Melbourne City 3-2 Sydney FC: Maclaren double ends slump despite fightback

By Sports Desk February 23, 2021

Melbourne City held off a late comeback attempt from Sydney FC to win 3-2 and end a three-match A-League losing streak.

Hosts City came into the contest – a rematch of last year's Grand Final, which Sydney won in extra time – out of form with five defeats in their last six.

But any lack of confidence was not reflected as they stormed into a three-goal lead after 53 minutes courtesy of two goals from Australia striker Jamie Maclaren and another from Adrian Luna.

Milos Ninkovic got one back and another Sydney substitute, Patrick Wood, scored in the 90th minute to prompt a few nerves in stoppage time but Melbourne held on.

Maclaren was constantly involved, racking up nine shots for the victors, while Andrew Nabbout had a game-high five key passes including a fine assist for the third goal.

A first loss in four means Sydney stay fifth, with City now just two points behind them in ninth.

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    Embiid had 42 points alongside 14 rebounds and four assists for the 76ers, who ran out 117-107 victors at the Wells Fargo Center.

    Having been criticised in the past for missing games, Embiid recently revealed he has altered his diet in order to compete more regularly.

    It certainly seems to have done the trick. Tuesday's game was his 19th in a row, helping Philly to a 13-6 run in that time, during which he is averaging 33.3 points to enhance his MVP credentials having finished runner-up last season.

    "That was one of my goals, just to be available. I don't plan on stopping," said Embiid, whose 76ers side are now 28-19 and sixth in the East.

    The Pelicans actually led 58-50 at the break despite missing starters Devonte Graham, Josh Hart, and Brandon Ingram with ankle injuries, while Jonas Valanciunas was rested. Zion Williamson is also still out with the foot injury that has kept him out all season.

    Asked what the thought process was for the second half, Embiid said: "Just win.

    "Just being aggressive because in the first half everything was easy for them."

    Embiid was not the only player to go off on Tuesday, with Nikola Jokic leading the Denver Nuggets in their 110-105 defeat of the Detroit Pistons, which leaves them sixth in the West with a 25-21 record.

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