John van ‘t Schip was thrilled with Melbourne City’s aggressive pressing in a “deserved” 2-0 win over Perth Glory in Sunday’s Hyundai A-League Elimination Final at AAMI Park.
Bruno Fornaroli was the star of City’s victory, scoring both goals in stunning fashion.
But van ‘t Schip preferred to highlight his team’s collective work after they gave up the Premiership in the final two rounds of the regular season with consecutive defeats to Perth and Adelaide United.
In City’s first home final, van ‘t Schip’s men regularly nipped into steal possession, which kept Glory pinned back for long periods at AAMI Park.
The hosts ended the contest with 36 interceptions to 24.
“Mentally we had a bit of a hit the last two weeks but looking at this evening the boys bounced back and really showed that they wanted it this evening,” van ‘t Schip told reporters after the match.
“We were aggressive, on the front foot, pressing them and in the end I think it was a deserved win for us.”
Throughout the season, van ‘t Schip has seemed unwilling to wax lyrical about Fornaroli but the Dutchman let his guard down slightly on Sunday.
When asked about Fornaroli’s opening goal – a bicycle kick five minutes before half-time – Van ‘t Schip said: “He has that in his game and it’s a real South American quality, maybe more than any other continent, and I think Bruno, he’s a player that can give that extra.”
City will have another chance at revenge for the poor conclusion to the regular season next week when they will visit premiers Adelaide on Friday night.
While Adelaide defeated the Bundoora-based club 2-0 last week, Van ‘t Schip insisted his team will remain upbeat ahead of the semi-final having won on their two previous visits to Coopers Stadium this term.
“We’ve shown it already two times there this year, so it’s not like we don’t know how to beat them,” he said.
Van ‘t Schip insisted Anthony Caceres, who copped a tough tackle in the first half, was only taken off in the second period to inject some extra energy into midfield.
But the Dutch coach conceded “it’ll be a race” to get Ivan Franjic fit after the right-back missed the clash with Glory due to hamstring stiffness.