Updated: Jun 7
The final Melbourne Derby of the 2020/21 season has come and gone, with Victory clawing themselves off the bottom of the table with a 95th-minute equaliser at the end of a half that had three minutes stoppage time…
City created great chances throughout the first half, particularly through an extremely young Tilio-Borges Rodrigues combination, but eventually secured the opening goal through Victory’s Nick Ansell, who deflected Naoki Tsubaki’s cross into the back of the net.
City found the back of the net in the 91st through Anthony Lesiotis, but the goal was chalked off for a tight offside, before Lleyton Brooks netted the equaliser for Victory in the 95th.
Here’s what we learned from probably the most forgettable Melbourne Derby of all time:
If we can’t beat Victory at AAMI then…
…is it time to start getting concerned about our chances in the Finals?
Whilst we’ve been deserved Premiers for our performances over the course of the season, City have been in pretty poor form since that Adelaide game where we put ourselves in a prime position to lock the title up mathematically, winning just one of the past four games since then.
Between injuries and international duties, you could argue that we currently have six of our strongest starting XI unavailable, which doesn’t bode very well when these individuals were so key during that peak period where we were playing truly ‘out of this league’ football.
If there’s a bright side to our current predicament, it’s possible that we’ll be regaining Craig Noone, Nathaniel Atkinson and Andrew Nabbout in time for Finals, but will they be able to pick up where they left off?
PK has some work to do.
Our academy is FLOURISHING
Whilst it was likely a disappointing day for City fans overall – not only the result, but also the lack of the traditional Derby day experience – one huge positive to emerge from the game was how impressive our youngsters were.
Marco Tilio’s explosion onto the A-League scene is something we’ve discussed several times by now, but we simply have to give his performance a mention, proving to be the livewire focal point at the heart of our attack.
17-year-old Raphael Borges Rodrigues was also impressive on his A-League starting debut, combining well with the aforementioned Tilio to create some massive opportunities that should have seen us one or two up at half-time.
Promising midfielder Anthony Lesiotis made his return to action for City, making just his third competitive appearance for the club, whilst 15-year-old Max Caputo became one of the youngest debutants in A-League history when he came on in the 82nd minute for Borges Rodrigues.
Seeing so much young talent on the park for City was a promising sign of things to come, and we’re excited to see which of the aforementioned names become the next Daniel Arzani – with exception of his questionable decision to leave when he did.
What’s going on with Tom?
He may have starred in last year’s Grand Final, the pinnacle of his upward trajectory throughout 2019/20, but Tom Glover has been far from his best this season.
The 23-year-old looked incredibly shaky facing the Victory's rare shots on-target, spilling two long-range efforts that both came incredibly close to resulting in a goal, with the latter incident only being saved by Rudy Gestede’s extreme levels of spud-ness.
Having rewatched the Victory goal several times over, it seems unlikely that Glover could have affected the outcome in any way by rushing out to meet the ball, so we’re not going to blame him for that, nor are we intending to take too much of a dig at him here – we just want to see him return to his best so that he’s back in Socceroos conversations.