Snapshot of the A-League grand final where Melbourne City beat Sydney FC 3-1, with Nathaniel Atkinson winning the Joe Marston Medal as man of the match.
SNAPSHOT OF THE A-LEAGUE GRAND FINAL
* RESULT: Melbourne City beat Sydney FC 3-1 in front of a sell-out crowd at AAMI Park
* THE STORY: Sydney were seeking a record third consecutive championship and took the lead in the 21st minute through Kosta Barbarouses' belting long-range strike. City hit back just two minutes later after Stefan Colakovski went on an excellent solo run and teed up Nathaniel Atkinson for the equaliser. City got the upper hand when Luke Brattan was sent off. Skipper Scott Jamieson gave City the lead from the penalty spot just before halftime after Anthony Caceres fouled Adrian Luna. Scott Galloway slammed home a third in injury time to secure the victory, City's first title and a premiership/championship double.
* THE MOMENT: The game's complexion changed in the 35th minute when Sydney midfielder Luke Brattan received his marching orders. Brattan was cautioned for a 25th-minute challenge on Aiden O'Neill and received his second yellow when he up-ended Marco Tilio 10 minutes later. It was his first career send-off and gave City the ascendancy.
* THE STAR: City young gun Nathaniel Atkinson, in just his third game back from a serious hamstring injury, was simply superb. Playing on the right side of City's attack, the 22-year-old scored the equaliser and gave Sydney headaches throughout to claim the Joe Marston Medal for man of the match.
* THE QUOTE:
"We've been criticised a bit - some rightly, some not. But let's just take this moment to let it sink in, because we bloody deserve it." - City captain Scott Jamieson before lifting the trophy, winning his first championship in his third A-League grand final.
* THE STAT:
With an average age of 26.7 years, City fielded the youngest starting XI of any grand final team since 2011. Sydney FC's average age was 30.2 years. (via statistician Andrew Howe).
* TALKING POINT
Is this the beginning of something big for Melbourne City? Kisnorbo's side claimed the premiership with three games to spare and despite losing Jamie Maclaren, Connor Metcalfe and Curtis Good for finals, saw out the season comfortably too. The likes of Atkinson, Marco Tilio and Colakovski were all excellent - as was midfielder Aiden O'Neill - and the youngsters should all only get better. They're about to add Mathew Leckie, too and have the forward and fellow Socceroos Jamie Maclaren and Andrew Nabbout all signed up for the next three seasons.