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Published April 17, 2021 at 15:54:46

Match Report: City 7-0 Victory

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It was Christmas in April as Melbourne City thrashed their cross-town rivals Melbourne Victory 7-0 at AAMI Park on a historic Saturday night.

Starting XI

Traditionally the ‘Christmas Derby’, rescheduled due to COVID, there were two changes to last week’s side that took on Sydney. Nuno Reis and captain Scott Jamieson returned to the starting line-up in place of Ben Garuccio and Florin Berenguer.

Nuno Reis resumed his partnership with Curtis Good in the centre of defence whilst Rostyn Griffiths returned to the defensive midfield role. Aiden O’Neill returned to the substitutes bench for the first time since sustaining a back injury at the start of January.

What happened?

City fans were quick to remind their rivals of what occurred last time the two sides met with a cheeky pre-game display, but the attention quickly switched to on the pitch as City picked up where they left off.

Victory were able to manage a couple of quick fire chances early via Callum McManaman and Jake Brimmer however that was as good as it got for the visitors as after 11 minutes Andrew Nabbout produced one of the more extraordinary goals you’ll see.
 

Released by Connor Metcalfe down the left-hand flank, Nabbout drove past the defender and produced an outrageous outside-of-the-right-foot shot to sweep over the keeper on a tight angle and drop in off of the inside of the post to give the home side an early lead.

City pressed on and looked likely to double their money with a series of Jamie Maclaren chances inching wide before a moment of madness saw stand in Victory captain Adama Traore issued with a straight red card on the half hour mark.

A 10-man Victory’s defensive resistance lasted less than two minutes as Nabbout sent Victory midfielder Jacob Butterfield the wrong way in the box and earned his side a penalty, Maclaren dispatching the spot kick to the bottom right corner.
 

The second half started relatively cagey as Victory looked to steady the ship whilst the home side probed for a third goal. Once again, the introduction of Marco Tilio reaped instant rewards as the youngster dropped the ball on a dime, and Maclaren’s head, to make it three and once again the warning bells were ringing for the men in navy blue.
 

Tilio was again in the thick of it ten minutes later as Jake Brimmer dived in with Tilio charging into the box and yet another spot kick was awarded. Maclaren buried the penalty to complete his hattrick; his first at home for Melbourne City.

Maclaren was far from done however as substitute Aiden O’Neill found Stefan Colakovski with a delightful ball over the top, the City whiz kid placing his header right in the path of Maclaren who dispatched it in the bottom corner to commence two minutes of madness.

Delirious City fans barely had a chance to look up as Melbourne won the ball from the restart and Adrian Luna played through Maclaren for his 5th goal of the evening. Maclaren’s feat makes him just the second player in A League history to score five goals in a match, the other being Archie Thompson in the 2007 Grand Final, a staggering achievement for the City marksman.

It wasn’t the only league record to be seized by City however, as thirty seconds later Tilio beat multiple defenders to find Luna, the Uruguayan thumping his shot into the far corner of the net ensuring City joined Adelaide United on top of the list for biggest win in A League history.

What’s next?

The crucial three points sees Melbourne move to the top of the A League table with a game in hand over second placed Central Coast Mariners ahead of a first clash away at Macarthur Bulls next Saturday night at Campbelltown Sports Stadium. Kick-off is 7.10pm.