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Fornaroli at double in City A-League win

NZN 28/10/2016 Ben McKay

Melbourne City have shown glimpses of title-winning swagger in Friday night's 2-1 win over Adelaide United at AAMI Park.

Bruno Fornaroli's goals either side of halftime improved City to second on the A-League table.

A first A-League goal for Sergi Guardiola frayed City nerves but John van 't Schip's side held on to bounce back from last round's home defeat.

Adelaide played their part in an entertaining game but took too long to click into gear, falling to a third-straight loss and their first away defeat of 2016.

When City purred into action, the champions couldn't lay a glove on them.

City's link-up play in attack - where Fornaroli and Fernando Brandan threatened at will - dazzled the Reds' defence.

Brandan's show-stopping backheel nutmeg of former City defender Ben Garuccio showed City's intent.

Soon after, Luke Brattan - playing as a No.10 and auditioning for a place in the Socceroos' squad in front of coach Ange Postecoglou - sparked the first goal.

Brattan hassled Tarek Elrich out of the ball, allowing Brandan to feed Fornaroli on the edge of the box.

The Uruguayan bent his back and arched his shot inside the back post past Eugene Galekovic.

Fornaroli should have had two before halftime, sidefooting over the bar late in the half when a fiercer strike might have done the job.

With seconds left before halftime, United almost made City pay for their missed chances when Ryan Kitto rattled the crossbar from Isaias' free kick.

City upped the ante after the break and United couldn't go with them, earning successive yellow cards for late tackles and then conceding a second goal.

Brandan, the shortest man on the pitch, sent a header from Brattan's corner into Guardiola's outstretched arm. Fornaroli converted the penalty.

City looked on track for a routine win but, in trademark style, gave their home fans grief by failing to close out the game.

But when Dylan McGowan spooned a loose ball over from close range, it was clear City would stand firm for a steadying win.

Van 't Schip said he was delighted his side managed the fatigue factor, after a 2-0 FFA Cup semi-final win over Melbourne Victory just three days earlier.

"The mindset was very strong ... they were outstanding with their attitude, work rate and helping each other," he said.

The Dutchman said Tim Cahill was suffering from soreness in his achilles and couldn't guarantee his fitness for next Friday's match against Brisbane.

Adelaide coach Guillermo Amor said he would prefer to have more than one point from his side's opening four games but noted the similarities to last year's title-winning season.

"The season is long. We must improve and learn things. Our squad is a good squad ... I have confidence."

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