The mediocre mediocrity displayed by Melbourne’s weather reflected the emotions of a struggling City trying to grasp a handle on their season so far. Stringent burst of pleasing attack but bitter defence has lead to little being delivered and rightly heaping pressure onto the shoulders of John Van’t Schip.
To the frustration of the few who trickled through the tickers at AAMI this Sunday evening, the long desperate cry to ‘shoot’ followed by a low ‘boo’ of disappear was quickly becoming the painful routine.
The opening 45 entertained shots off-target and a successful crossbar challenge attempt by Matt McKay, but left the football tastebuds unsatisfied, only increasing the talk around the stands of consequences of what could come if three points weren’t taken. The rumour mill was going for a spin; the word on the street is City Football Group had an Italian replacement lined up to take JVS’ coaching job first thing the next Monday morning if success wasn’t secured.
As is with all typical Melbourne weather days, the wintery grey welcomes small bursts of light; Mate Dugandzic’s threatening sprints down the wing created havoc, often leaving his marker straggling behind. Aaron Mooy’s hunger for the football is the best thing to ever happen to the club since City took over and Melbourne kept their first ever clean sheet of the season. A credit to a green Tando Velaphi who to the jeers and sarcasm of his own supporters, managed to keep the ball out of the net.
Brisbane will themselves feel robbed. A supreme dominance across the pitch but an inability in the final third made the ‘debatable’ penalty call hurt even more. The spot kick resulting in narcissism from the City faithful who half-jokingly predicted that the ball would go “flying over the crossbar” and “out to the left” in an attempt to prepare for the worst. But sure enough, the safety of Aaron Mooy’s right foot let the whole stadium (John Van’t Schip included) breathe a little easier and eventually led to securing their first home win of the season.
Words by Jacob Arnott. Photos by Aleks Jason.