Melbourne City FC suffered defeat in Saturday night’s Melbourne Derby, going down 3-0 to crosstown rivals Victory at AAMI Park.
The damage was done early as a Jake Brimmer penalty and Marco Rojas brace saw Victory to a 3-0 comfortable half-time lead that they were able to see out over the second 45.
Heading into the blockbuster clash, Patrick Kisnorbo made two big changes to the starting XI that beat Sydney FC at home midweek. Scott Jamieson was brought back into the lineup to bring vital leadership and experience in a heated Derby atmosphere, replacing Jordan Bos at left-back. Marco Tilio also returned to the XI in place of Aiden O’Neill, though it was Connor Metcalfe who sat deeper in the formation.
There was early drama at City’s expense in the sixth minute when a short backpass to Tom Glover saw the City keeper collide with Nick D’Agostino as he attempted to clear the ball, with Victory awarded a penalty after a brief discussion between the referee and his linesman. Jake Brimmer stepped up to convert two minutes later, handing Victory the early lead.
City’s situation worsened in the 14th minute when a short headed clearance from a set-piece fell back out to Marco Rojas, who volleyed a strike into the back of the net from distance.
After regaining a foothold in the contest, City nearly found an opener when Tilio forced a good diving save from Ivan Kelava in the 26th, but the Victory shot-stopper’s heroics would prove pivotal with his side netting a third goal just one minute later. Rojas’ composed first touch and volleyed finish inside the box left Glover with no chance as the ball flashed past his outstretched glove.
A fourth nearly followed in the 29th when a flowing Victory counterattack culminated in D’Agostino’s curling attempted that flashed narrowly over the crossbar, much to Glover’s relief.
Though the City boys started the second half brighter, it was Victory who were able to get away the first shot on target in the 55th when central defender Matthew Spiranovic fired a header towards goal that required intervention from Glover.
The City goalkeeper was needed to maintain the scoreline again in the 76th when substitute Chris Ikonomidis rifled a strike towards his bottom left-hand corner, but Glover was able to spring down low and palm the ball out for a corner.
The City boys could do little over the final 15 minutes, with Victory comfortably running out 3-0 winners by the final whistle.
The result will have to be put quickly in the past as the the City boys prepare to take on Asia in their inaugural AFC Champions League campaign. The team will kick their tournament off when they take on Thailand’s BG Pathum United FC at their home stadium in Bangkok.