Magical Maclaren gets City out of trouble

Connor Metcalfe helped Casey-based Melbourne City to a two-all draw against Western United. 272451 Picture: AAP IMAGES

By Lachlan Mitchell

Chaos ensued for Melbourne City with the original Melbourne Derby pushed back a week due to Victory’s travel arrangements.

The fixture was replaced with the the new home-town derby against Western United.

But top-of-the-table City first had to contend with fourth-placed Macarthur in a mid-week clash.

City started strong against McArthur but fell behind in the 15th minute after a defensive shambles saw Apostolos Giannou opening the scoring.

City quickly got back on level terms, with Jamie Maclaren was once again in the thick of the action in the 28th minute.

A cross from within the box seeing the star-striker grabbing a deflection resulting in an own-goal for McArthur.

Florin Berenguer continued his golden run, scoring one of the easiest goals of his career after a goalkeeper error saw the ball spill loose.

City hammered home the advantage just after half-time through a converted penalty spot kick from Maclaren.

Melbourne was awarded the penalty after rising-star Marco Tilio, was brought down in the box.

City continued to air-raid the goals but couldn’t find a fourth the game ending in a 3-1 victory for the boys from Casey.

The newest-edition of the Melbourne Derby between City and Western United lived up to its hype at AAMI Park.

The clash had extra significance with both-sides vying for top spot.

City’s defence was stretched from the opening whistle and quickly found their defences breached in the 15th minute. Leo Lacroix got United on the board after he found himself on the end of a well-struck corner kick.

United then found itself two-nil up in the 29th minute. A lacklustre defensive display saw Slovenian international Rene Krhin free in a paddock of space, caressing a well-guided ball into the back netting.

City finally recovered in the 42nd minute by virtue of a Connor Metcalfe thunderbolt into the top corner. Melbourne went into the main break with all the momentum.

The reigning-champions started the half with more attacking flair and squared the ledger through who-else but Jamie Maclaren.

The striker used his poise and class to ease the ball past the keeper into the far-corner.

Both sides continued to have their fair share of shots on-goal but the deadlock wasn’t able to be broken. City coming-back from a two-nil deficit to end the game in a two-all-draw.

Melbourne’s next clash is the postponed traditional derby against Melbourne Victory.

The local derby should be a good warm-up fixture for Metcalfe, Maclaren and Tilio before they get ready to don the green and gold against Japan in Sydney