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Melbourne City FC
Melbourne City FC
Melbourne Victory has prevailed surprisingly as the winners of this year’s Christmas derby. Not many people were predicting Melbourne Victory to take all three points, but they did in sweeping fashion.
Both of Melbourne Victory’s goals came through their Swedish marksman Ola Toivonen, and the first one came from a thumping header at the back post in the 14th minute of play.
Toivonen made a brilliant run behind all of the defenders, meaning that Scott Galloway had to check over his shoulder, but while facing the sun found it too much of a task.
It was a brilliant build-up from Melbourne Victory, with Migjen Basha turning neatly before Robbie Kruse, Andrew Nabbout and Elvis Kamsoba formed a tringle to release the latter in behind.
Kamsoba just managed to get to the ball and played it back to Nabbout, who played an inch-perfect cross to Toivonen for goal number one.
Goal number two came just shy of the 40th minute, and yet again Basha and Nabbout were the architects.
Basha played a lovely cross-field ball to Nabbout who volleyed with extreme power across the face of the goal.
Harrison Delbridge almost scored an own-goal and Tom Glover did magnificently to keep it out, but it was just too much for him to handle with Toivonen lurking behind to tap it in.
Marco Kurz organised a brilliant pressing strategy that meant Melbourne City struggled to work the ball into midfield, and Erick Mombaerts will need to do some work on playing it out from the back if they want to continue that way in the future.
City’s single goal came from another header, this time from Delbridge after a brilliant ball in from Javier Cabrera.
Overall, both teams will have work to do but Melbourne Victory knows that if they continue to play that way then their season is well and truly back on track.
Melbourne City 0
Melbourne Victory 2
Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory are set to play out their second meeting this A-League season at AAMI Park. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary, beginning at 5:00pm (AEDT).
Melbourne City vs Melbourne Victory has finally returned to our TV screens, but many aren’t predicting this clash to be too much of a contest.
City sits second on the A-League table, five points behind Sydney FC in first place, whereas Victory sits eighth – only two points from the bottom of the table.
Astonishingly, the gap between the sides has already hit double digits, although Victory has a game in hand.
The hosts have thoroughly improved this season under new coach Erick Mombaerts and are playing an attacking style of football that is pleasing on the eye. They are second in goals and have had an astonishing 153 shots – averaging a whopping seventeen shots per game.
Their free-flowing attacks have become a feature and they will be looking to capitalise on a leaky Victory defence that has conceded fourteen goals already.
However, City have also conceded fourteen goals and, while Victory’s forwards may not be combining as well as City’s, they still do boast the likes of Ola Toivonen, Robbie Kruse and Andrew Nabbout.
They have shown they can make an opportunity out of nothing and Mombaerts will be looking to shut down those counter-attacks early, maybe by giving Harrison Delbridge the occasional midfield role to intercept passes – something he has shown he can do before.
Although this fixture has been a close-run affair in the past, City seems to have the quality to be able to break Victory down with ease.
Melbourne City 3-0 Melbourne Victory
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 5:00pm (AEDT).
Kick-off: 5pm (AEDT)
Where: AAMI Park, Melbourne
TV: Fox Sports
Online: Kayo Sports, Foxtel GO, My Football Live app
Betting: Melbourne City $1.85, Draw $3.80, Melbourne Victory $4.00