Heading into their meeting with Western Sydney Wanderers knowing that just a single point would be enough to secure their first Premiership since 2015/16, City left nothing to chance against the Red and Black.
Claire Emslie fired them ahead in the 12th minute of play before Ellie Carpenter burst forward from her wing-back position to secure a brace through goals in the 30th and 63rd minutes. New American signing Ally Watt then put the cherry on the sundae when she made it 4-0 in the 86th minute.
A rundown of the goals, though, perhaps undersells the impressiveness of City’s win. Rado Vidošić’s side had three-quarters of possession at Marconi Stadium on Thursday, whilst they outshot their foes 24 to four, with the on-target ratio sitting at 11 to one.
It was City’s second straight 4-0 win and third in the past four weeks. Combine this newfound lethality in front of goal with their stingy defence – City is still yet to concede since their round four meeting with Sydney FC – and it paints a picture of a side that, assuming they return their international representatives fit and healthy from the international break, are the odds on favourites to lift the W-League Championship.
Don’t tell that to Checker though.
“Obviously it was an exciting game”, the defender said following her side’s win.
“There’s still a lot of work to do and it’s not the Championship yet, but we’re really stoked.
“To keep a clean sheet and stay undefeated is a really big part of this game for us and a big part of this premiership.
“We’ve just got to keep the consistency moving forward and now we’ve got one big job left to do.
“I think the best thing at the moment is that we’re focused on how we’re playing; we go into every game focused on us and knowing that if we do our part right, we can come out on top in any game.
“It’s a really exciting time when you don’t have to worry so much about what the opposition is going to bring, we’re just really confident around our own game.
“We’re working hard week in and week out and it’s a lot of the same now and making sure that our standards remain high.
“Because that’s what’s got us here now and that’s what going to get us to the end.”
Me: 'Hey Google, give me a wholesome gif to make my day.'
— Melbourne City FC 🏙️ (@MelbourneCity) February 20, 2020
It’s been a season of successes for Checker, who joined City during the offseason after spending the past two W-League campaigns with hometown side Adelaide United. Since then, the 23-year-old was part of the Matildas squad for November’s friendly series with Chile and is yet to taste defeat as a member of the newly crowned W-League Premiers.
“I personally have learnt a lot since being at the club”, she said.
“It was obviously a big move coming from my home club and captaining my home club there, but it’s the best move I’ve made. I’m learning every day and every training from Rado and the girls.
“It’s such a great environment to be a part of. It’s professional and there are high standards and we all demand those standards of each other, and Rado sets those.
“It’s a really special place to be and credit to him, he does a really great job of creating that culture that we’ve got.”
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