A first-half Adrián Luna brace was followed by goals to Javier Cabrera and Jamie Maclaren in last night’s 4-0 win over Newcastle away from home.
Following our capitulation at home last week to Perth, it was important for the City boys to bounce back with an important win on the road and they achieved exactly that, keeping our first clean sheet in over two months.
Jamie Maclaren became the fastest player to ten goals in a season, whilst Adrián Luna took his own tally to three, with Josh Brillante and Javier Cabrera achieving the same for assists.
After such a pleasing performance before the Melbourne Derby next Saturday, here’s what we learned from last night:
Glover’s done enough to ease the nerves
Despite the change being called for by fans all week, it was still a bit of a surprise to see Tom Glover starting between the sticks, with Dean Bouzanis finally benched after several sub-par performances this season.
Without being spectacular, Glover put in a very respectable shift on his first start for City. The 21-year-old made some important saves, was confident in coming out to claim the ball from crosses and didn’t have any issues distributing the ball as some may have thought.
With the Melbourne Derby coming up this week, it’s difficult to see why Bouzanis would be coming back into the lineup after Glover’s performance, so we can only hope our new number one can put in a similar shift next Saturday.
The Uruguayan special we’ve been waiting for
Javier Cabrera and Adrián Luna endured a slow start to the season, but we always had a feeling they’d come into form eventually, and the patience of fans was rewarded last night when the South American duo combined for three goals and an assist.
Their dual-inclusion in the lineup produced some impressive attacking interplay, particularly in that dominant twenty-minute period we experienced in the first half, with the quality of their quick, intelligent passing ensuring a very entertaining brand of forward-half football.
The key for both players now is consistency. Both Cabrera and Luna have been known to drift quietly out of games when we’re not performing well, so what the fans need to see now is reliability from the Uruguayans over the next challenging three-week period, where we’re set to face Victory, Sydney and Western United.
The resilience is reassuring
All of a sudden, resilient performances after disappointing losses has become a trademark of the current crop of City players under Erick Mombaerts and it’s very refreshing to see.
Whilst the quality of opposition was admittedly not the same, last night’s 4-0 win over Newcastle constitutes just as impressive a performance as our bounce-back wins against Western United and Western Sydney which similarly came after humiliation in the week prior.
These types of showings from the City boys are what keep us optimistic about our chances this season, regardless of the domination of the absolutely stacked Sydney FC side who hold a five point buffer over us at the top of the table.
Now… time to spend the next week plotting an absolute battering of the other Melbourne team next Saturday.