Melbourne City claim first-ever A-League title
Melbourne City has claimed their first-ever A-League title after coming from behind to defeat Sydney FC 3-1 at AAMI Park.
City started strong, dominating the opening ten minutes of play and looking likely to break the deadlock.
Tom Glover nearly caused catastrophic damage to City when Bobo closed him down and nearly caused an own-goal.
The away side broke the deadlock first.
Kiwi international Kosta Barbarouses found himself bearing down on goal after being played a great ball by Alexander Baumjohann. The winger picked out the left-hand corner with great accuracy.
City replied very quickly, though.
Three minutes later, Stefan Colakovski combined with Nathan Atkinson. The latter beat his defender and slammed his shot into the top right corner to restore parity for the home side.
Nathaniel Atkinson celebrates the equaliser with his teammates. (Getty Images)
In the 35th minute, Socceroo-hopeful Luke Brattan picked up a second yellow for a late challenge on Marco Tilio, reducing Sydney to ten men with 65 minutes remaining.
City piled on the pressure, and as a result, Adrian Luna won a penalty after being played in behind by Atkinson.
Scott Jamieson hammered home the spot-kick to give his side the lead right on halftime, to the delight of the home fans.
The hosts started the second half just as they ended the first, moving the ball across the pitch with composure, creating opportunities with incisive passes behind the lines and picking out teammates with ease.
The final nail in the coffin for Sydney was when Scott Galloway found the bottom corner in the 93rd minute.
The strike sent the City fans into raptures, confirming their first-ever A-League Grand Final win.
City’s ability in transition
City was able to transition from attack to defence and vice-versa with great success, which ultimately proved vital in their win.
AAMI Park was sold out at 50% capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions. The home fans were vocal during every minute of the match.
Tilio shines again
The young winger stood out for Melbourne City, moving the ball quickly out of defence and being an essential outlet in attack.