Nonetheless the hosts held agency in a sport wherein they’d performed their finest soccer of the season.
Metropolis boss Patrick Kisnorbo shuffled his pack, bringing the match once more Rostyn Griffiths and Andrew Nabbout again into the beginning line up as he regarded to expertise and know how you can take the sting out of the champions, a crew famend for his or her capacity to absorb strain and do what it takes to get the factors.
Nonetheless it was Metropolis’s all spherical vitality and sharpness, their dedication to the collective and the best way they pressed and pushed their opponents round that was the distinction between these two groups.
Metropolis had been set as much as deny Sydney any house, they usually did so – whereas creating loads of alternatives for themselves.
Sydney’s case wasn’t helped by the concussion harm which pressured key midfielder Luke Brattan out of the sport halfway by way of the primary half.
Florin Berenguer was buzzing in an attacking midfield position alongside Luna, whereas Maclaren was his normal aim hungry self, darting and dipping across the penalty space.
They had been getting loads of help from Nabbout and Craig Noone on the flanks, and it didn’t take Metropolis lengthy – eight minutes – to get their noses in entrance.
The opening aim got here from a fluid passing transfer when Nathaniel Atkinson discovered Nabbout. His cross was deflected to Luna and when Sydney goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne may solely parry the ball out Maclaren did what he does finest – react faster than anybody to slam the ball house.
The early breakthrough galvanised Metropolis. Berenguer, Luna, Noone, Maclaren and Nabbout had been tormenting the Sydney rearguard with their sharp interaction and motion as Sydney struggled to interrupt the shackles and threaten Tom Glover’s aim.
Griffiths had a fantastic likelihood to double the lead quickly after however headed over from Scott Jamieson’s cross whereas Redmayne then needed to work to disclaim Nabbout.
The statistics sheet confirmed that Metropolis had had seven pictures to none by the 26th minute, such was their domination, they usually did handle to get a second aim quickly after by way of the onerous working Luna.
Noone discovered house on the left, his cross was flicked on by Maclaren, and the Uruguayan drove house to go away Sydney rocking.
The sport continued on this vein because the champions, like a boxer taking a pounding within the early rounds, regarded to carry on and restrict the injury – which they managed to do as Noone missed a superb opportunity.
The one time Sydney went shut within the opening interval was a superb effort from Kosta Barbarouses, whose shot from a Ryan McGowan by way of ball struck the bar.
It was extra of the identical within the second interval when solely a superb save by Redmayne denied Maclaren a second aim with a header.
However the frontman couldn’t be saved down for lengthy and he made it Three-Zero after 54 minutes when Connor Metcalfe discovered Nabbout with an extended raking cross.
The wideman drove into the penalty space earlier than sliding a low cross to Maclaren, whose motion allowed him to seek out the house to transform on the close to publish.
Milos Ninkovic had come off the bench within the second half to attempt to breathe some life and invention into the struggling champions and Wooden’s late strike ensured a nervous finale.
Michael Lynch is The Age’s chief soccer reporter and likewise stories on motor sport and horseracing