Melbourne Victory deliver the goods in Christmas derby

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Melbourne Victory have returned to the winners list following a hard-fought 2-1 win over crosstown rivals Melbourne City in the second derby of the season.

The game breaker in the first half was Victory captain Ola Toivonen who scored twice both from Andrew Nabbout assists, in what was Victory’s best half of the season so far.

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City rallied hard after the break with Harrison Delbridge drawing the margin back to one goal, however Victory held on for the three points.

Victory almost opened the scoring in the tenth minute through Elvis Kamsoba but were denied by a brilliant diving save from Tom Glover who got his fingertips to the ball.

Minutes later they would find the back of the net with a diving Toivonen heading the ball home after a piercing Nabbout assist.

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As the half rolled on, Victory looked the more physically dominant team, hunting in packs and outnumbering City around the ball.

In the 41st minute they would strike again with Nabbout and Toivonen combining for the second time.

A penetrating cross from Nabbout was easily tapped over the line by Toivonen following a double deflection off of the keeper and City defender Curtis Good.

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Victory would continue to apply the heat through five minutes of extra time, but were unable to extend the margin and would take a 2-0 lead into the sheds at the half.

Five minutes into the second half Nabbout butchered a chance to hit scoreboard himself, spraying wide off a Kamsoba assist which left him one-on-one with the keeper.

Up the other end City would seize their opportunity with Delbridge heading home a ball from a Javier Cabrera corner kick, drawing the margin back to one goal in the 56th minute.

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This would spring City to life and minutes later Cabrera would look to goal himself, getting on the end of a Noone cross however a defender put his body in the line of fire and deflected the ball away.

Victory would almost score from a corner kick in the 64th minute with Migjen Basha heading a ball towards the goal line, which two defenders scrambled to clear.

In the 81st minute a header from Nabbout sailed past the post as Victory pressed for the game-winning goal.

City would search for the equaliser late in the game with a 90th minute strike from Scott Galloway zipping just high of the crossbar.

Victory would manage to hold on to secure their third win of the season.

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The loss marks City’s second consecutive home defeat, and leaves them clinging to second place on the ladder. Meanwhile the win for Victory hands them their first Victory since round eight as they attempt to keep pace with the top six.

Melbourne City 1 Delbridge (56’)
Melbourne Victory 2 Toivonen (15’, 41’)

AAMI Park
Attendance: 18,038

Referee: Alex King
Assistant Referee: David Walsh, Wilson Brown
Fourth Official: Lachlan Keevers

Melbourne City: Tom GLOVER (gk), Scott GALLOWAY, Scott JAMIESON (c), Harrison DELBRIDGE, Josh BRILLANTE, Javier CABRERA, Jamie MACLAREN, Craig NOONE, Adrian LUNA, Curtis GOOD, Connor METCALFE, Lachlan WALES (Sub 70’), Nathaniel ATKINSON (Sub 82’).
Unused Subs: Dean BOUZANIS (gk), Rostyn GRIFFITHS, Florin BERENGUER, Ramy NAJJARINE, Richard WINDBICHLER.

Melbourne Victory: Lawrence THOMAS (gk), James DONACHIE, Tim HOOGLAND, Leigh BROXHAM, Andrew NABBOUT, Robbie KRUSE, Ola TOIVONEN (c), Elvis KAMSOBA, Migjen BASHA, Adama TRAORE, Anthony LESIOTIS, Jakob POULSEN (Sub 62’), Storm ROUX (Sub 2’).
Unused Subs: Brendan WHITE (gk), Corey BROWN, Brandon LAUTON, Jay BARNETT.

Feature Image Credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Michael Patane
Michael Patane
Student at Monash University and lover of all things football covering Melbourne City in 2019/20.

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