Melbourne Victory have claimed all three points in a massive Derby win on Monday afternoon, downing crosstown rivals Melbourne City 2-0.
Victory proved their resilience as a team heading into Monday’s fixture, faced with losing Alex Chidiac and Elise Kellond-Knight in a timeframe which could have seen a loss of composure sweep over a team pushing for Finals.
A fast paced opening 10 minutes greeted the two sides and those who arrived at AAMI Park for Monday’s double header.
Melina Ayres’ rocket of a shot was stopped illegally by a City hand, leading to a Victory penalty – where the striker made no mistake.
Just five minutes later, Paige Zois stepped up to nestle the ball into the roof of the net, adding to her list of impressive A-League Women moments and doubling Victory’s lead.
In what can only be described as a total flurry of attacking chances, Victory came close to adding a third within 25 minutes, when striker Catherine Zimmerman’s effort struck the upright.
City struggled to break through the lines of Victory’s defence, who managed to take the threat out of most attempts at goal.
Casey Dumont’s fine form continued throughout the afternoon, called into action multiple times within a few moments just shy of 30 minutes to keep Victory’s clean sheet in tact.
Victory took their two goal lead into the break, and looked full of confidence.
City started the second half spritely, yet Victory remained equal to the challenge, adapting to their crosstown rival’s new-found energy.
Again, Casey Dumont passed early tests with flying colours – stopping everything thrown at her.
Victory’s highflying forward Beattie Goad (READ: Future doctor Goad reclaiming her love of football) was seriously impressive all afternoon, starting the second half just as she finished the first, coming close to making it three 10 minutes into the start of the second.
Victory were forced to settle into the game and show their defensive resoluteness throughout the mid-stages of the second half, not allowing themselves to succumb to heightened City pressure.
Again, Beattie Goad failed to show any signs of slowing down, continuing to drive at City’s defenders throughout the final stages of the entire 90, coming close to teeing up Catherine Zimmerman.
Victory held out to claim all three points, feeling unlucky at the fact they were unable to add to their tally of two.
The home side take all three points and a massive shot of confidence into a huge game against Canberra United on Saturday, in which another three points will go a long way for Victory’s finals hopes.
Paige Zois’ strike to double Victory’s lead was impressive, to say the least.
Monday’s Derby win has extended the gap between the Victory, and nearest followers and next opponent Canberra United, to five points. A win against Canberra in Round 18 will create an even larger buffer, and go a long way to cementing Victory’s Finals spot.
Liberty A-League 2022/23 Round 17
Melbourne Victory 2 (Ayres 16′, Zois 20′)
Melbourne City 0
Melbourne Victory travel to the nation’s capital on Saturday to take on Canberra United in search of another win which would further extend the buffer between the two sides.