Perth Glory have thrown out the form book and stunned a high-flying Melbourne City side in a dominant 3-0 win at AAMI Park.
Glory had won just won match this season coming into the clash and were languishing on the bottom of the ladder, while City were in second place – having only lost top spot due to having a bye last weekend.
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Bruno scores against old club
Bruno Fornaroli, the Uruguayan striker having spent last season in exile before leaving Melbourne City for Perth, scored the opener against his former side.
A Harrison Delbridge own-goal just three minutes into the second half doubled the lead, before a well-worked set-piece saw defender Tomislav Mrcela rise highest to power home the header twenty minutes before fulltime.
It was Mrcela’s first start of the season and the first A-League goal of his career.
While coach Tony Popovic will be happy to see his defenders scoring, he’ll probably be even more pleased at their efforts in their own half, keeping a first clean sheet of the season.
Much of the win was due to Popovic’s strategic calls – with a tightly-organised backline and a midfield dropping deep to rob City’s attacking midfielders of space between the lines in which to create.
That meant City’s star striker Jamie Maclaren was completely robbed of service
Glory power past City
Had he scored, it would have been a tenth A-League goal in just five games this campaign – absolutely smashing the previous record of fewest number of games needed to score ten times in a season. That record remains Shane Schmeltz’s with ten games for ten goals.
For City, questions will be asked about the performance of their defence, which was at fault in multiple goals.
Keeper Dean Bouzanis should have claimed the looping ball that was lobbed into the box off a deflection, but he bizarrely opted to stay on his goal line. Fornaroli made no mistake.
Then Harrison Delbridge turned the ball into his own net clumsily. It was headed well beyond the back post before his intervention.
City coach Erick Mombaerts was understandably disappointed.
“I didn’t like this game because we made two big mistakes,” he told Fox Football.
“We need to be better defensively,” particularly mentioning the attitude of the players.
MCY v PER: Match highlights
Fornaroli was substituted befoire full-time, City’s all-time top goalscorer receiving a healthy ovation from his former club.
After the match, the clinical striker was full of praise for the fans and his ex-club, thanking them for their support and saying he “gave everything” for them before his ugly fallout with former City boss Warren Joyce.
Perth leapfrog into the top six off the back of the impressive result, in what has been an incredibly tight A-League campaign so far.
Perth next week host Western Sydney Wanderers, while City will travel to Newcastle.