Melbourne City’s Hyundai A-League goal-glut has continued as they crushed a lacklustre Newcastle Jets 4-0 at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.
Doubles to Aaron Mooy and Bruno Fornaroli – who now has nine goals for the season – were enough for City who have now scored 14 goals in their last three games.
City led 1-0 at the break but scored three times in six second half minutes to ensure a third straight win and move up to third on the table.
The only concern for the visitors is injuries to Connor Chapman and Jacob Melling, although marquee man Robi Koren made a long-awaited return.
But cracks are starting to appear at the Jets, whose winless run has now stretched to six matches.
0-1 Mooy (43’) – Mooy and Ivan Franjic combined brilliantly on the right of the Jets box. From an acute angle it seemed the in-form Socceroo midfielder would look to pass to a team-mate, instead unleashing a powerful low drive which went through the legs of Mark Birighitti and into the net.
0-2 Fornaroli (56’) – Ben Garuccio robbed David Carney of possession and drove at the heart of the Jets defence before sliding a neat pass into Fornaroli who poked it home through the legs of Birighitti again.
0-3 Mooy (59’) – Another Jets turnover ended with Franjic getting to the byline, his cross was perfectly placed for Mooy’s well-timed run to slam it home from close range.
0-4 Fornaroli (62’) – Mooy turned provider this time, spotting Fornaroli’s run and slipping a perfect pass into his path. The Uruguayan showed great skill to turn Lachlan Jackson with a nutmeg before slotting it past a helpless Birighitti.
Whatever City boss John van ‘t Schip said at the break had the desired effect, with the visitors blowing Newcastle away in impressive style.
At 1-0 the home side were still in the contest but as soon as Fornaroli doubled the lead the contest was over. The Jets’ heads seemed to drop and City went on with the job in emphatic fashion.
OPTA DATA KEY STATS
Newcastle continued their trend of poor starts, now having gone 10 games this season without taking a lead to the break.
City is the first club in A-League history to score four or more goals in three successive games.
The Jets were caught offside an astonishing 13 times over the 90 minutes – with Milos Trifunovic the main culprit - compared to City’s one.
Fornaroli’s finishing ability has been a feature of his first season in the A-League but his second goal was right out of the top drawer.
Heading away from goal as he ran on to Mooy’s through-ball, he had the confidence and awareness to cut back inside of Jackson with a drop of the shoulder and clever nutmeg.
It put him in a perfect position to get his shot away and he made no mistake as he slid it past Birighitti with ease. With nine goals for the campaign, Fornaroli is proving to be a deadly marksmen for City.
The Jets have prided themselves on a water-tight defensive structure so far in Season 11. But that went out the window in a disappointing second half showing against City.
Some of their marking was shocking at times – especially for the goals – while there was simply too much ball-watching going on.
While skipper Nigel Boogaard and Daniel Mullen are sidelined through injury, coach Scott Miller will be furious with the way his side defended and will demand better from now on.
City defender Connor Chapman was forced off midway through the first half with a medial ligament problem in his left knee after an awkward tangle with the Jets’ Leonardo. Jacob Melling also didn’t return after the break for City after picking up a knock to his knee just before half-time.
THE FINAL WORD
So hard to beat so far this season, are the wheels starting to fall off the Jets. They haven’t win in six games and continue to struggle to find the net. They have scored a league-low nine goals from 10 games along with Perth, although Glory have played a match less). Miller will need to find some answers soon as they face a resurgent Adelaide United at Hunter Stadium on Friday night.
City are starting to find the consistency coach John van ‘t Schip has been craving. Three wins on the bounce – and 14 goals to boot - will have any doubters of their finals credentials starting to sit up and take notice. What they really need though is a big scalp and it gets no bigger next Saturday night than a derby with champions Melbourne Victory.
Newcastle Jets: Birighitti (gk), Hoffman, Kantarovski, Jackson, Lee, Watson (Cowburn 60’), Poljak (c), Alivodic (Kitto 69’), Leonardo (Crowley 77’), Carney, Trifunovic
Melbourne City: Sorensen (gk), Franjic (Koren 69’), Chapman (Garuccio 27’), Kisnorbo (c), Clisby, Paartalu, Melling (Retre 46’), Mauk, Mooy, Novillo, Fornaroli
Scorers: Mooy 43’, Fornaroli 56’, Mooy 59’, Fornaroli 62’
Red cards: Nil
Yellow cards: Paartalu 19’, Hoffman 42’
Conditions: 26C, FineAttendance: 10,087 @ Hunter Stadium