Paartalu steals Melbourne Derby for City

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Melbourne City has given Melbourne Victory their first loss of the year with a 1-0 win in another fantastic installment of the Melbourne Derby at AAMI Park.

The 14th meeting of these two sides was settled in the dying stages of the match when Eric Paartalu headed home from a corner to give City the biggest win of their fledgling existence.

Any win in a derby day is huge to the victorious side but given the contrasting form of each side and City still finding their feet with the new moniker, this is a massive win for the club.

Just like all good derby contests, this was a game full of controversy.

A disallowed goal ruled incorrectly to Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Jacob Melling escaping a blatant red card will have Victory claiming they got hard done by.

The loss is Victory’s first loss for this season and sees them loss ground to Perth on top of the table.

It was a stimulating and tense game of football that City dominated throughout.

City came out of the blocks strong and looked more likely all night.

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For all their good work it looked as though City would take nothing out of the game.

City dominated the play in the first half but failed to hit Victory with a telling blow.

A tense opening 45 saw plenty of action in the middle of the park but failed to deliver on the goal front.

Despite being second best for the half it was Victory who almost made the breakthrough via Ben Khalfallah who forced a smart save by Tando Velaphi from a free kick.

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The second 45 mirrored the opening stanza, another tense showing that threatended to boil over any minute.

A real firework was set off midway through the half when Melling appeared to elbow Victory skipper Leigh Broxham in the face, starting a bit of handbags from both sides.

Melling was lucky to escape with a yellow which only further enraged the Victory players.

They were close totally losing it even further moments after that when the flag was incorrectly raised on Ben Khalfallah after he scarmbed the ball home in a crowded box.

The replay showed that it may have been in incorrect call as City were given its second lifeline of the game.

The calls going against them seem to deflate the Victory how struggled to threaten City after.

The home side lifted and looked the most likely as the game wore on.

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With the match destined to end scoreless, City punished Victory late on with two moments that would change the game.

Nathan Coe did well to save a stinging Aaron Mooy volley onto the crossbar and out for a corner that would lead to the resulting goal.

The ball fell to Mate Dugandzic who fired off a delightful cross right on top of Paartalu’s head who blasted the ball home right in front of the Victory’s fans.

City famously always bring their best football to a Derby game and today was no different.

With the new ownership City promised to step it up to their cross town rivals and threatened to take up the fight for town supremacy to them.

Tonight was the first time they managed to land a blow. While it hasn’t quite a knockout, it certainly left Victory with a black eye and fully aware of their presence.

Melbourne City: 20.Tando Velaphi (GK), 4.Connor Chapman, 5.Erik Paartalu, 6.Aaron Mooy, 15. David Williams (21. Stefan Mauk 89’), 7. Iain Ramsay (14. James Brown 70’), 17.Jason Hoffman, 19.Ben Garuccio, 23.Mate Dugandzic, 24.Patrick Kisnorbo (c), 25.Jacob Melling (10. Robi Koren 61’)

Unused substitutes: 1. Andrew Redmayne (GK), 2. Rob Wielaert

Melbourne Victory: 1. Nathan Coe (GK), 2. Jason Geria, 4. Nick Ansell, 6. Leigh Broxham (c), 8. Besart Berisha, 9. Kosta Barbarouses, 10. Archie Thompson (7. Gui Finkler 61’), 14. Fahid Ben Khalfallah (11. Connor Pain 82’), 18. Dylan Murnane, 21. Carl Valeri (16. Rashid Mahazi 70’), 23. Adrian Leijer

Unused substitutes: 20. Lawrence Thomas, 22. Jesse Makarounas

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