Chaotic ending to iconic Melbourne Derby

Melbourne Victory have won 2-1 in a pulsating Melbourne Derby in front of 35,426 at Etihad Stadium.

Tim Cahill was sent off for dissent in the dying embers of the match following controversy over an own goal in an ultimately gripping match. The first half however was a timid and boring affair.

Ivan Franjic had the first chance for City as a long ball over the top wasn’t dealt with by Alan Baro who played in the City right back but wasn’t able to finish after five minutes.

Two minutes later Marco Rojas tried to chip Dean Bouzanis after a Bozanic ball but the ball landed on top of the net rather than in it.

From there on it became a physical affair. In the first half alone there were 26 fouls and four yellow cards awarded, a sign that referee Chris Beath wasn’t afraid to use his whistle.

City were denied a goal five minutes from the break as Bruno Fornaroli found himself offside when he nodded home Neil Kilkenny’s cross.

When the half ended it was clear that both sides weren’t happy with the performance.

Things looked on the up in the opening stanza of the second period as James Troisi tested Bouzanis with a low stinging drive from 20 yards.

The game had a bit more life in it, with the crowd finally waking up from their induced comas.

City appeared to wake up as well as Luke Brattan slipped passed Broxham and fired a shot into Lawrence Thomas who parried for a corner.

Fernando Brandan could’ve given Melbourne City the lead with a header from the resulting corner but it was straight at a very grateful Thomas.

Brattan, who was starting to influence the game for City, then gave away a penalty in the 62nd minute. Marco Rojas was running into the box when the City midfielder brought him down clumsily.

Spectacularly Berisha couldn’t convert the penalty as Bouzanis stuck out a strong right hand to deny the A-League’s all time leading scorer.

The Victory were made to pay on 70 minutes when Neil Kilkenny scored.

Brandan picked the ball up on the right and cut it back to Kilkenny whose first time shot deflected off Baro into the post and in to give Melbourne City a 1-0 lead.

City could’ve been two up just three minutes later after Fornaroli’s freekick flashed just past a diving Thomas’ far post.

The Victory pushed and pushed for an equaliser and it was Berisha who finally levelled things up on 85 minutes.

Rojas wound his way into the box and cut the ball back to Berisha who only had to tap it into the back of the net.

Immediately after that Geria crossed the ball towards Berisha and Manny Muscat knocked it into his own net to make it 2-1 to Melbourne Victory.

Chaos descended on Etihad Stadium as City players were livid with the decision not to call Berisha offside, claiming he was affecting the play.

The goal would stand and in the madness Tim Cahill, who wasn’t on the pitch at the time, was sent off.

City piled on the pressure but couldn’t find an equaliser, ending another unmissable Melbourne Derby in the Hyundai A-League.

Melbourne Victory 2 (Berisha 84′, Muscat (OG) 86′)
Melbourne City 1 (Kilkenny 70′)

Referees: Chris Beath
Assistant Referees: Nathan MacDonald & George Lakrindis
Fourth Official: Kurt Ams

Attendance: 35,426

Melbourne Victory: 20. THOMAS Lawrence (GK), 2. GERIA Jason, 4. ANSELL Nicholas, 15. BARO Alan, 6. BROXHAM Leigh (80′), 21. VALERI Carl (C), 13. BOZANIC Oliver, 10. TROISI James, 14. BEN KHALFALLAH Fahid (61′), 7 ROJAS Marco, 8. BERISHA Besart (90+2).
Substitutes: 40. ACTON Matthew (GK), 5. GEORGIEVSKI Daniel (80′), 11. AUSTIN Mitchell (61′), 16. MAHAZI Rashid (90+2′), 23. INGHAM Jai

Melbourne City: 20. BOUZANIS Dean (GK), 5 FRANJIC Ivan, 6. MALIK Osama, 22. JAKOBSEN Michael (45′), 2. MUSCAT Emmanuel, 8. KILKENNY Neil, 10. CACERES Anthony (65′), 26. BRATTAN Luke, 27. BRANDAN Fernando, 9. COLAZO Nicolas, 23. FORNAROLI Bruno (C)
Substitutes: 1. SORENSEN Thomas, 11. KAMAU Bruce (65′), 17. CAHILL Tim, 18. RETRE Paulo, 21. TONGYIK Ruon (45′)

 

Featured image credit: Anita Milas

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