Melbourne Vic too good for a hapless Sky Blues.

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Melbourne Victory came into the Round 10 match-up against Sydney FC keen to avenge an inaugural Melbourne Derby loss to crosstown rivals the Melbourne Heart last Friday night.

The Victory lined up a 3-4-3 as a sign of intent with Dugadzic earning a rare starting cap.

The Sky Blues have put the away 4-5-1 back in the shed, instead opting for a 4-4-2 with a midfield diamond.

Muscat and Musialik were animated prior to kick off, attempting to get the most out of pre game team talk.

The Victory settled first enjoying early game possession with Hernandez and Kruse linking up well in a few early raids.

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After two early corners the ball found it’s way to Grant Brebner who unleashed from distance, testing Liam Reddy who in recent weeks has been in a form slump.

On the ten minute mark Hernandez slapped the crossbar after finding a bit of room in the Sydney area as Liam Reddy could only look on.

On 11 minutes Alex Brosque returned serve with a testing shot which ‘keeper Michael Petkovic was equal to.

From the very next play Brazilian Ricardinhi began to look dangerous after being released by Hernandez on the break.

In a pulsating first 15 minutes Sydney then pressed forward to give Bruno Cazarine a chance from another Sydney corner but he could not keep the header down.

Melbourne Victory took the lead on 19 minutes after a cheap free kick earned by Robbie Kruse. Hernandez swung a majestic free kick in which dropped directly onto an advancing Roddy Vargas’ forehead who needed no invitation to deliver a blow to Sydney FC.

On 30 minutes after some good work from the Sky Blues, a good run by Robbie Kruse desired in a free kick on the edge of the area. Muscat and Hernandez officiated over the free with which the latter sent slightly wide of Reddy’s top left corner.

Melbourne Victory continued to absorb pressure and then caught Sydney on the break with a pass from the outside of the boot released Ricardinho. He found space before Sydney responded well to close him down.

After a tackle which in truth could have broken Hiro Moriayasu’s leg, a follow up drive from Shannon Cole was just tipped wide from Petkovic’s top left corner.

Another Victory break inspired by Hernandez found Ricardjnho who’s effort slid just wide of Reddy’s left post. A goal which would have put Sydney out of the game before half time.

Straight after the break Melbourne Victory took a two nil lead through a Tom Pondeljak chip which found Hernandez in acres of space who duly headed home – Victory leaving a sorry Sydney side in it’s dust.

Sydney FC coach Viteszlav Lavicka immediately went to the bench and handed Nick Carle a return after more than a month on the sidelines.

On 54 minutes Bruno Cazarine had a clear claim for a penalty fall on deaf ears as a scoring opportunity was impeded by a Vargas boot at the critical moment.

As they had all night, Victory broke quickly with Tom Pondeljak who had laid on the second goal narrowly missing with a solid drive sailing wide of the post.

As the game approached the hour mark Seb Ryall had a fantastic chance to pull one back. Unfortunately for the Sky Blues the ball trickled wide of the mark. Victory countered quickly with Ricardinho being denied by a solid Reddy in goal.

Sydney started to earn the lion’s share of possession, with quality passing and combinations driven by Sky Blue talisman Nick Carle. Carle presents a real possibility of replacement for Steve Corica. Whilst the night at Etihad may be a bridge too far in terms of getting their first three points, the Sky Blues can take positives from the return of thier Australian marquee.

In the game’s final 15, Sydney pushed forward but, as they had in the last three fixtures, failed to find composure in the final third.

In the final minute of regulation time Kruse was released through another Pondeljak pass. Kruse marched towards goal and slotted past a hapless Liam Reddy.

Final score Melbourne Victory 3 Sydney FC 0.

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