Ritchie de Laet proved the difference, not for his superb defending or even his leadership, but for his goalscoring prowess.

In a clear sign of City's struggles offensively, the standout quality within Melbourne's side was chucked up front in a free role. In another clear sign of how fluid their forward passing can be, and how resolute their defending always is, that was enough.

De Laet's strike was all that separated the sides - once again, the Roar were close but no cigar.


Eugene Galekovic - 7 

Quiet first half, the only real action picking the ball out of the back of the net from Adam Taggart's offside goal. Some solid saves in the second. 

Harrison Delbridge - 8    

Played strongly at right-back, a real physical presence, accurate looping throw-ins from the big fella. 

Bart Schenkeveld - 8      

Very reliable in possession as always, one of the best passers in the competition, not to mention his exemplary challenges and concentration within his own penalty area. Slightly mixed second half as City were stretched trying to defend their lead.

Curtis Good - 7    

Solid performance, moving the ball intelligently, cool under Brisbane's 'meh' pressure. Either Delbridge or Good have a huge opportunity to become masters of their craft under a Schenkeveld apprenticeship.   

Ritchie de Laet - 7.5  

He didn't look convincing playing as a sort of false nine, roaming number 10, night watchman, whatever it was, in the first half. He's not a striker, not a playmaker. He naturally pushed out wide from semi-dangerous central positions to put in crosses.

But he is a very good-quality footballer, he exploited Brisbane's lackadaisical defending, created space for himself and easily latched onto a cross to give City the lead.

Scott Jamieson

Completely nullified Dane Ingham's attacking threat, could have scored a screamer in the second.