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‘Huffed, puffed, blew the house down’: Three things we learned - City vs Perth

The City boys executed on expectations when they comfortably swept Perth Glory aside by four goals to nil in their final game at AAMI Park before the World Cup.

It was all ‘huff and puff’ in the first half, with our flurry of shots failing to find the back of the Glory net, but City blew the house down in the second 45 thanks to a Jamie Maclaren brace and later strikes to Marco Tilio and Mathew Leckie.

With our first-place position consolidated for another week, let’s take a look at what we learned from what was an enjoyable afternoon at AAMI:

Photo: Graham Denholm / Getty Images

Our first proper look at van der Venne

On his City starting debut, our new Dutch midfielder certainly caught the eye in all manner of ways.

As observed in his previous cameos off the bench, Richard van der Venne is certainly enthusiastic in challenging for the ball and isn’t afraid to get stuck in — for better or worse.

The 30-year-old gave away a match-high four fouls, despite being crediting with zero tackles won and just a 29% success rate in duels.

Perhaps his true value was shown in the final third, where he became more of a creative and goal-threatening force with a series of dangerous passes, two strikes of the woodwork, and the touch that forced a Perth handball leading to City’s second goal.

Whether or not ‘VDV’ forms part of our best midfield combination — which has thus far been unsettled — remains to be seen, but the Dutchman will be all the better for the 90 additional minutes under his belt.

A new established order

Following yet another standout performance from Jordan Bos and Tilio’s return to form with a second goal in as many weeks, Patrick Kisnorbo’s best XI is finally starting to emerge.

Bos cemented his status as the most impressive player over our first four fixtures with his recent Player of the Month recognition and again extended his streak today of starting every game this season — even with Scott Jamieson now back to full fitness.

Elsewhere, Tilio has similarly impressed in the opportunities provided to him, registering two goals, an assist, and a penalty won in his starts against Wellington and Perth.

Photo: Graham Denholm / Getty Images

Jamieson and Nabbout are simply too good to be relegated to regular bench warmers, so the starting places of their younger positional counterparts are hardly secure. However, if Kisnorbo is committed to selecting the players whose form merits reward, then his team sheet is beginning to pick itself.

The shine is wearing off on Berisha

The technical quality of our new Kosovan signing is still obvious for all to see, but the midfielder’s failure to kick on from a standout Round 1 performance has been a little disappointing.

Our #14 has proven himself exceptional at retaining the ball under pressure and navigating tight spaces with both dribbling and one-touch passing, but hasn’t been creating dangerous opportunities for his teammates with the frequency or quality that many would have expected following that impressive debut against Western.

Fortunately, Tilio and Leckie have well and truly shouldered that creative burden in recent weeks, helping to alleviate the pressure off of our most advanced central midfielder.

Berisha has been far from poor across his first five performances for the club, but there remains plenty of room for improvement from the man tipped by many to be our player of the season.

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