Daniel Arzani was instrumental in Melbourne City’s win.
Daniel Arzani was instrumental in Melbourne City’s win.

City demolish wobbly Wanderers

ARE you watching Bert? Just hours after the Socceroos capitulated in Norway, young gun Daniel Arzani helped catapult Melbourne City to a drought-breaking 3-0 win over Western Sydney at AAMI Park.

The signs were there against Adelaide last week that City was coming out of its four-game winless slump.

But Warren Joyce's men officially awoke on Saturday night, putting fellow top six side Western Sydney to the sword in what was one of its most eye-catching performances of the season.

And it was a timely win too.

With three rounds to go until finals, City temporarily moved back above Melbourne Victory into third spot and again put a four-point gap between it and Adelaide United in the chase for a top four spot and home elimination final.

 

Daniel Arzani of Melbourne is congratulated by teammates.
Daniel Arzani of Melbourne is congratulated by teammates.

Bruno Fornaroli opened the scoring just before half time, before Michael Jakobsen, with his first A-League goal, and Stefan Mauk, with his second goal in two weeks, completed the rout in the second half.

Fornaroli's outing was superb.

While his goal was well taken, his effectiveness as a hold-up man was reminiscent of his scintillating first two years in the competition before a broken ankle cut him down in pre-season.

But Arzani's star continues to rise.

Bruno Fornaroli opened the scoring for Melbourne City.
Bruno Fornaroli opened the scoring for Melbourne City.

And while many had called for him to be included in Bert van Marwijk's first-ever Socceroos squad, last night's man of the match display was another timely reminder of what this prodigious 19-year-old is capable of.

With ball at feet, there was no Wanderers player who could halt Arzani's dazzling forward forays, while his crossing was pinpoint - including for the game's opening goal in the 42nd minute.

City utterly dominated against a listless Wanderers all night.

But Warren Joyce's side were nearly caught with their pants down just before halftime when, after firing off nine shots to three without success, Oriol Riera hit the crossbar with a well-worked Western Sydney header.

Dario Vidosic (left) of Melbourne City and Raul Llorente of the Western Sydney Wanderers in action on Saturday night.
Dario Vidosic (left) of Melbourne City and Raul Llorente of the Western Sydney Wanderers in action on Saturday night.

It was the spark City needed to find the back of the net, as 30 seconds later Arzani and another up-and-coming teenager Nathaniel Atkinson combined to see Fornaroli score.

From then on there was no looking back.

Joyce said he was keen to keep pushing his young players.

"You're obviously stressing the word consistency, and he's getting better at all sides of the game," Joyce said of Arzani.

"I thought (Nathaniel) Atkinson was good as well. They both were.

"There's still things to learn, there's still things you want to challenge them with. But you've got to keep pushing them because I don't want them not to be as ambitious about their careers as I am."

Joyce said it was no coincidence that Fornaroli's performance came after a week in which he was able to train consistently and free of pain in his ankle.

"Any player is going to get better and sharper if he's doing that," he said.

"I thought he was really good tonight ... maybe frustrated he couldn't score even more goals.

"He got into good positions, created good opportunities and that's the demand on him and several other players."

MELBOURNE CITY 3 (Bruno Fornaroli 42m, Michael Jakobsen 57m, Stefan Mauk 67m) WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS 0 at AAMI Park. Referee: Jarred Gillett



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