Match Preview: Victory v City

Following a second win of the new Liberty A-League season against Adelaide United, Melbourne City will be looking to continue its promising start to 2021/22 with some redemption against Melbourne Victory in the second Melbourne Derby of the campaign.

Our City Women continued their positive start to the new season with a 3-1 win over Adelaide United in Round 3.

Whilst Holly McNamara was arguably City’s best afield in the first half, it was Rhianna Pollicina who broke the deadlock with an early goal-of-the-season contender, picking out the top right corner from outside the box.

City’s #10 then assisted the home team’s second before half-time, finding Hannah Wilkinson from the corner kick, with the Kiwi using her height and strength to get into a position to head into the back of the net.

Adelaide turned things right around in the second half though, looking a much-improved outfit in the ensuing 45 and even finding the back of the net in the 65th minute. It was Shadeene Evans whose initial header put Melissa Barbieri under pressure, with the City shot-stopper pulling out a fine save to keep the effort out of the back of the net, but only parrying the ball into the path of Chelsie Dawber to finish from close range.

Just when City needed a decisive goal to kill off the game and secure all three points, Wilkinson again came through in stoppage time, poking Leticia McKenna’s whipped-in cross from the right between the legs of Annalee Grove and into the back of the net.

Whilst Rado Vidosic will have been happy with the result and the team’s first-half dominance, Adelaide’s recovery in the second period shows there’s still room for improvement, and that progress will need to have been made quickly with another Melbourne Derby on the very near horizon.

Melbourne Victory have started the season in scary form, scoring a league-high 10 goals on their way to three straight wins to start the new season.

Most recently, they were made to work harder than usual in a see-sawing clash with Brisbane Roar that ended 3-2 in their favour.

Despite their initially poor start to the season, the Roar really took it up to Victory, winning the shooting and corners statistics, but were undone by goals to Lynn Williams, Harriet Withers and Catherine Zimmerman.

This upcoming iteration of the Derby looms as a pivotal one in the historical balance of the fixture – this will be the 14th time the teams have met, with City holding a slender seven-wins-to-six lead from the previous 13 encounters. With another Derby win, Victory would tie the head-to-head record, despite City’s four Championships to their one since our inaugural campaign in 2015/16.

Match Details

A-League Women’s Round 4

Melbourne Victory FC vs Melbourne City FC

Sunday 26 December, kick-off 5pm