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Fornaroli on the A-League spot for City

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/11/2016 Ben McKay

Bruno Fornaroli and his football smarts have nicked Melbourne City another win, returning the emerging A-League power to second place on the table.

City defeated Wellington Phoenix 2-1 on Sunday at AAMI Park in a helter-skelter match that might have finished any which way.

Nick Fitzgerald's deflected shot on 44 minutes began the scoring and Roy Krishna replied 13 minutes after half-time by poking home his penalty at the second time of asking.

With the game in the balance, the Uruguayan's piece of invention settled the contest.

As a dangerous ball from Anthony Caceres approached, Fornaroli attempted an overhead kick that lured Marco Rossi into manhandling him.

The penalty awarded, City's captain did the business from the spot, scoring his seventh goal in eight games to settle the contest.

Despite resting Tim Cahill and Bruce Kamau with one eye to Wednesday's FFA Cup final, City were worth their win, playing their trademark intensity.

City have a reputation as the A-League side with the most flair, but they do struggle to create clear-cut chances.

What they do fashion is plenty of half-chances, with an attacking line-up so talented they finish more than other sides might.

Teasing first-half balls from Luke Brattan and Fernando Brandan required attention from Glen Moss, while Fornaroli threatened throughout.

Just as cross-town rivals Melbourne Victory did 24 hours earlier, the breakthrough came courtesy of a heavy deflection.

Fitzgerald shimmied his way into the box, finding space to unleash a left foot curler that if left alone, might have found its way inside the back post.

Instead, a Marco Rossi intervention diverted the ball past the flailing Moss.

The half-time score of 1-0 might have been inflated if referee Kurt Ames had given any of a trio of penalty shouts involving Krishna at one end and Brandan at the other.

But the penalties did come, firstly for the Nix.

Ivan Franjic tugged ever so lightly at the shirt of Kosta Barbarouses on the edge of the box, sending Krishna to the spot.

Dean Bouzanis saved the penalty but dropped the ball at the Fijian's feet, allowing him to tap home.

The Phoenix chased the game after going behind in the 71st minute, with Andrew Durante missing a gilt-edged chance to tap in with just minutes remaining.

It was not to be for Ernie Merrick's side, allowing City to close within four points of league leaders Sydney FC after eight rounds.

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