Melbourne City FC – Match Report Vs. Western United (07/01/2023)

Melbourne City brutally thrashed Western United 4-0 in A-league action. Melbourne City showed why they have been one of the top teams in the A-league for so long. They had extremely intricate passing patterns by the standard of the league and pressed Western United very effectively. 

Ratings:

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Jordan Bos

  • Nationality: Australian
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 29/10/2002
  • Current Club: Melbourne City
  • Career: Manchester City (Y)
  • Position: Left-Back
  • Secondary Position: Winger
  • Preferred foot: Left

Jordan Bos played as a left-back in this match. He demonstrated some solid technique and the ability to play his role within Melbourne City’s system. But he also has a few things to work on. One of the key roles of the fullbacks for City is to retain possession. Bos was very good at that. He has excellent close control and strong passing ability. He did not do anything particularly crazy but he was very reliable with the ball at his feet. He was able to play passes under pressure and to carry the ball out of danger when called upon. He was not really tasked with getting crosses into the box. He did maintain a high and wide position in possession but he would usually recycle the ball or defer to one of Melbourne’s front when it came to him up the field. It was pretty clear that this was a function of the system but it did make it a bit hard to judge his attacking play.

That said, he was moved to the wing for the last 15 minutes, with City looking to close out the game, and he got a decent shot off after a nice run. So perhaps in a system with more freedom to be direct, he could provide some offensive production. He was not troubled very much defensively in this match, thanks to City’s dominance. The defending he did display was mostly fine. He was generally well-positioned and demonstrated some strength in the air. Particularly he showed some great ability to leap and win headers. However, he was beaten 1v1 on some of the few occasions he faced a dribbler. So I do wonder how he would do if that was something that happened to him more often. 

Rating – A2

There are definitely the makings of something here. But I think Bos has to elevate his defensive game a little bit and show more ability to provide direct offensive production. Like a lot of Australians, he is eligible for an EU passport, in this case, Bos has Dutch heritage. So that will certainly help him make a move abroad down the line. But in my opinion, he should stay in the A-League for a little longer. 

Marco Tilio

  • Nationality: Australian 
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 23/08/2001
  • Current Club: Melbourne City
  • Career: Sydney FC
  • Position: Winger
  • Preferred foot: Left

Followers of Australian football have been excited about Tilio for some time now. But a change in manager at Melbourne City seems to have finally unlocked his full potential. Tilio torched Western United’s defenders almost from his first touch of the ball in this match. He played as a right winger, cutting inside on his left foot to great effect. In fact, with his very first possession of the game, he picked up the ball around the halfway line, dribbled his way into the box, cut inside, and slotted home to give City an early lead. He then proceeded to generally terrorise Western United until being subbed in the 76th minute.

His close control and first touch are extremely strong at the A-League level. He is quite small but he’s quick with the ball and it makes him good at zipping by much bigger players and keeping the ball. There is, however, a bit of a limiting factor to his dribbling and that is that he is very left-footed. When he is cutting inside onto his left he is absolute dynamite. But when he had to go to the outside and use his right foot things were a bit more hit-and-miss. I do think that this could be a serious limiting factor for him at the highest levels of football. He did quite a good job of setting up his teammates in this game. He got one assist via a cutback to Jamie Maclaren and played some nice direct balls in behind.

Honestly, he might have had more assists if some of his teammates had not fumbled the chances he set them up with. His xA/90 is a little on the low side, so I’m not sure how typical this is, but in this particular match, he was an effective creator. He was not necessarily elite at defending but Melbourne City played a high-pressing system and Tilio performed his duties within that system in a perfectly adequate fashion. 

Rating – A1

I think it’s clear he is too good for the A-League. I don’t think he’s quite good enough for a top-five league yet due to his one-footedness and some mild concerns about the consistency of his playmaking. But for the next level down (MLS, Championship, Eredivisie, etc.) he would be a fantastic pick-up. 

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