Melbourne City’s Y-League squad has recorded their second win on the bounce on Saturday, dispatching rivals Melbourne Victory 4-1 in the Y-League Melbourne Derby.
Braces from Moudi Najjar and Connor Metcalfe, the two both netting goals on either side of the half, propelled Head Coach Joe Palatsides’ side to victory.
Najjar opened the scoring in the game’s 21st minute, blasting a ball into the top corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area after City forced Victory to turn the ball over deep in their own half.
Metcalfe then made it 2-0 in the 26th minute when he poked home a loose ball from close range that Victory goalkeeper Mathew Sutton spilled when he was unable to properly collect a Josh Cavallo corner.
Najjar that secured his second of the contest in the 57th minute of play when he won and converted a penalty; sending Sutton the wrong way as he buried the ball in the bottom left corner of the net.
Though Victory talent Yazid Said would peg one back for the visitors in the 59th minute when he tapped in a cross put in from the right by Nic Sette, it proved only a brief respite for Victory, Metcalfe sealing the contest with a tidy finish in the game’s 83rd minute.
It was a Pierias for Pierias swap for Palatsides’ side, with Ben taking the place of older brother Dylan in City’s starting XI.
Jordan Bos, Metcalfe and Lucas Portelli also came into the City side; several Y-League players such as Dylan Pierias, James Delianov and Ramy Najjarine absent as they fought for a place in A-League Head Coach Warren Joyce’s senior A-League side.
In picture-perfect scenes at C.B Smith Reserve City came out of the blocks strong; Najjar sounding an ominous warning for Victory within minutes.
The big number nine was sprung through on goal in the fourth minute of play only to be quickly closed down by an onrushing Sutton and a minute later was just unable to direct a shot on target when the ball fell to him at close range.
Victory, however, almost caught City napping in the 7th minute when Said was sprung through on an open goal. Luckily for City, though, the Victory attacker tripped over his own feet at the crucial moment; scuffing his shot wide of the open net as a result and giving City a big, early let off.
City made Victory pay for that wasted opportunity in the 21st minute when some furious defending from the front forced a taken-aback Victory defence to cough the ball up deep in their own half.
The ball eventually falling to Najjar, the scholarship player finally got his goal by blasting a shot inside the top corner of the far post, giving a diving Sutton no chance.
Four minutes later Sutton was called into action by defender Portelli when he sauntered up from his centre-back posting to take a free kick from long range. Despite the distance of the set piece, however, Portelli forced Victory’s custodian to react quickly and scramble to tap the ball over the bar for a corner.
That resulting corner, though, would prove disastrous for Sutton when he was unable to cleanly collect the ball, instead only able to watch as it fell for an easy tap-in for Metcalfe.
City would continue to heap the pressure on Victory after the halftime break, newly introduced Stefan Colokovski getting on the end of a pass from Gianluca Iannucci and forcing Sutton into a save in the 51st minute.
Just under five minutes later Najjar was then able to win a penalty for his side, brought down by Sutton as he the City target man looked to round him after being played through on goal. Najjar then converted, sending the keeper the wrong way, to make it 3-0.
City wasn’t able to have everything their own way, nevertheless, as the newly introduced Sette produced a bit of magic in the 59th minute to set up Said to peg one back for Victory.
Dancing around several City defenders on the right wing, Victory scholarship player Sette got to the byline and whipped a low ball across the face of goal, with Said gratefully waiting at the far post to tap the ball in to make it 3-1.
That goal wasn’t able to spark any sort of comeback for Melbourne’s darker-hued side, though, as City responded to the loss of their clean sheet by creating chances for Anthony Lesiotis, Najjar and Colakovski.
Eventually, City’s attacking endeavour was rewarded when Metcalfe found himself in enough space to produce an effort that beat Sutton, making it 4-1 in the 83rd minute to cap off a memorable Melbourne Derby win.
City will have their second and final bye of the season next weekend, Palatsides’ side’s thoughts now turning to their 15 December meeting with Brisbane Roar at 3.30 pm at C.B Smith Reserve.