Frustrated Valkanis rues City’s defensive lapses

Melbourne City coach Michael Valkanis admitted frustration with his team’s failure to prevent avoidable goals in Friday night’s 3-1 defeat to Western Sydney Wanderers.

City were punished for coughing up possession deep in defence in the first half, before two Brendon Santalab headers after half-time sealed the result at Spotless Stadium.

Santalab hat-trick fires Wanderers past City

“We didn’t defend two crosses properly,” Valkanis told Fox Sports.

“There was a period in the second half where [Western Sydney] got on top.

Brendon Santalab netted a hat-trick as Western Sydney Wanderers downed Melbourne City 3-1 on Friday night.

“That domination was for a small period of time and they converted two goals, which we should have defended a lot better in the box.

“They were crosses we should have dealt with and that’s what’s frustrating.”

City might have launched a comeback had captain Bruno Fornaroli converted his late penalty but now find their top four spot under threat ahead of next weekend’s return to face Sydney FC.

“With 20 minutes to go, if the penalty went in, it could have been a different game,” Valkanis said.

“The endeavour, the work rate and some of the football we played was good. We’ll take the positives and keep moving forward.

“It was a bad result but there’s plenty still to play for.”