Melbourne Victory have used a rampant opening half-hour to stun Melbourne City 3-0 and secure their first A-League Men derby win in more than two years.
Melbourne Victory have laid down another symbolic marker of their revival by stunning Melbourne City 3-0 and exorcising the demons of their recent A-League derby past.
Melbourne Victory - Melbourne City
- Melbourne Victory beat Melbourne City 3-0 on Saturday evening.
- It was Victory's first derby win in 840 days.
- Despite the loss, City remain atop the ladder while Victory rose to third.
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Running away with the game in the opening 30 minutes thanks to a goal from Jake Brimmer and a brace from Marco Rojas, Saturday marked the first time Victory had tasted success in the derby in 840 days.
In the intervening period, Victory sunk to the lowest of lows while City reached the highest of highs; supplanting their rivals at the Melbourne A-League summit and delivering 6-0 and 7-0 humblings in 2020-21.
But on Saturday, that pain was forgotten as Victory ran out rampant, deserved winners.
"Derby games are special," said Victory coach Tony Popovic.
"You only get three points, we understand that, but we haven't had a win against Melbourne City for a while.
"We had two draws (this season), we feel we've improved in each game and today we improved again.
"We deserved to win."
City controlled possession throughout the game and improved in the second stanza but Victory consistently created better chances after carefully picking their moments to counter and press.
City ended up outshot 17 to five and had just two efforts on target for the whole contest.
"I thought we were poor," said City coach Patrick Kisnorbo.
"It was disappointing, disappointing.
"You try coming back, down 3-0 at the second half, it's very difficult against a good team."
Fittingly, given that a derby win represents something of a blast from the past for Victory, their evening was highlighted by a vintage performance from Rojas.
Following Brimmer's fifth-minute penalty, the Kiwi attacker sent Tom Glover's attempt to clear a free-kick straight back over his head from range in the 14th minute and grabbed his brace in the 27th minute with a sweetly struck effort from the edge of the penalty area.
The Kiwi Messi goes BANG BANG! 💥@gomvfc are in dreamland after Marco Rojas lashes home this stunning half-volley! 🤤— Isuzu UTE A-League (@aleaguemen) April 9, 2022
"This is just pure touch, instinct, confidence!" - Andy Harper on @Channel10AU 📺
Follow live: https://t.co/tFfyh9JGkO#MVCvMCY #WeAreALeagues @IsuzuUTE pic.twitter.com/AP5twnQWHE
"The last three or four games he's been so good," Popovic said of Rojas.
"You can see that the speed and power is returning. The quality was always there but now he's feeling really good physically and he's able to show the talent he's always had."
Four points back of second-placed Western United with a game in hand, Victory host Brisbane Roar next Tuesday.
City remain eight points clear atop the table ahead of two weeks of Asian Champions League commitments but will sweat on the health of midfielder Florin Berenguer after Kisnorbo confirmed the Frenchman had suffered a hamstring injury.
The full A-League Men's schedule can be found using this link.