Dominate Victory cruise to derby win over City

-

Not one to shirk at a big stage, Besart Berisha inspired Melbourne Victory to a dominate 3-0 derby win over Melbourne City at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

Clearly not content with his domineering derby display at the same venue earlier this year when he dismantled City with a hat-trick, Berisha looked to heap more misery on City, this time opening the scoring in the ninth minute before setting up the sealer for Fahid Ben Kalfallah just after the hour mark.

Still reeling from the last-minute defeat in the previous derby meeting in December, Victory outclassed their neighbours for the entire 90 minutes with a faultless display, thanks largely to the tireless display from the big man up front.

The big games usually call for the big players, and in this league the games don’t get much bigger than a Melbourne Derby and the players don’t get much bigger then Berisha as who duly delivered in his 79 minutes on the park.

Victory dominated proceedings from start to finish, hardly giving City a look in as they ran away with a comfortable win.

You can watch the A-League live for only $25 a month. Click here to read our review of Kayo Sports and to start your 14-day free trial.

City’s hopes of recording a second derby win in a row were eroded within 10 minutes as Victory pounced on a loose ball, resulting in a Berisha goal.

A sloppy pass out of defence fell invitingly to Leigh Broxham who then set Kosta Barbarouses free on the left.

The kiwi international could have taken the glory all to himself but unselfishly elected to tee-up Berisha with an open net.

City struggled to get into the match with wayward passing undoing any good work they had built time and time again.

The visitors were forced into countless shots from distance as their only avenue to goal with no way through the solid Victory defence

.

In an attempt to liven up his sides play, City coach John Van’t Schip went to the subs bench early, replacing winger Iain Ramsey with David Williams in just the 29th minute.

While City did look sharper with Williams on the left flank, the move did little in terms of breaching the Victory defence.

With a comfortable one-nil half time lead, Victory doubled the advantage seven minutes into the second 45 thanks to a neat Kosta Barbarrouses finish inside the box via a tidy Gui Finkler dead ball delivery.

Still enjoying the better of the play, Victory put the final nail in City’s coffin just after the hour mark when Ben Kalfallah slotted the ball home past a hapless Andrew Redmayne after a swift Berisha break away.

The third goal killed the contest with Victory more than happy to sit on the lead.

City headed into the match confident of taking another three points off Victory thanks to an impressive win last week against Western Sydney Wanderers along with the long-awaited debut of Socceroos star Josh Kennedy who started the match on the bench.

Kennedy, in his first game since August 2014, entered the game with 30 minutes left and showed glimpses of what his new fans can expect from him.

Kennedy forced a smart save out of Nathan Coe in the dying stages of the match that proved to be the last goal mouth action of the game.

Not to take away from the performance of Victory and a certain forward, City were extremely poor.

For a club that makes a habit of lifting for derby games and punching above their weight against their more fancied neighbours, City put up very little resistance against a Victory side that pretty much did as they pleased.

The win for Victory put them just one point behind Perth Glory in second place on the A-League ladder and will face a rival again next week in the form of Sydney FC away.

Melbourne Victory starting XI: 1. Nathan COE(GK), 2. Jason GERIA, 4. Nick ANSELL, 6. Leigh BROXHAM (C), 7. Gui FINKLER, 8, Besart BERISHA, 9. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 14. Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 21. Carl VALERI, 23. Adrian LEIJER, 24, Scott GALLOWAY

Melbourne Victory substitutes: 20. Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 10. Archie THOMPSON, 13. Andrew NABBOUT, 15. Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 16. Rashid MAHAZI, 

Melbourne City starting XI: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE(GK), 4. Connor CHAPMAN, 6. Aaron MOOY, 7. Iain RAMSEY, 10. Robi KOREN, 11. Damien DUFF, 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 22. Jack CLISBY, 24. Patrick KISNORBO (C), 25, Jacob MELLING, 29. Safuwan BAHARUDIN
Melbourne City substitutes: 40. Marko STEVANJA, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 15. Dave WILLIAMS, 16. Josh KENNEDY, 18. Paulo RETRE,

Latest Articles

How Australian Soccer Players Are Coping with the COVID-19 Crisis Abroad

Various soccer leagues around the globe have been buying the best footballers from any team in the world to get an edge. Australia is not...

Brisbane Roar open Talent ID centre on Far North Coast

For the first time in the region’s history, players on the Far North Coast now have a direct pathway to the A-League and W-League...