowd roaring once again. Yet again it was Nabbout the architect, playing in Craig Noone down the left who sent Mark Milligan to the floor with a dummy before thumping the ball into the roof of the net.
That meant the sides went into half-time with City having scored eight goals in their last 90 minutes of football after their five goal second half in last weekend’s Melbourne Derby.
The second half largely came and went, with Florin Berenguer coming closest with his head in the 72nd minute – he could hardly react as Connor Metcalfe thundered the ball across the face of goal.
What was most alarming was how at sea the Bulls’ defence was over the 15 minute spell, with Nabbout and Noone constantly afforded too much space on either flank.
Golec had no answer for City’s movement, including that of Atkinson arriving from right-back, and was a sitting duck as blue shirts flew by him for much of the first half.
When the visitors were able to cross halfway, the likes of Michael Ruhs and Markel Susaeta did show flashes of intent but an overall lack of quality and support was evident as City’s defence kept them well clear of their goal.
Despite coming into this game sitting second on the A-League table, Macarthur also entered the clash with a negative goal difference, a record further depleted by their hiding today.
The caveat of the table having them in second is of course the fact that they have played 12 games, where Perth and Western United have played eight and nine respectively and a host of other teams below them on the table have only played 10.
They have won five of the 12 fixtures, but this defeat is now the third by a margin of three goals or more. In all but one of their five defeats this season, the Bulls have failed to score – and the exception to that is the 4-1 loss to Western United.
Ante Milicic’s side will face Western in their next fixture, exactly a month on from that 4-1 defeat, with another loss there potentially seeing slip out of touching distance with the top six.
For City, a top of the table clash against the Central Coast Mariners awaits in 10 days’ time, with Patrick Kisnorbo hoping for a statement win to bring his side closer to the summit of the league.