Any questions about Patrick Kisnorbo's ability to manage an A-League side were put to bed on Tuesday afternoon as the Cityzens overcame a sluggish first half to pull in front and temporarily go top of the A-League (where we belong). The temperature and humidity meant that the conditions heavily favoured the Brisbane players, which was seen when Griffiths and Nabbout both went down with cramps in the second half.
Despite the 14 fouls that were given in the opening half, the best chances in the first half belonged primarily to Brisbane thanks to their large number of corners; Dylan Wenzel-Hall created strong pressure on the City defence. While some good delivery was seen from Brisbane, Tom Glover was mainly untroubled in the opening half. Jamie Maclaren had a quiet opening 20 minutes almost set up a goal for Adrian Luna in the 30th minute. Shortly after this near chance, City countered a Brisbane free kick from just outside the box and skipper Jamieson set up a header for JMac that went just over the bar. We were let off with a number of passing errors in the opening half, which the commentators put down to the conditions, however as the game wore on and the players got more tired our quality grew and grew, and I think that Jamie Maclaren was correct when he said at half-time that it was more due to nerves and match-sharpness than anything else. Each time we gave the ball away we were able to press back and win the ball, and despite the danger this led to it was promising to see the defence be able to hold firm and not give Brisbane many really good opportunities. A through ball to the Brisbane striker Akbari, who's resultant shot was just saved by Tom Glover, was the best chance of the opening half by far.
We gained the ascendancy in the final 10 minutes of the opening half, and Andrew Nabbout was cutting beautifully in from the right wing to help bring our shots total to 8, the same as Brisbane's, as per OneFootball. The defensive stats were evenly split amongst both teams, however it was seen that City had 63% possession of the ball in the first 45 and preferred to take shots from outside the box.
We started the second half strongly with a beautiful goal from Connar Metcalfe after being assisted by a beautiful ball from JMac. Metcalfe did what Akbari did not and lifted the ball over the Brisbane keeper right into the top corner for the first A-League goal of the 20/21 season.
Andrew Nabbout looked to have a hamstring injury just before the hour mark and play stopped so that the medics could have a look at him. He walked off the pitch, which obviously looks more promising than being stretchered off, however it took him over a minute to walk the 20 meters to the interchange bench. Hopefully he's okay and we'll hear more from the club soon. He was immediately substituted off and play resumed.
Shortly after Nabbout went off Brisbane had their closest chance all game, with Joey Champness stretching his shot narrowly wide of the far post. City played the goal kick out from the back and immediately went on the attack down the right hand side but the ball spilt out and went for a throw-in to Brisbane. Adrian Luna was then sent off with a second yellow card in the 70th minute, with the card being quite unfair and leaving City with 10 men for the final 20 minutes. Brisbane had a penalty appeal denied straight after this and City went on the counter attack, which should definitely have resulted in a penalty after a dangerous push in the back.
Despite the injury scares we got off to winning ways with a strong squad and the year ahead looks bright for Patrick's [and Erick's] Cityzens
Review title: Patrick's pals pummel Lions
🦵🏻 3' First shot of the day from Melbourne City
❌ 33' Jamie Maclaren's header doesn't trouble the keeper and arguably City's best chance so far isn't enough for the blues to take the lead
53' GOAALLLL!!! Connar Metcalfe dinks in a beautiful shot over the goalkeeper after playing in a 1-2 with Jamie Maclaren and City lead!
🇨🇭 60' Andrew Nabbout helped off the field after a hamstring injury
🔄 61' Tsubaki coming on for Andrew Nabbout for Melbourne City. Tsubaki makes his A-League debut on loan from K-League side Yokohama
70' Red Card. Adrian Luna for Melbourne City sent off after a controversial challenge
❌ 71' No Penalty. Brisbane fans are left annoyed after their appeals for a penalty are ignored.
On closer inspection Adrian Luna never made contact and it's clear that the decision should have been revoked. It's left City quite short on the right-hand side which has previously been their most rewarding part of the pitch
🔄 82' Craig Noone switches with Galloway for Melbourne City.
85' Attempt blocked. Brisbane have a big chance to equalise late in the game when Tom Glover comes out too far but the resultant shots are blocked and City escape