Melbourne Victory produced a scintillating display in an impressive 3-0 Derby win over City at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
Victory dominated the first half and was rewarded through a Jake Brimmer penalty and superb Marco Rojas brace.
It had chances to add to its tally in the second half as it extended its unbeaten run in the Isuzu UTE A-League to nine games.
Victory made the perfect start thanks to Nick D’Agostino and Brimmer.
The hard-working D’Agostino intercepted a Scott Jamieson back pass and was brought down by City goalkeeper Tom Glover, and Brimmer made no mistake from the penalty spot in the seventh minute.
Victory’s second seven minutes later came via a stunning strike from Rojas.
A set-piece from Jason Davidson was punched clear by Glover, but Rojas unleashed an incredible 25-yard volley to make it 2-0.
Victory goalkeeper Ivan Kelava was forced into a save by Marco Tilio in the 25th minute, but the first half belonged to the host.
Rojas completed his brace and made it 3-0 two minutes later, taking a delightful first touch from Davidson’s cross before rifling a finish past Glover.
D’Agostino and Jason Geria had chances to further add to Victory’s lead in a devastating first-half display.
Just five minutes into the second half and Victory almost added a fourth, Roderick Miranda heading a Rojas cross over.
Roderick’s central defensive partner, Matt Spiranovic, also threatened, forcing a straightforward save from Glover from a Brimmer corner.
The red-hot Rojas almost completed his hat-trick shortly after the hour-mark, his deflected strike from an angle hitting the side-netting.
After a powerful run, Davidson fired over with 18 minutes remaining before substitute Chris Ikonomidis forced a good save from Glover.
Victory was in complete control in the second half, comfortably seeing out a strong win.
What they said – Josh Brillante
on the game…
“That’s really exactly what we needed. We came out firing in the first half, we know it’s always going to be a tough match and we had the energy in the first half and we took our chances so in the end we took three points.”
on the performance…
“I think we’ve played a lot of games very well, executed better tonight and obviously by the scoreline you can see that, but we’ve got to keep working on that and hopefully keep the ball rolling.”
“He’s a fantastic player. He just glides around and makes things happen so I love playing with him on the right there and hopefully he can keep that form up.”
Player in focus
The Derby belonged to Rojas. The New Zealander was in electric form, with both his goals of the highest quality to set up Victory’s win.
Victory (34 points) consolidated third place on the table, but also moved closer to City (46) and Western United (38). Victory has a game in hand on Western and four on City.
Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 Round 23
Melbourne Victory 3 (Jake Brimmer 7′ pen, Marco Rojas 14’/27′)
Melbourne Victory: Kelava (gk); Geria, Spiranovic, Roderick, Davidson; Marchan (Broxham 72′), Brillante (c); Rojas (Ikonomidis 72′), Brimmer (Kirdar 86′), Folami (Velupillay 86′); D’Agostino (Margiotta 80′).
City: Glover (gk); Jenkinson, Griffiths, Good, Jamieson (c) (Bos 77′); Berenguer (Gomulka 37′), Metcalfe; Nabbout, Tilio (Endoh 77′), Leckie (Colakovski 77′); Maclaren.
Yellow cards: Good 13′, Marchan 23′, Gomulka 87′
Red cards: Nil
Venue: AAMI Park
Victory will look to continue its excellent run of form when it hosts Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park on Tuesday night.