Melbourne City have opened up a four-point lead on the top of the A-League table, dispatching Newcastle with ease in a convincing 3-1 win at AAMI Park.
An own-goal from Johnny Koutroumbis gave City the lead in the opening-half before strikes from Scott Jamieson and Jamie Maclaren sealed a sixth straight home win for City.
Steven Ugarkovic pulled one back for Newcastle but ultimately it wasn’t enough for the Jets who fell to an 11th straight game without a win.
City were on the front-foot from the word go, controlling the ball between the boxes and came agonisingly close to opening the scoring after Connor Metcalfe hit the post.
City wouldn’t have to wait long after for the opener as Andrew Nabbout’s cross from the left-flank took a wicked deflection off Koutroumbis whose botched clearance ended up in his own net.
Soon after the break, City created some breathing-space on the scoreboard putting the game to bed on 60 minutes.
Jamieson played a clever one-two with Adrian Luna, allowing for the captain to continue his burst forward and fire in off the post for City’s second.
In trademark City style, the floodgates swung open and the third soon followed as Nabbout squared the ball to Maclaren to tap home his 20th of the season.
However, a rare mistake at the back from City allowed for Matt Millar to swoop on a casual back-pass from Florin Berenguer to play through Ugarkovic to slot home a late consolation.
MACCA TIES RECORD
Yes, Melbourne City fans, Jamie Maclaren does score when he wants.
Maclaren’s 20th goal of the A-League season not only put him nine clear of second-placed Matt Derbyshire in the Golden Boot race but officially equalled Bruno Fornaroli for the most goals in a City jersey with 49 – a record he is almost certain to break.
The goal was also his 99th in the A-League as he closes in on being only the second player to reach the tonne in the league’s history.
The two sides at either end of the A-League ladder met on Friday night. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
JAMO GETS HIS GOAL
It’s been almost seven years in the making for Scott Jamieson and finally he had his third ever A-League goal.
Jamieson, who last scored back in November 2014 for the Perth Glory, showed that he has more in his kit-bag than being your standard full-back, as he marauded forward and fired home not only from range but on his non-preferred right-foot.
In the end, it was a Man of the Match performance for the captain who was also brilliant defensively.
CASE OF DÉJÀ VU FOR JETS
A cut inside, a shot (or in this case, a cross), a deflection – an opening goal.
City’s opener against the Jets was almost a dead-ringer to the exact same own-goal Newcastle copped only three days prior against Western United at exactly the same goal and in almost the exact same spot on the pitch.
Instead of Lachie Wales having his shot turned in by Nikolai Topor-Stanley, it was his centre-back partner Johnny Koutroumbis who was unable to divert Andrew Nabbout’s cross to safety – but instead into his own net.
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