The result mightn’t have been the optimal one, but fans shouldn’t be too disappointed with City’s 0-0 stalemate with in-form Perth Glory at AAMI Park earlier this evening.
Aside from a very small handful of scoreable chances in the first half, there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of opportunity for our City boys to translate their arguably superior performance onto the scoreline.
Markel Susaeta and Jack Hendry were impressive on their starting debuts, whilst Adrián Luna provided a spark in midfield.
Here’s what we learned:
The 0-0 is a decent result in the grander scheme of things
Whilst the boys arguably deserved the three points in this contest, City fans shouldn’t be too disappointed with sharing the spoils.
Aside from a few good chances early on, it can’t really be said that we dominated to the point of definitely deserving a winner and it must also be said that Perth are on a bit of a roll defensively.
Whilst forcing ourselves to accept just the single point means that Sydney gain an even stronger grip on the premiership, it feels as though that boat has well and truly sailed for City this season, so the focus now needs to move to our defence of second place, and this stalemate against the Glory keeps our position secure for another week.
Hendry solid on debut
It was a surprise for many to see new signing Jack Hendry handed his first start for Melbourne City tonight, and whilst Markel Susaeta was similarly impressive on starting debut, we’re going to give give our attention to the Scotsman, who put fans’ minds at ease with a composed performance which contributed to a clean sheet on his first appearance for the club.
The central defender was dominant in the air as expected, but also demonstrated his calmness on the ball when passing out from the back and rarely had a nervous moment.
His introduction into the squad brings an interesting dynamic to the competition for the two starting central defender spots, with Delbridge and Good routinely turning in consistent performances which don’t exactly merit either of the Australians being dropped, so it’ll be interesting to see how Mombaerts goes about selecting the backline in future.
We’ve finally got others stepping up
In the opening dozen or so fixtures of the season, there seemed to be an overwhelming sense that if Jamie Maclaren wasn’t looking likely to score then no-one would.
In recent weeks however, with the notable improvements in the games of Craig Noone and Adrián Luna, as well as the more recent inclusion of mercurial talent Markel Susaeta, it feels as though we might finally have a more rounded attacking force with which to dismantle opposition defences.
Whilst it didn’t happen for us tonight against Perth, the interplay between our attacking stars created a handful of decent opportunities and with better finishing we’d have found ourselves one or two up in the first half.
All in all, we’re just happy that it no longer takes a double- or triple-teaming of JMac to completely nullify our attacking output and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Maclaren assisting to Noone, Luna or Susaeta more frequently in the future.