Adelaide United made the trip to Melbourne to play against about 17 of their ex-players at Melbourne City.
Both teams started like they had a point to prove and both teams who have had recent striker issues, flaunting their new number 9’s. Jamie Maclaren, the new recruit for Melbourne City and Jordy Thomassen the new recruit for Adelaide United are both two of the most exciting signings from this January transfer window.
At times, the first 20 minutes felt more like a tennis match as we experienced some end to end football. However for a lot of the first half, niether team could actually complete their plays.
Jordan Elsey with more beautifully placed balls than a Myer Christmas tree providing excitement to the reds frontline. Their midfield was slightly confusing, but it was good to see Mirko Boland once again back in the starting line up after his injury. Even if Mirko was ready to pull his hair out as Green was not accepting his seven thousand fouls. The wings were doing most of the work but the middle still had a bit of catching up to do. Galloway and Strain were enthusiastic but Strain was constantly giving away fouls. Arguable whether Peter Green was just trying to put into place, a bubble of personal space for each player as stoppages were appearing more than seagulls.
Delbridge, Harrison and Maclaren were exciting upfront for City however Elsey and Jakobsen were quick to their feet, blocking with any body part that would be available to do so at the time.
Mileusnic attempted to milk a penalty shout like it was an udder but Green didn’t want a bar of it. As the 11 Fox Football replays throughout miscellaneous times in the first half showed us, Mileusnic was touched lighter than that little asshole kid in class did when you played heads down thumbs up in primary school.
A stock standard Marco Kurz on the sidelines received a yellow card in the 38th minute, as per normal we never have any idea why. Probably yelled some more German profanities at the fourth official.
Nearing the end of regulation time, Mileusnic with a run down the right like an episode of Looney Tunes and Melbourne City are holding the ACME explosions, finds Craig Goodwin’s forehead. Craig’s forehead shoots the ball perfectly onto the interior of the cross bar, with my breath stopping momentarily as we watched the ball fall down just behind the line, thank God.
Melbourne City came out of the rooms with more energy than an Eveready Battery and Adelaide were forced to sit back in defending mode. It seems Jordan Elsey changed personalities at half time because we started to see some really silly mistakes after what was such an efficient first half from him.
Early in the second half, City were awarded a free kick and as Mileusnic jumped within the two man wall while defending a set piece, unfortunately he landed awkwardly which caused an unnatural bend in his knee. He soldiered through the entire play from the free kick until he found a stoppage to fall to ground. Nikola was stretchered off in absolute pain, not yet confirmed but it could be some type of serious knee or lower leg injury. Sending him my best wishes.
It was interesting to see how this Melbourne City are looking to play with their new goal-scoring recruits. Jamie Maclaren seemed to be sitting a lot deeper than we normally see from him however he was still able to release those bursting runs. Most definitely getting his step count higher than previous spells in the A-League.
As Adelaide United do their classic back pass to the keeper, about one of the 85 per game that is performed, Luke Brattan like the shit stirrer he is, intercepts the pass and feeds it to Maclaren who embarrasses the reds by getting it in the back of the net. It’s the return of the Mac, J-Mac. He points to his badge and Brisbane Roar tears everywhere flow.
Adelaide’s new recruit Thomassen seemed to get in all the right places but unfortunately didn’t quite get enough service to make too much of an impact. Whereas City’s Harrison was given plenty of opportunities and looked to be somewhat of an exciting signing.
The majority of the last 10 minutes were played within Adelaide’s half with no slowing down from City, as much as Adelaide were trying to do so.
5 minutes of stoppage time could not determine a winner and again forced Craig Goodwin down like a sack of potatoes. Both teams will be kicking themselves for different reasons but on to the next.
By Rose Valente