Maclaren: Early goal the catalyst for City’s Jets drubbing
A fast start was crucial to Melbourne City’s scintillating return to winning form on Sunday, according to goal machine Jamie Maclaren.
The Caltex Socceroos star netted his tenth goal of the season in his side’s rampant 4-0 runaway victory against Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium.
It was the perfect response from Erick Mombaerts’ side as they bounced back after being shut-out at home last weekend by Perth Glory.
City played silky football throughout the contest in the Hunter, with South American’s Luna (two goals) and Cabrera (one goal, one assist) also getting in on the spoils.
Speaking post-match, Maclaren told Fox Sports that his second-placed side were focused from the get-go on staying in touch with the race for the Premiership.
“I think last week we lacked a bit of desperation and Perth capitalised on that,” he explained.
“We made a pact this week that we would come out to Newcastle, who are hard to beat here, and start really well.”
That they did with Luna’s third minute opener and 28th minute follow-up both a result of well-timed movement complemented by pin-point deliveries from Craig Noone and Josh Brillante.
The theme repeated in the second half as Genreau released Cabrera shortly after the restart for City’s third, then Cabrera’s near-post ball was met by Maclaren to wrap it up just before the hour.
However, Maclaren suggested it is the underlying elegance of his team’s otherwise intricate set-up are proving hard for opponents to defend.
“It might look like a complex formation the way we play, but it is actually pretty simple and basic,” he said.
“Once we get those nailed down it is quite easy to play our structures. But we done it well tonight.
“Of course, scoring early helps and keeping a clean sheet is what we said during the week. I’m just proud of the boys.”
The clean sheet was City’s first since their goalless opening round draw with derby rivals Melbourne Victory.
It came on the back of an inspired club debut for Australian Under 23 goalkeeper Tom Glover, who denied the Jets with six saves through the 90 minutes.
Glover explained he felt comfortable taking the gloves in his first Hyundai A-League match since a brief loan stint with Central Coast Mariners in 2017/18.
“It was really good,” he said of the showing. “The boys bounced back after last week and that made my job a bit easier.”
The 21-year-old added: “For me, I just had to go out like it was another, normal game.
“I played a couple of weeks ago with the national team, and a couple of youth team games, and we had an in-house game on Wednesday so I had match minutes under my belt.”
He said his selection ahead of teammate Dean Bouzanis as starting goalkeeper for the clash will not cause a rift in the club’s goalkeeping stocks.
“We have a good relationship. When he is playing I support him and he supported me today,” Glover said of Bouzanis.
“It is a good relationship we have and even in the warm-up he was giving me advice and he was very helpful.”
Along with his back-in-form teammates, Glover and Maclaren now turn their attention to next week’s Melbourne Derby with Victory.
City remain five points shy of league-leaders Sydney FC in second place on the Hyundai A-League table.
It’s a blockbuster Melbourne Derby for City in Round 11 on Saturday, December 21. The highly-anticipated clash is being played at AAMI Park, kicking off at 5pm AEDT.
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