Melbourne City FC registered a valiant display against Melbourne Victory, but fell 5-2 to its city rival in a controversial Round 3 clash in the Hyundai A-League.
In front of 43,729 fans at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne City FC struck the opener early in the blockbuster clash with Robbie Wielaert heading home a superb free-kick from Aaron Mooy in the 13th minute.
Melbourne Victory pulled a goal back 10 minutes later as Archie Thompson poked home from close range, but there was a dash of controversy about the equaliser with Thompson emerging from an offside position.
The two sides exchanged goals again as another fantastic cross from Mooy was turned in by Hoffman three minutes later, before Berisha equalised on the stroke of half-time as the sides went in at 2-2 at the break.
Victory emerged from the change rooms the stronger side and hit the lead for the first time in the match after 20 seconds as Berisha fired in a deflected effort that wrong-footed Redmayne and nestled in the centre of the net.
Thompson added more pain to Melbourne City FC’s night by rounding Redmayne and slotting home his second goal for the match.
It was evident early in the match that David Villa, who had scored Melbourne City FC’s previous two goals in the opening two rounds, wanted to be involved and his quick exchanges in midfield saw Melbourne City FC transition quickly in attack.
Eight minutes into the encounter some neat work from Mate Dugandzic saw Villa through on goal and his touch and turn with both feet saw him break into the box, before a step over and a low shot from a tight angle saw Victory ‘keeper Nathan Coe save easily.
Villa then tried his luck from distance on the left wing, seeing Coe slightly off his line but he was comfortable to it.
But it wasn’t Villa who conjured the first goal – which came through an unlikely source in the form of central defender Wielaert.
Duff was brought down on the edge of the box in the 12th minute and Mooy swung in the resulting free kick to the back post where Wielaert tucked home a brilliant header past Coe in Victory’s goal.
Victory looked to hit back early as Barbarouses then broke forward for the home side, but his floated high cross wide of the on-rushing Archie Thompson.
Mooy tried his luck from distance, fizzing a shot just over Coe’s bar, before Daniel Georgevski tried to volley home at the back post for Victory, but his execution was off for the home side.
Thompson then pulled one back in the 23rd minute, after a Barbarous effort was spilled, but Thompson appeared to be in an offside position.
An improvised short corner saw Mooy curl in a sensational ball for Hoffman, who rose highest to head past Coe in Victory’s goal.
Victory almost equalised once more as Thompson broke down the left and sent in a cross to the back post where Valeri hit a volley on his left which shaved the post.
The home side finished the closing stages of the half the stronger of the two sides, pulling one back on the stroke of half-time as Berisha turned in a ricochet from Barbarouses work on the right wing.
Victory emerged from the change rooms the stronger side again and hit the lead for the first time in the match 20 second as Berisha fired in a deflected effort that wrong-footed Redmayne and nestled in the centre of the net.
Melbourne City FC held on as Patrick Kisnorbo deflected a Barbarouses ball onto the cross bar, but moments later Brown went through the back of Delpierre as Berisha stepped up to round out his hat-trick.
Melbourne Victory’s night was made complete by Thompson, who took advantage of Melbourne City’s push for a consolation, rounding Redmayne and sealing the result for Victory.
Hyundai A-League Round 3 Review
Saturday 25 October 2014
Melbourne Victory 5 (Archie THOMPSON 23’, 87’, Bersart BERISHA 45+1’, 46’, 67’ [PEN])
Melbourne City FC 2 (Robbie WIELAERT 13’, Jason HOFFMAN 26’)
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
Referee: Strebe DELOVSKI
Melbourne Victory FC: 1. Nathan COE (GK), 5. Mark MILLIGAN (C), 7. Gui FINKLER, 8. Besart BERISHA (14. Fahid Ben KHALFALLAH 76’), 9. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10. Archie THOMPSON, 15. Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 17. Mathieu DELPIERRE, 21. Carl VALERI, 23. Adrian LEIJER (16. Rashid MAZHAZI 84’), 24. Scott GALLOWAY (6. Leigh BROXHAM 69’)
Subs Not Used: 20. Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 13. Andrew NABBOUT
Yellow cards: Berisha 33’
Red cards: Nil
Melbourne City FC: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE, 3. Robbie WIELAERT, 5. Erik PAARTALU (18. Paulo RETRE 69’), 6. Aaron MOOY, 7. Iain RAMSAY, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA (25. Jacob MELLING 84’), 9. David VILLA, 11. Damien DUFF, 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 23. Mate DUGANDZIC (14. James BROWN 58’), 24. Patrick KISNORBO (C)
Subs Not Used: 20. Tando VELAPHI (GK), 27. Ross ARCHIBALD
Yellow cards: Mooy 41’, Duff 51’, Hoffman 64’
Red cards: Nil