Following an important opening round win over Canberra United, Melbourne City FC will be looking to continue its promising start to the Liberty A-League with another positive result in this weekend’s Melbourne Derby.
It’ll be the 13th meeting between City and Victory, with the former holding the head-to-head advantage seven wins to five in the previous 12 clashes.
The City girls made a brilliant start to their 2021/22 campaign, securing a 0-1 win away to Canberra United, with Holly McNamara netting the winner on her professional debut.
Whilst the first half was a largely even, end-to-end affair, City came out of the blocks firing in the second period, earning chance after chance to put the home side under some serious pressure, with Canberra’s Keeley Richards putting in a massive shift between the sticks to keep her side in the contest.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 80th minute though, with McNamara sizing up her defender at the edge of the area before cutting inside and curling her strike into the far corner, handing City the one-goal lead which was successfully defended until the referee’s final whistle confirmed the result.
With Canberra expected to be right in contention for a Finals spot this season, the result is a massive confidence-booster for the City squad as they look to crack back into the top four following a disappointing 2020/21 campaign.
That objective would be significantly aided by a positive result in this weekend’s Melbourne Derby, with Sunday’s opposition similarly expected to be one of the stronger teams in the Liberty A-League this season.
Victory were firing on all cylinders in their first competitive outing since winning last season’s Championship, brushing Adelaide United aside by 5-1 scoreline. Lia Privitelli bagged a brace, whilst their now-injured skipper Kayla Morrison, Claudia Bunge and Catherine Zimmerman also got on the scoresheet.
Though the home side never appeared to lose control of the contest, they still conceded 20 shots – including seven on-target – to their opposition, which indicates room for improvement for City to exploit when the teams face off on Sunday.
Fans will be hoping, however, that Victory’s recent big-name recruits – including USWNT regular Lynn Williams and former City midfielder Alex Chidiac – don’t make their debuts for the club in this weekend’s Derby, whilst City’s crosstown rival also have Melina Ayres (equal-fourth in the 2020/21 Golden Boot) who they’re yet to bring back into the fold.
One factor on City’s side is the venue, with the home fixture set to be played at AAMI Park, a much-adored setting that fans will associate with our Championship wins. We’ve tended to be the stronger outfit in Derbies when playing at home, winning four of the six Derbies we’ve hosted, so with a big City blue crowd in attendance, we’re hoping that the team will have the support it needs to get a good result over the line.
A-League Women’s Round 2
Melbourne City FC vs Melbourne Victory FC
Sunday 12 December, kick-off 4pm