Melbourne City storm into the Grand Final with a clinical and dominant performance. A 5-1 victory pretty much reflected the game. Given far too much time and space, City used their experience and composure to school a team that looked like they were new to finals.
1. Carpenter a property magnate
Carpenter had all the acreage in the world to play with today and she made it count. A brilliant performance from the Matildas star but the Wanderers made it far too easy for her.
It was amazing how much time and space the Wanderers gave Carpenter. She did as she pleased for much of the first half, owning the right flank and the middle of the park. Young left back Courtney Nevin was given a harsh lesson on finals football.
Carpenter set up the opening goal through a nice run and cross. She thundered the cross bar after stealing the ball and driving through the Wanderers defence like a hot knife through butter.
Her drive and dangerous balls in had the Wanderer’s defence second guessing themselves. Remarkably for an attacking winger, Carpenter’s passing accuracy was over 90% from 40 passes. It showed she had far too much time to do what she wanted.
2. Gap between best and the rest far too big
Melbourne City’s dominance is a wonderful thing for them. But they way they despatched the fourth best team was far too easy.
City are a team full of internationals so it’s hardly surprising they will dominate games. The scary thing is how sides just sit back and let City take charge.
Today right from the start Melbourne City did as they pleased and the Wanderers were caught ball watching or snatching at thin air.
City were first to the ball, were always in position to receive a pass and had time and space in dangerous spots. Their intimidation caused this as the Wanderers simply looked lost.
The Wanderers rarely strung passes together. Opting for hopeful balls which City just lapped up.
The Wanderers had a number of teenagers so it seems a tad harsh but this is elite football and a final. They simply weren’t good enough and it isn’t good for the W-League to have a team control and dictate a game so much.
3. Wanderwomen will be good for the experience
Teenagers like Courtney Nevin, Kyra Cooney-Cross, and Susan Phonsongkham were given a lesson today. They will come out of this much better for it. They saw what it takes to win W-League titles.
Nevin gave Carpenter too much space and relied on linge challenges which the Matilda winger easily got around. Cooney-Cross just didn’t get involved enough and was outmuscled by the bigger City players.
Phonsongkham has missed a lot of this season and appeared underdone for a final. All three are quality players though and will become better players after today.
Others like Cortnee Vine, Danika Matos and Chloe Middleton will also take valuable lessons out of today’s game as they look to build their W-League careers.
Expect these youngsters to be hungry to make up for today’s thrashing.