Melbourne City stormed out of the blocks with a two-goal burst before the 10-minute mark to subject Brisbane Roar to yet another Hyundai A-League loss.
David Williams and Mate Dugandzic hit the early goals which stunned Brisbane, before a second-half fightback saw Brandon Borello find the net for the hosts.
City killed off the game in the 83rd minute, however, thanks to a Marc Marino goal.
It was the rebranded side’s first win of 2014-15 and they did not need the help of a certain Spanish superstar to pull it off. They now look in a healthier position with five points from four games
What they said
– “It’s a fantastic team effort today, all the boys worked really hard. The Roar threw everything at us in the last little bit so it was great to get that final goal and really shore things up.” – Melbourne City’s Andrew Redmayne
– “Not at all, it’s a short season so you’ve got to get off to a good start. We played good in patches, knocked the ball around but credit to them they came with a game plan and it worked.” – Brisbane Roar’s Luke Brattan
Williams (8’) – A mix up in the Roar defence enabled Dugandzic to latch on to the ball in the box and square it for Williams, who had no trouble slotting it home for the opener.
Dugandzic (10’) – A through ball from Brisbane old boy Erik Paartalu exposed a huge gap on the right side of the home team’s defence, and Dugandzic did his part with a deadly finish under Jamie Young, who perhaps could have done better.
Borello (67’) – This was one of the weirder goals you’ll see for a while. Matt McKay teed off from outside the area and his shot smacked into the head of Borello – who appeared to know little about it – and past a prone Andrew Redmaybe into the back of the net.
Marino (83’) – Just as the Roar appeared to be about to pull off one of their famous comebacks, substitute Marc Marino finished off a perfect counter attack with a poke past Young to seal the win for City.
Opta Data Key Stats
The possession stats once again fell heavily in favour of the home side, which only proves how pointless it is to hang on to the ball for long periods if you don’t have players who can put it in the back of the net.
Brisbane may have had 62.1 percent of possession, but they lacked the potency up front to take advantage of it.
Perhaps the sweetest move of the night came from Brisbane as they attempted to claw their way back into the game late in the first half.
It was like watching the Roar of old as Thomas Broich, Luke Brattan and Matt McKay exchanged a series of slick passes in a delightful move which only ground to a halt thanks to the intervention of referee Kris Griffiths-Jones, who accidentally body checked the German as he swept forward, much to the ire of the local crown.
The Final Word
If the ‘we’re not panicking’ mantra started to sound a little strained after three straight losses, when you’re four defeats down it no longer holds any kind of weight.
Brisbane became the first side in A-League history to sit on zero points after four rounds, and the prospect of another title win in 2014-15 is already starting to look faint.
City, meanwhile, can now be optimistic about life without David Villa, and look forward to two straight home games in which to gather more points.
Brisbane Roar: Smith (c), Stefanutto, Lustica (Kurtishi 80), Henrique, North, McKay, Brattan, Hingert (Donachie 45), Young (gk), Broich, Petratos (Borrello 45).
Melbourne City: Redmayne (gk), Wielaert, Paartalu, Mooy, Ramsay, Duff, Williams (Marino 75), Hoffman, Retre (Melling 58), Dugandzic (Brown 69), Kisnorbo (c).
Brisbane Roar: Borello
Melbourne City: Williams, Dugandzic, Marino
Red cards: –
Yellow cards: Retre 20, Melling 66
Conditions: 24 °C, dry.
Attendance: 17, 131