Melbourne City beat Adelaide United but Nabbout injury causes worry

Melbourne City have edged closer to a debut A-League Premier's Plate with a 4-1 win over Adelaide United but the win was overshadowed by a leg injury to Socceroos winger Andrew Nabbout.

The A-League leaders opened up an 11-point lead at the top of the table at AAMI Park on Thursday night, with Jamie Maclaren scoring a brace to become City's all-time leading goalscorer.

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But the victory was soured after just 25 minutes when Nabbout succumbed to a left leg injury when attempting a pass. Nabbout, who missed five games at the start of the season with a hamstring injury and last week's win over Perth with a groin issue, had to be assisted from the field and down the tunnel in distress.

He was quickly replaced by Marco Tilio. If severe, Nabbout's injury would be a massive blow to City and potentially his hopes of featuring at June's World Cup qualifiers in Kuwait.

Adelaide goalkeeper Joe Gauci injured his quad in the warm-up and was replaced by James Delianov who helped City score after just eight minutes.

Florin Berenguer played a quick corner to Scott Jamieson outside the box and in his 100th game for City, the captain scored with a left-footed strike that deflected off Jordan Elsey.

Andrew Nabbout
Andrew Nabbout
Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

City doubled their lead through a clever short-corner routine in the 45th minute. Berenguer fed Noone who delivered a perfectly weighted ball for Scott Galloway to rip a delightful, skidding left-footed strike home.

Adelaide hit back in the 51st minute. Aiden O'Neill's botched clearance forced a good save from Glover, only for Ben Halloran to bury the rebound.

In the 71st minute, City substitute Stefan Colakovski earned a penalty when he was fouled by Josh Cavallo with Golden Boot leader Maclaren coolly scoring his 24th goal of the season from the spot.

City wrapped up three points in the 82nd minute when Tilio squared the ball for Maclaren to drill home his second. Maclaren's 25th strike of the season was also his 58th for City, seeing him overtake Bruno Fornaroli as the club's all-time top scorer.