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Melbourne City vs Central Coast Mariners: A-League live scores, blog

4 days ago
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Melbourne City FC

3

Match Complete

Central Coast Mariners

1

95
MCFC3 : 1CCM

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Roar Guru
4 days ago
98

Melbourne City FC

3

Match Complete

Central Coast Mariners

1

D. Bouzanis89'
89'J. Murray
R. Griffiths82'
A. Luna59'
L. Wales50'
C. Good17'

23
Shots
16
9
On Target
5
11
Fouls
4
5
Corners
4
2
Offsides
0
0
Red Cards
0
2
Yellow Cards
0

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Melbourne City are flying high and on top of the A-League ladder (thanks in-part to alphabetical order), and will be eager to consolidate that position against the Central Coast Mariners in their Round 5 A-League clash at AAMI Park on Friday evening, 7.30pm (AEST). Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match.

Melbourne City got the job done in Round 4 against the plucky Wellington Phoenix, winning 3-2 but, crucially, doing it all without Socceroo striker Jamie Maclaren who is still nursing a hamstring injury.

Reports of Melbourne City being a one-man team were greatly exaggerated before this game and finding three goals without Maclaren made a big statement.

The win was most keenly appreciated by City fans because of the youthfulness of the personnel on the pitch. Besides import Craig Noone and midfield pivot Rostyn Griffiths and Josh Brillante, City fielded a young and dynamic squad ahead of their back four.

Young playmakers Denis Genreau and Connor Metcalf (who scored) were pulling the strings for Lachlan Wales and Moudi Najjar in a game that also saw Ramy Najjarine and striker Stefan Colakovski come off the bench.

The range and volume of young talent on display at City under Erick Mombaerts is a stark contrast to former boss Warren Joyce, who only really found time for Daniel Arzani in his City tenure.

Central Coast is also undergoing a transformation under the stewardship of Alen Stajcic. The adjustment to Stajcic’s possession heavy “Ange-ball” would always take a while, but last week’s impressive away win in Perth was a strong step in the right direction.

Stajcic’s squad is a mixture of A-League journeymen, young hopefuls (like Samuel Silvera), experienced hands (Tommy Oar) and a genuine wildcard playmaker in Daniel de Silva.

It hasn’t really worked out for De Silva since sealing a dream move to AS Roma as a teenager.

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Since returning to Australia he’s had a regrettable season with an imploding Mariners, sat on the bench at Sydney FC after being loaned to them (for what?), and no one is really sure whether Roma still owns him (or how much of him).

But now he is back at the Mariners trying to get his career jump-started.

De Silva is a laconic talent who’s top pace often seems to be walking, and this must beguile a lot of coaches. But Stajcic realises that to be a success at Gosford we will need to wring every drop of talent out of De Silva, while also enabling Tommy Oar to return to something close to his erstwhile Eredivisie output.

With a patchwork squad, a couple of wildcards and a very clear “philosophy” and identity, if it clicks the Mariners could be a surprise packet this season much like Mark Rudan’s 2019 Wellington Phoenix.

Another scalp away from home against the team sitting on top could be the “statement” Stajcic needs to inspire his side, and punters, down the stretch.

Prediction
Melbourne City are taking more risks and playing more directly this season, and should worry the Mariners’ back four. However, they won’t have it all one way.

Expect a close game with the individual talent of City being just enough to eke out 3 points.

Melbourne City 2 – Central Coast Mariners 1

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