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Three things we learned: Wanderers vs City

That’s back-to-back wins for Melbourne City following a professional 2-0 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers.

It didn’t take long for Jamie Maclaren to score against his bunny team (he’s now six from four against the Wanderers), with Noone capitalising on a poor pass out of defence by Baccus to feed JMac through on goal just six minutes into the game.

In the second-half, it was only through a controversial handball decision that City were able to extend their lead, with Maclaren converting from the spot-kick to achieve the final 0-2 scoreline away from home.

Photo: Melbourne City FC

Here’s what we can take away from last night’s impressive performance on the road:

We can win without being great

Perhaps not an opinion shared by all, but Melbourne City performed solidly last night without being great.

Our success against the Wanderers stemmed from a strong press and rigid defensive structure, particularly in the first half.

We were less disciplined in the second-half in both of these aspects, affording the Wanderers opportunities at goal that they simply couldn’t find in the first period.

From an attacking standpoint, we continue to underperform our goalscoring potential, not being clinical enough with our chances and leaving the door ajar for teams to make a comeback despite all odds.

The overarching perspective on social media at half-time was that we could have already been several goals ahead and it rang a similar tune to last Tuesday against Sydney FC…

Andrew Nabbout well and truly deserves a goal, but…

At the same time, questions should probably start being asked if he doesn’t find the back of the net soon.

The winger has obviously had a disrupted start to the season and could reasonably argue that he’ll need a renewed period of settling in time, but the ex-Victory winger has had some quality chances even in the few games that he’s played – though he’s without a goal to show for it.

To emphasise, this point isn’t supposed to be critical of his current form – Nabbout’s made a pretty good start to life at City – more so to make the point that if he’s still goalless in a few more rounds time then that rests solely on his shoulders.

Glover has work to do aerially

Alright, we’re arguably nitpicking now because last night’s performance was a pretty solid one away from home against decent opposition, but we’ve gotta have something to talk about here.

Throughout the season, Glover’s reactions to dangerous aerial balls has been questionable, and he seems yet to find his form in that aspect of his game that he possessed last season.

Glover afforded the Wanderers their best chance of the night when misjudged a flighted cross to the back post and had to be bailed out twice by goal-saving defensive blocks by his teammates.

In addition to this, Glover seems less astute at rushing out commandingly to claim an aerial ball above his teammates' heads, resulting in a few dropped catches or scuffed clearances that drop right back into the danger zone.

As we said, he’s certainly shown he can perform better in this aspect of his game and we hope he rediscovers the key to aerial success in training.

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