2020-21 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Craig Noone (33', 55')
  • Andrew Nabbout (52')
  • Jamie Maclaren (90'+2')
  • Bernie Ibini-Isei (21')

Noone leads Melbourne City to fiery A League win over WSW

Melbourne City won six A-League games in a row for the first time in their history, with English winger Craig Noone inspiring a 4-1 comeback victory over Western Sydney Wanderers.

Noone scored two goals and assisted another to help City leapfrog the Wanderers into second place and close within a point of leaders Central Coast.

"Nooney's been great not just today but pretty much the last couple of weeks so it's a credit (to) him," City coach Patrick Kisnorbo said. "I'm just delighted for him that he got rewarded for his hard work today."

While City took the points, it was the Wanderers who opened the scoring against the run of play in the 21st minute at AAMI Park. Mitch Duke looped a cross to the back post for Bernie Ibini, who jumped over Scott Jamieson to head home, snapping City's run of four straight clean sheets.

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Golden boot leader Jamie Maclaren unsuccessfully sought a penalty when he went down under contact from Mark Natta in the 31st minute. Two minutes later, though, the striker did get the decision when fouled. Noone took the resultant free kick quickly, brilliantly lofting the ball over Daniel Margush from distance to level the scores. In the wake of the goal, City coach Patrick Kisnorbo had a fiery touchline argument with his Wanderers counterpart Carl Robinson and assistant Kenny Miller.

"I don't know what Craig Noone and the referee have agreed," Robinson said. "I don't think you've seen a goal like that for many, many years in football because you're under the impression that you have to wait for the whistle or something like that.

"It's a wonderful finish, we should be switched on ... (but) I (also) don't think it's a free kick."

The scores remained level at half time, but after the break the hosts pulled away. In the 52nd minute, Noone whipped a cross to the far post, where a charging Andrew Nabbout chested home. Three minutes later, Nabbout returned the favour, slipping through a ball for Noone to fire City's third past Margush.

The Melbourne club went desperately close to a fourth shortly afterwards. Nabbout crashed through Natta, who hit the deck, with the ball spilling for Maclaren to charge forward and work it to Noone, who had one cross blocked but worked a second across goal for Luna to tap home.

The Wanderers bench were up in arms over Nabbout's coming together with Natta, who had to be substituted off - with Kisnorbo and Robinson again trading barbs -- but the goal was chalked off when VAR showed Noone was fractionally offside.

It was to be only a matter of time, though, before City made it four, with Maclaren slamming home his 12th goal of the season in added time to round out the rout.