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City hold off Victory to secure derby win

Melbourne City defeated their cross-town rivals Melbourne Victory 2-1 in an epic encounter on Saturday night at AAMI Park.

In what was surely a contender for one of the games of the season, Stefan Mauk and Paulo Retre scored for the home side, while Besart Berisha fired home for the Victory in an entertaining clash.


Connor Chapman and Jacob Melling missed for Melbourne City through injury, while Mathieu Delpierre and Daniel Georgievski returned to the Victory squad that lost to Perth Glory midweek. Archie Thompson also made his long awaited return from serious injury that was sustained in the Victory’s FFA Cup Quarter Final against Adelaide United.

Melbourne Victory had the first major chance of the match in the 13th minute, after Besart Berisha fired in a powerful shot from outside the box that was palmed away by experienced City goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen.

However, Melbourne City scored the first goal of the match in the 20th minute, after Stefan Mauk headed home from a Ben Garuccio cross. Garuccio galloped along the wing and provided a strong and accurate ball for Mauk, who gave the home team the advantage.

Melbourne City then doubled their lead in the 29th minute through former Victory player Paulo Retre, which was the fourth attempt by City after three of their previous shots were denied by goalkeeper Danny Vukovic.

Immediately after, the Victory nearly pulled one back through Besart Berisha, however goalkeeper Sorensen saved the chance.

Match Details Full match details »

Date/Time Sat Dec 19, 2015, 7:30 PMStadium AAMI ParkAttendance 23,572Referee Ben Williams

Melb. City

Goal20′ S.MaukGoal30′ P.RetreYellow Card45′ J.ClisbyYellow Card48′ B.FornaroliYellow Card50′ I.Franjic

A powerful deflection from Erik Paartalu from an Aaron Mooy free kick in the 33rd minute almost gave the hosts their third goal of the match.

The Victory pulled one back in the 45th minute through Besart Berisha, who put the ball into the net following a cross by Fahid Ben Khalfallah. The goal gave Berisha the record of the most goals in the Melbourne derby clash.

The Victory had another chance to score just before the break, however it was headed wide, which signalled the end to a heated half.

In the 47th minute, Melbourne City goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen produced a world class save to deny a Kosta Barbarouses glancing header.

Sorensen stood strong again in the 53rd minute, after he blocked a Besart Berisha shot. A minute later, Sorensen stopped a powerful Guilherme Finkler free kick.

And yet again in the 56th minute, Sorensen denied a dangerous chance from Berisha.

Melbourne City nearly made it three in the 59th minute through Harry Novillo, however his shot following a sharp turn hit the side netting.

Novillo again had a chance in the 62nd minute to make it three, however his shot went wide to the other side of the goal.

Immediately after, Melbourne City’s David Williams fired his decent chance over the bar.

In the 74th minute, Erik Paartalu blasted his shot into the crossbar for Melbourne City.

Ben Khalfallah nearly spectacularly equalised in the 79th minute, with his finesse shot hitting the crossbar. The corner shortly after featured a goalline clearance by Melbourne City and another brilliant save by Sorensen in a frantic period of play.

In a tale of the hectic night, Besart Berisha beat Sorensen and slid to an open goal in the 83rd minute, however he could not convert his chance, albeit from an acute angle.

Bruno Fornaroli then squandered his one-on-one opportunity with Danny Vukovic in the 89th minute.

The Victory now have a record four game losing streak and prepare for their home clash with Perth Glory next Sunday afternoon, while Melbourne City move to second on the table and travel to Brisbane for their clash against the Roar next Sunday evening.


Ultimate A-League ‘Player of the Season’ Votes
3 Thomas Sorensen (Melbourne City)
2 Besart Berisha (Melbourne Victory)
1 Fahid Ben Khalfallah (Melbourne Victory)

About the author

avatarTim is a journalism student with a love for the game. He doesn't mind Sydney FC, Panathinaikos and Arsenal.

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