Fornaroli, De Laet fire City past Phoenix


Stunning goals from Ritchie De Laet and Bruno Fornaroli have returned Melbourne City to the A-League winner's list at Wellington Phoenix's expense.

De Laet lashed a 25-metre bomb in the opening minutes before Fornaroli made the points safe after half-time at AAMI Park on Friday night.

City swept aside both Mark Rudan's ordinary outfit and the memory of last week's thrashing by Sydney FC with a confident display.

Perhaps most importantly, their talisman got his first for the season.

Fornaroli had come under fire for his goalless start to the campaign, but the golden boot winner came alive with a classic strike on the hour mark.

Riley McGree showed patience with the ball before teeing up the Uruguayan on the edge of the box, who took one touch before curling home at the far post.


His precision strike was in contrast with the sheer power of De Laet's opener.

The Belgian rasped a cut-back from Lachlan Wales which sheered into the net, meaning City's two marquee men brought home the points.


Last-ditch efforts from veteran defender Andrew Durante and Filip Kurto in the Phoenix goal prevented a blowout.

Durante was at full-stretch to deny Florin Berenguer's cross aimed for a free Fornaroli before half-time, with the goalkeeper making handy saves from both of those attackers.

At the other end, Eugene Galekovic's sole involvement of importance was clearing a Sarpreet Singh free-kick.

Wellington's best chance was stymied by referee Adam Fielding, who overturned his own free-kick with use of the VAR.

Mitch Nichols' shot on 66 minutes was originally given as handball against Scott Jamieson and might have seen a penalty awarded.

Instead, Fielding used the technology to correctly signal for a drop ball after replays showed the ball struck the City captain's hand at close range while he held it over his chest.

Source AAP