GOAL: Melbourne City striker drills a shot past Newcastle keeper Jack Duncan to open the visitor’s account in a 3-0 win at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday night. Picture: Darren Pateman (AAP)NEWCASTLE coach Ernie Merrick hasnot pressedthe panic buttondespite theJets having suffered a second successive heavy defeat, going down 3-0 to Melbourne City at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday night.
But the two-time championship-winnerdoeshopehis flat-lining outfit “learned a lesson” and warned if they repeat the mistakes in the semi-final their dream campaign will fall short.
“It was a pretty disappointing result in front of our home fans, and the boys haven’t done that very often,” Merrick said. “Hopefully they learned a lesson. I said at half time if this was a finals game we would havestruggled and been knocked out.”
The battle between second and third was billed as a dress rehearsal ahead ofa likely date in an A-League grand-final qualifier in four weeks time.
A Bruno Fornaroli strike in the 43rdminuteand a second-halfdouble toDario Vidosic (53rdand 77th) ensured City have apsychological advantage if, as expected, that showdown materialises.
The Jets (47 points) are locked in second place.City arethirdon 40 points and finishwith matches against the Mariners and Phoenix. Two wins would set up an elimination clash at home against thesixth-placed side. The winnermeets the Jets for a place in the grand final.
Slip up or slump? @NewcastleJetsFC coach Ernie Merrick gives his take on loss to @[email protected]苏州夜总会招聘/JzUojaMIEU
— James Gardiner (@JamesGardiner42) April 1, 2018TweetFacebookPsychological blow or just a win? @MelbourneCity coach says emphatic win has no impact if they meet @NewcastleJetsFC in finals. @[email protected]苏州夜总会招聘/hh0rJNzpiH
— James Gardiner (@JamesGardiner42) April 1, 2018
The Jets’task became doubly difficult eight minutes into the second half when Vidosic climbed above Ivan Vujica at the back post to head home a corner for 2-0.
Vidosic completed the scoring with a stinging freekick in the 77thminute.
“Arzani caused us problems in the first half,” Merrick said. “We sorted that out for the second half.Every time we looked like we would get a run on – we had some good patches of play – we would concede a corner kick and concede a goal. The freekick was ridiculous. The wall opened up and he shot straight through it.”