Melbourne City FC fell to the hands of Melbourne Victory 3-0 in the Melbourne Derby at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.Goals from Besart Berisha, Kosta Barbarouses and Fahid Ben Khafalla underlined the result from Kevin Muscat's men as Melbourne City FC showed little of their previous Derby form.
Keen to avenge their narrow 1-0 loss to Melbourne City FC in the previous derby fixture, it was the Victory who made a lively start to proceedings, with Besart Berisha narrowly failing to get on the end of an excellent cross from Fahid Ben Khafalla.
And the home-side capitalised on some sloppy play from Melbourne City FC when Berisha opened the scoring inside only nine minutes. An errant pass from Patrick Kisnorbo was intercepted by Victory skipper Leigh Broxham, who allowed Kosta Barbarouses to run through on goal and tee up the Albanian for his tenth goal of the season.
Industrious midfielder Jacob Melling looked to provide the perfect riposte for Melbourne City FC when his bursting run sparked a counter attacking opportunity, but the youngster's speculative lob from distance sailed harmlessly over the crossbar.
The home-side's early liveliness in attack posed a continuous threat for the Melbourne City FC defence, with a foul by Connor Chapman nearly punished at the set piece when Berisha's header sailed narrowly wide of Andrew Redmayne's right hand post.
Melbourne City FC had a half-chance to level the scores but Melling's fizzing cross proved too hot to handle for Robert Koren, with the Slovenian's attempt easily smothered by goalkeeper Nathan Coe.
The home-side missed a golden opportunity to double their advantage, with Jason Geria's excellent cross narrowly evading the run of Berisha, after an excellent surging run by Barbarouses set up the initial chance.
With the Victory continuing to craft dangerous openings in attack, Melbourne City FC remained a constant threat at set pieces, with a wicked Aaron Mooy delivery into the penalty area excellently clawed away from the head of debutante Safuwan Baharudin by goalkeeper Coe.
And John Van't Schip's men nearly claimed an equalizer just before the stroke of half time when Aaron Mooy's excellent chipped pass released David Williams through on goal. The striker found enough space to cut inside and tee up Koren, whose weak shot was easily gathered by Coe.
Melbourne Victory looked to have put the contest beyond doubt in the 53rd minute when Finkler's driven free kick was swept home by Barbarouses at the near post to double the advantage.
Melbourne City FC looked to find a way back into the contest by introducing Socceroos striker Josh Kennedy as a 59th minute substitute for his first A-League match, but their misery was compounded only three minutes later as Ben Khafallah added the Victory's third goal, sliding the ball past the stranded Redmayne after Berisha had made a surging forward run.
Kennedy came close to registering his first Melbourne City FC goal two minutes from time after some nice link up play with David Williams, with the towering striker's effort thwarted by the right boot of Coe.
Melbourne City FC will look to re-join the winners list as they face the 4th placed Wellington Phoenix in Lower Hutt on Saturday 14th February.
Hyundai A-League Round 16
Saturday, 7th February 2015
Melbourne Victory 3 (Besart BERISHA 9' ,Kosta BARBAROUSES 53', Fahid Ben KHAFALLA 61')
Melbourne City FC 0
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Melbourne.
Referee: Peter Green
Attendance: 40, 042
Melbourne Victory Line-Up: 1. Nathan COE (GK), 2. Jason GERIA (Daniel GEORGIEVSKI 83'), 4. Nicholas ANSELL, 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 7. GUI FINKLER, 8. Besart BERISHA (Andrew NABBOUT 77'), 9. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 14. Fahid Ben KHALFALLAH (Archie THOMPSON 68'), 21. Carl VALERI, 24. Scot GALLOWAY.
Substitutes not used: 20. Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 16. Rashid MAHAZI.
Melbourne City FC Line-up: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 4. Connor CHAPMAN, 6. Aaron MOOY, 7. Iain RAMSAY (David WILLIAMS 29'), 10. Robert KOREN, 11. Damien DUFF, 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 22. Jack CLISBY (Massimo MURDOCCA 76'), 24. Patrick KISNORBO, 25. Jacob MELLING, 29. Safuwan BAHARUDIN (Josh KENNEDY 60').
Substitutes not used: 40. Marko STEVANJA (GK), 18. Paulo RETRE.
Yellow Cards: Chapman 22', Melling 90