A-League: Melbourne City go nine points clear after beating battling Brisbane Roar

By Sports Desk May 09, 2021

Melbourne City moved nine points clear at the top of the A-League after a battling 3-2 win over Brisbane Roar on Sunday.

Des Buckingham's side were 2-0 up after only 17 minutes, Connor Metcalfe blasting past goalkeeper Jamie Young before Scott Jamieson doubled the lead via Brisbane's Kai Trewin.

The visitors, who felt a handball should have been given against Craig Noone in the build-up, responded impressively to draw level before half-time through a fine Joey Champness strike and a Macaulay Gillesphey header.

City, who fired in 33 shots across the 90 minutes, failed to capitalise on their chances until some brilliance from Scott Galloway, the full-back's superb run sending him into the box where he hooked a clever finish into the left-hand corner after his cross had been blocked.

City are nine points clear of the chasing pack, with Sydney FC, Adelaide United, Central Coast Mariners and Macarthur all on 32 points.

In the later match, Perth Glory beat Melbourne Victory 2-1 at HBF Park to move seven points clear of the bottom two and keep their top-six hopes alive.

Robbie Kruse missed a first-half penalty for the visitors, who were given an uphill task when Nicholas Ansell was sent off 48 minutes in for a crude challenge on Callum Timmins.

Diego Castro combined well with Ciaran Bramwell to set up Bruno Fornaroli to open the scoring, with Chris Ikonomidis volleying home the second. Rudy Gestede grabbed a consolation for Victory after Kruse hit the crossbar.

Perth are nine points adrift of Western Sydney Wanderers in sixth but have two games in hand.

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    The £65million summer signing from Chelsea had not registered a goal or assist in his first nine games for the Gunners but finally hit the target as he converted a penalty in a 4-0 victory at the Vitality Stadium.

    Arsenal were already two goals to the good through Bukayo Saka’s header and a Martin Odegaard penalty when an on-field decision handed responsibility for a second spot-kick of the afternoon to under-fire Havertz.

    He tucked away his chance to break his duck, as his team-mates and the away end greeted the goal with jubilant celebrations.

    “I’m really happy for the win, but I’m even happier to be part of a team that shows the human qualities that they did today,” Arteta said.

    “Without me telling them nothing, to show that empathy to a player that has some question marks to resolve externally, they warmed me even more today. They’ve done it in a really natural way.

    “I’m delighted they made that decision. And so thankful as well to our supporters for the way they sung his name and made him feel today. If there’s a player who deserves that it’s Kai Havertz, so happy for him.

    “We have all tried to give him support and the right tools. He’s doing so many great things in the game. It was about that moment, that was the question that had to be resolved and today he has done it.

    “To show that level of empathy and understanding, worrying and caring for somebody is just great.”

    Arteta referenced Olympic champion Usain Bolt when discussing how Havertz deserved his moment in the south coast sunshine following his hard work in recent weeks.

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    “If he had any question marks about how we feel about him, about what he does, I think they are out.

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    The one sour note for Arsenal came as Saka limped off injured for the second game in a row, raising the possibility he could miss next Sunday’s showdown with champions Manchester City.

    Bournemouth, meanwhile, remain winless in the Premier League under new head coach Andoni Iraola.

    The Cherries have come close on previous occasions but that was not the case here, with Iraola admitting the hosts did not deserve a result.

    “It was the first time we were not at the level the competition required and we did not finish the game well,” he said.

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    The Gers boss said: “It was a horrible day obviously, a terrible result.

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    He said: “Listen, it’s a situation that’s escalated much faster than I thought.

    “The way we played in the first half and the chances we made, I thought it was harsh to boo them off at half-time.

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    The Dons boss was pleased for the travelling supporters who enjoyed the victory.

    He said: “It’s three points. That’s what we are in the game for. I thought in the game we were structurally very good.

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