City halt Glory's winning run but settle for frustrating draw
Melbourne City and Perth Glory both lost further ground on runaway Hyundai A-League leaders Sydney FC after a 0-0 draw on Saturday evening.
Both sides traded blows throughout a tense and even contest but neither City or the visiting reigning Premiers were able to muster a breakthrough moment and stake a claim as the Sky Blues' nearest Premiership contenders.
Instead, the goalless stalemate sees Sydney 10 points clear of Erick Mombaerts' City in second, while Glory remain 12 points behind the team who beat them in the Hyundai A-League Grand Final 2019 last May.
Glory had won a club record six matches in a row prior to the contest at AAMI Park but found it difficult to break down a City defence reinforced with the addition of on-loan Celtic youngster Jack Hendry.
Former City talisman Bruno Fornaroli came close to haunting his former employers throughout, while opposite number Jamie Maclaren will lament a huge early chance wasted on a night where both defences prevailed – Perth registering their sixth clean sheet in seven matches.
Maclaren misses glorious chance to open after Kim error
Perth got away with a big early scare when Kim Soo-Beom's botched clearance fell to the feet of Jamie Maclaren. Incredibly, the 13-goal City marksman could only direct a tame effort into the arms of Glory 'keeper Liam Reddy.
Reddy was called into action again 10 minutes later. A wonderful move from City saw Maclaren teed up Adrian Luna, and the Perth shot-stopper – who had kept five clean sheets in six prior to kick off – lept acrobatically to his right.
Fornaroli and Castro cannot find the breakthrough for Perth
Bruno Fornaroli will want this attempt again. The ex-City talisman's diminutive frame emerged amid Perth's tall timber to get on the end of Neil Kilkenny's corner but the headed finish from the Uruguayan was wayward.
Diego Castro perhaps should have done better with the best chance Glory constructed in the opening stanza. Kim and Chianese were involved, with the latter dropping the ball off for the onrushing Spaniard who directed his effort into the midriff of City gloveman Dean Bouzanis.
City piled on the pressure early in the second half but Erick Mombaerts' side dodged a bullet when Josh Brillante was penalised for bringing down Fornaroli, with the Video Assistant Referee overturning the decision because the Perth frontman was offside in the lead up.
Fornaroli was next to threaten, wriggling away from the City defence after a cheap turnover and forced a sharp stop from Bouzanis, and the hosts drew a huge sigh of relief when the resulting corner kick deflected off Curtis Good and onto the post.
Ways to watch
Adelaide United v Melbourne City
Saturday, 1 February 2020
Kick-off: 7.00pm local, 7:30pm AEDT
Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory
Saturday, 1 February 2020
Kick-off: 6.45pm local, 9.45pm AEDT