Melbourne City have returned to the winner’s list after notching an emphatic 5-1 result against the Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Saturday night.
Despite the four goal margin it was Wellington that dominated the early running as they looked to snap a four-game winless run.
However the home side were architects of their own downfall after missing a chance to open the scoring from the penalty spot before conceding an own-goal shortly after.
Goals from Bruno Fornaroli and Anthony Caceres saw the visitors out to a three goal lead before Kosta Barbarouses pulled one back with 20 minutes remaining to spark hopes of a revival.
Instead City were able to extend their advantage through Neil Kilkenny and Nicolas Colazo to complete a season sweep of the Phoenix.
The result sees City momentarily into third ahead of Roar’s clash against Perth at nib Stadium, while Wellington’s finals ambitions are in tatters following the crushing home defeat.
There was a lovely moment at Westpac Stadium in the tenth minute when the home fans produced a minute’s applause to mark the recent passing of legendary All White No.10 Steve Sumner.
0-1 Melbourne City: Ryan Lowry (OG), 20’
Nick Fitzgerald beat the off-side trap down the right wing and weaved his way towards goal with his cut-back taking a deflection off Lowry at the front post giving Glen Moss no chance to make the save.
0-2 Melbourne City: Bruno Fornaroli, 29’
City were gifted a free-kick on the edge of the box when Moss handled the ball outside his area. Brattan’s delivery was mishit by Muscat but fell kindly to Fornaroli, who volleyed it home at the back post.
0-3 Melbourne City: Anthony Caceres, 59’
Josh Rose made an overlapping run down the left wing before squaring the ball across the face of goal which fell to Caceres at the back post, who blasted it past Moss from close range.
1-3 Wellington Phoenix: Kosta Barbarouses, 70’
The All Whites international did it all himself, with his mazy run into the box taking him past a couple of would-be defenders before he drilled the ball low past Thomas Sorenson.
1-4 Melbourne City: Neil Kilkenny, 82’
The City midfielder won possession and chipped into a dangerous area, before collecting Wellington’s attempted clearance, dancing past Adam Parkhouse and slotting past Moss.
1-5 Melbourne City: Nicolas Colazo, 87’
Nick Fitzgerald attracted a number of defenders on another City foray forward before picking out the run of Colazo, who fired past Moss with a strong left-footed finish.
City were given a let off on the quarter-hour mark when Barbarouses missed a chance to open the scoring from the penalty spot. The All Whites striker earned the spot-kick when he was tripped by former Phoenix defender Manny Muscat in the box, but he blazed his effort into the crossbar.
Osama Malik was fortunate to remain on the pitch at the start of the second-half after he upended Krishna with a dangerous tackle. The Phoenix striker continued but had to be substituted ten minutes later, with Shane Smeltz coming on in his place.
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