Match Report: Melbourne City 0-1 Western United – Brilliant United downs reigning champions

Dylan Wenzel-Halls Melbourne City vs Western United

Western United earned a spectacular 1-0 win over reigning champions Melbourne City, with Dylan Wenzel-Halls’ first-half strike proving the difference.

Team News

John Aloisi made one change to the starting XI from the Perth Glory match last week, with match-winner Dylan Wenzel-Halls coming into the side to replace Aleksandar Prijovic.

First half

United got on the front foot early winning a couple of early set pieces, with Leo Lacroix failing to direct a header at the near post on target.

Both sides traded spells of possession throughout the early stages, and set pieces continued to look dangerous for United as the opener drew closer.

And that came in the 20th minute for the Green and Black courtesy of a brilliant counter-attack. Diamanti found space on the halfway line to play Wenzel-Halls in behind, and the No.9 ripped a superb finish into the bottom left corner beyond Tom Glover’s reach.

Connor Pain found himself through down the left-hand side immediately after, but Curtis Good was on hand to thwart him at the last minute in the box.

Lachie Wales thought he had made it two on the half hour mark when he bent one into the net, but the referee’s whistle halted celebrations as the goal was disallowed.

City controlled possession in the closing stages of the first half and went in search of an equaliser, but Jamie Young foiled their attempts on the stroke of half-time with a brilliant save, reacting with his feet to keep out Jamie Maclaren’s header.

Second half

City put the pressure on early in the first half, with Aiden O’Neill striking the base of the post after Pain had had a chance earlier.

Young made another fantastic stop soon after, flying to his right to stop Andrew Nabbout’s shot from long range.

The home side continued to have the bulk of the possession, but United posed the greater threat with pace on the counter. Wenzel-Halls and Lachie Wales were both the driving force of a number of breakaways but a second goal wasn’t forthcoming.

Inside the last 10 minutes, Young was called on again to block another goal-bound shot, show excellent reactions to change his body as the ball deflected.

Diamanti tried to lob Glover from just in front of half way to put the icing on the cake, but in the end it wasn’t needed as United held on for an outstanding win.