Jamie Maclaren scored his eighth goal in five A-League games against Western United to secure Melbourne City a late 2-1 comeback win.
Socceroos marksman Jamie Maclaren has once again proved Western United's bogeyman, scoring a late winner to help Melbourne City beat their A-League neighbours 2-1 at AAMI Park.
Maclaren scored his eighth goal in five games against United to ensure City maintained a perfect winning record in their derby match-up.
Ivan Vujica put United ahead with his first A-League goal in the 22nd minute, with Craig Noone levelling the scores 10 minutes later before Maclaren settled the tie in the 84th.
City looked aggressive early but it was United who drew first blood when Spaniard Victor Sanchez curled a cross towards the back post where Vujica, in his first United start, leapt between two defenders to head home.
An emotional Vujica, who spent almost all of his first season at United sidelined with a pelvic injury, made a beeline for coach Mark Rudan - embracing his mentor in celebration.
Rudan started new recruit Iker Guarrotxena, while his City counterpart Patrick Kisnorbo handed first starts to Naoki Tsubaki and Taras Gomulka, with Aiden O'Neill (back) unavailable.
Guarrotxena was lively throughout and almost doubled United's lead in the 30th minute when he whipped a shot just wide.
Two minutes later City equalised when Noone brushed off Sanchez, before cutting inside and curling a shot past the diving Filip Kurto.
City lost defender Rostyn Griffiths to injury in the 38th minute, with Kisnorbo handing a debut to Kerrin Stokes.
The coach hailed the impact of Stokes and fellow young substitutes Stefan Colakovski and Marco Tilio.
"The fact that we have a lot of young players that came on in our team - it showed a lot of character," Kisnorbo said.
"Because probably before maybe last week or today, they may have only played NPL.
"But the fact that they stepped up in an A-League game under difficult circumstances, in a derby game, the credit's all to them."
The home side ramped up the pressure in the second half but as the minutes ticked by an outstanding goalkeeping performance from Kurto seemed destined to keep City at bay.
The United goalkeeper made a sublime one-handed stop in the 82nd minute to deny Connor Metcalfe's rocket, then blocked efforts from Maclaren and Tilio.
But the Western United No.1's efforts would prove futile when City midfielder Adrian Luna slipped a tremendous long-ball through for Colakovski, who had the awareness to cut back for Maclaren.
The Socceroo made no mistake with the finish to clinch all three points for City, leaving Rudan to lament not bringing on fresh legs earlier in the second half.
"We started to tire. I blame myself, I should have been a bit more proactive," Rudan said.
"My gut told me to make some changes at that time, I didn't do it and got punished for it."