‘Back to back’: Three things we learned – City vs Wellington
In a fashion rarely seen in football across the world, your Melbourne City has won the league title for the second time in a row, this time in front of a crowd made up of three different sets of fans.
It all came down to the final round of the year – as City can never do it easy – where the outcome was entirely in our hands. There were two possible outcomes, to either bottle the job, or take the cake. Thankfully, the mental strength of the group prevailed as they withstood wave after wave of Wellington attacks in the final stretch of the game.
A quick-fire double was enough to secure the plate, and this is what we learned during one of the best nights our club has seen:
Mathew Leckie - The complete footballer
As the night progressed, there were many chances to further our lead against a lackluster Wellington side, but our two-goal lead began to look fickle as the Phoenix began a late onslaught. However, there was one glimmer of hope: Mathew Leckie.
On multiple occasions, Leckie was able to win the ball back, skipping past multiple defenders before finally winning a foul to release pressure, or passing it into space. This allowed us to reset when it was needed most and cannot be left unnoticed.
Leckie, who began his season in some uninspired form, has turned out to be one of the most important players in our side on his day. The importance of a true footballer, one who defends as hard as he attacks, should not be underestimated.
This is what wins games. This is what wins titles.
Substitution game on point
Despite the move seeing the end of Andrew Nabbout’s game, Patrick Kisnorbo saw fit to bring on youngster Jordan Bos to see out the final 20 minutes. Bringing on these fresh legs not only sparked some life into our attack, but also allowed Scott Jamieson some relief in tracking back to protect our lead.
Although PK’s game management has been questionable in the past, there is no doubt that bringing Bos on at that stage possibly won the game. If anything, it was worth the chance to see Bos send Louis Fenton into next week with a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge.
Granted, not all substitutions were used, but it seemed important that the working structure of the group must not be interfered. Everyone on the pitch was focused, up until the referee blew his whistle, not that any of us in active could hear it…
They came to watch the City
Last night, we saw both the north and south active bays fill up, all to watch one thing: City win the Premier’s Plate.
While the public confidence in City’s ability has sometimes faltered this season, it certainly worked in our favour as our greatest rivals took time out of their Monday night in the hopes that it would end with their team crowned Premiers rather than ours.
If you are one who subjects themselves to the #SokkahTwitter universe, you would have been flooded with messages indicating that we were “outnumbered” and that we “have no fans”, but all I am hearing is that we have them rattled.
Though the Victory have been at their best, whilst we have struggled to get out of second gear this season, we have still taken the Premiership in front of our rival fans. Unimaginable a few years ago.
We won’t forget that for a long time.
What else is there to say? We’ve won the league.
We now look forward to our double-legged semi-final. This season isn’t over yet!