City stumble as Macarthur eke out valuable ALM draw
Melbourne City boss Rado Vidosic says he's not concerned at how easily his side were stifled by Macarthur FC as their procession towards the A-League Men finals hit a road bump.
The Bulls were able to frustrate City at Campbelltown Stadium, claiming a 1-1 draw with a backs-to-the-wall effort.
City dominated every possible metric, but their sole goal came when Macarthur defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis turned the ball into his own net to cancel out Jason Romero's opener.
Vidosic's side had 78 per cent of possession and 13 corners.
City remain top of the table but Sunday's draw means Adelaide are just four points behind them with five rounds of the competition remaining.
"It's not hard just for us to play against the teams that are going to sit so deep and then defend for their lives," Vidosic said.
"It was easy for them because they went 1-0 up and they didn't have to change the way they played.
"I think we were just lacking a little bit of composure in the final third."
Macarthur, meanwhile, sit ninth and are one of three clubs in contention to snatch a finals berth.
After being hammered 6-1 in their last meeting, Mile Sterjovski's side were happy to sit deep and ride their luck against City's red-hot attack.
"We weathered the storm and in the end I thought we could have snatched the win," said the Macarthur boss.
"If you analyse all their games they have a lot of possession and quality all over the pitch.
"We wanted to try and get them on the counter.
"Most teams don't like playing against a deep block. It's then about having the quality to break forward and take your chances."
Tomi Uskok cleared a Jamie Maclaren effort off the line, Scott Jamieson hit the bar and Andrew Nabbout had a goal chalked off for offside inside the opening half hour.
Macarthur goalkeeper Filip Kurto was impressive, and the Bulls hit City with a suckerpunch in the 26th minute when Al Hassan Toure set up Romero for his first goal at ALM level.
Macarthur held firm for the remainder of the first half and nearly doubled their lead when Aspropotamitis glanced a Danny De Silva free-kick wide of Glover's post.
But their hopes of snatching victory hit a snare when Aspropotamitis put a Jordan Bos cross into his own net in the 65th minute.
The frustrations of both sides were beginning to boil over after a reckless Nuno Reis challenge on Kearyn Baccus sparked an all-in melee with 10 minutes left.
City made one last charge forward and when Ivan Vujica brought down Aiden O'Neill, they thought they had a penalty to win it.
Referee Chris Beath, however, opted to consult VAR and could see O'Neill had gone down of his own volition and overturned his own decision.