Men’s Match Review: Wellington Phoenix vs. Melbourne City

Melbourne City have inflicted a heavy defeat on the Wellington Phoenix in their third Isuzu UTE A-League match in eight days.

The competition leaders have run away with a 6-0 win at PointsBet Stadium, home of the Cronulla Sharks.

City led 1-0 at halftime courtesy of an unfortunate own goal, and the reigning champions scored a further five unanswered goals in the second-half.

“The score line for me wasn’t reflective of the game to be honest,” Phoenix head coach Ufuk Talay told media post-game.

“First half we created some good opportunities. My belief is that we should have been ahead in the first-half.

“It’s never nice to lose a game the way that we did score wise, but performance wise I don’t think we got outplayed in any means.

“If you look at the stats, we had more possession, we had more passes [and] I think we created some very good opportunities in the first-half.

“It’s disappointing to lose that way but I can’t fault the players attitude and effort backing up for their third game in seven days.”

Talay was without nine players due to injuries and COVID-19 and as a result wasn’t able to name a full 18-man matchday squad.

He named an unchanged XI, with All Whites defender Tim Payne named on the bench less than 24 hours after returning from Qatar, where he helped New Zealand win the Oceania World Cup qualifying tournament.

“It’s disappointing [but] at the end of the day players will learn from it,” Talay said.

“I don’t want to lose 6-nil. I’m not that type of coach but it’s happened today, we learn from it and we focus on our Central Coast game on Tuesday.”

Macarthur FC, Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC took advantage of the Phoenix defeat to leapfrog Wellington on the A-League ladder.

The Wellington Phoenix slipped to seventh at the end of the weekend, but just three points off third place.

Wellington Phoenix:
20. Oli SAIL (gk) (c), 4. Scott WOOTTON (3. Matthew BOZINOVSKI 82nd), 5. James MCGARRY (10. Reno PISCOPO 69th), 7. Gael SANDOVAL (34. Jackson MANUEL 77th), 8. Ben OLD (88th), 9. David BALL, 13. Nicholas PENNINGTON, 16. Louis FENTON (Callan ELLIOT 77th), 18. Ben WAINE, 19. Sam SUTTON, 33. Finn SURMAN
Unused substitutes: 40. Alex PAULSEN (gk), 6. Tim PAYNE

Melbourne City: 1. Thomas GLOVER (gk), 6. Carl JENKINSON, 7. Mathew LECKIE, 8. Aiden O’NEILL, 9. Jamie Maclaren (14. Tsubasa ENDO 82nd), 10. Florin BERENGUER (18. Connor METCALFE 58th), 15. Andrew NABBOUT (c) (23. Marco TILIO 72nd), 16. Taras GOMULKA (Raphael BORGES RODRIGUES 72nd), 22. Curtis GOOD, 34. Jordan HALL (5. Rostyn GRIFFITHS 46th), 38. Jordan BOS
Unused substitutes: 33. Matthew SUTTON (gk), 36. Kerrin STOKES

33. Finn SURMAN (Wellington Phoenix) – 17th og
7. Mathew LECKIE (Melbourne City) – 50th
15. Andrew NABBOUT (Melbourne City) – 59th
22. Curtis GOOD (Melbourne City) – 68th
23. Marco TILIO (Melbourne City) – 76th & 81st

13. Nicholas PENNINGTON (Wellington Phoenix) – yellow – 86th
9. David BALL (Wellington Phoenix) – yellow – 90th