They may have been behind twice but it turned out to be a dominant win for Melbourne Victory as they won the Melbourne derby 5-2 at Ettihad Stadium on Friday night. Melbourne City may have started the match well but after Victory leveled the scores right before half-time they ran rampant in the second 45.
After a cagey opening few minutes, Melbourne City started to take charge of the match an go on the attack and in the 12th minute a Damien Duff dive proved enough to give City the lead. Duff’s dive handed City a free-kick which Duff sent in across the face of goal, allowing Rob Wielaert to head past Nathan Coe, becoming the first player not named David Villa to score for Melbourne City.
Going behind early forced Melbourne Victory to respond, and after getting back the control of the match they equalized ten minutes later. Archie Thompson broke the offside trap after being played through by Gui Finkler, forcing Andrew Redmayne off his line which left Thompson with a simple tap-in to equalize.
There was controversy about both goals but four minutes after the equalizer a third goal came and there was no controversy about this one. The goal came to City as Aaron Mooy was able to send in a cross that was met by Jason Hoffman who headed home a goal that did not have the controversy of the previous two goals.
Facing another deficit Melbourne Victory were forced to go for the match coming in to half-time and the ramped up their attack. With that came an increase in the physicality from both sides as the derby atmosphere really started to boil over.
As the half drew to a close Victory’s continued pressure started to really pay off and right at the death of the half Victory were back on level terms again. It came largely off the back of Kosta Barbarouses who was able to make a powerful run through the City defense, forcing Redmayne to slide out and save; only for that ball to fall back to Besart Berisha who was able to tap it in for a 2-2 half-time score.
One minute in to the second half Victory had their first lead of the match and again Berisha was involved as he got his second of the night. Berisha cut in from the wing and he was too strong for Damien Duff and then hit a powerful shot across the face of goal.
Melbourne City just looked stunned which allowed Victory to remain in control of the match as they really started to keep City at bay. Despite having a lot of possession they could not find a goal until they got a chance from a foolish error in the 66th minute as James Brown pushed down Mattieu Delpierre. That allowed Berisha to step up to the sport and hit the penalty, completing his hat-trick and make it 4-2.
Melbourne Victory just kept their opponents out, leaving David Villa largely out of what is expected to be his last match in the A-League. Victory were cruising to a win, and with four minutes to play added a fifth for good measure as a Barbarouses through ball forced Redmayne off his line which allowed Thompson a simple tap-in.
Up 5-2 Victory were cruising while City didn’t look in the match, and could not even get a consolation goal. Victory cruised to the win to reassert their contender status while City still search for their first win of the year.