City move to top of the table after sinking Melbourne Victory

Melbourne City have capitalised on a horror first-half spell from Melbourne Victory to claim a 2-0 derby win and snatch outright top spot on the A-League Men’s table.

City took advantage of Nani conceding a penalty, a Cadete own goal, and Victory skipper Josh Brillante’s 35th-minute send-off to claim their first derby win in five attempts, in front of 23,489 fans at AAMI Park.

City skipper Scott Jamieson (groin) was a late withdrawal after a pre-match fitness test, with Curtis Good starting instead.

Mathew Leckie, centre, was strong for Melbourne City. Credit:Quinn Rooney

But it proved a rare low point as City dodged good Victory chances early, then took their own.

Mathew Leckie was excellent in attacking midfield while speedy young left-back Jordan Bos did a brilliant shutdown job on Victory marquee Nani.

Brillante should have scored from point-blank range in the eighth minute but headed right at Tom Glover.

Six minutes later, Nani stomped on Leckie’s ankle just inside the area, with a penalty awarded after a VAR review.

Flares are let off in the crowd during the round three Melbourne derby. Credit:Quinn Rooney, Getty Images

Jamie Maclaren coolly dispatched the 17th-minute penalty, his 10th derby goal, to overtake Besart Berisha as the all-time leading derby goal-scorer.

City’s Thomas Glover catches the ball. Credit:Quinn Rooney, Getty Images

Two minutes later, City playmaker Valon Berisha played a short corner with Marco Tilio then cracked a cross into the far post.

The ball clanged back into play but bounced off an oblivious Cadete and into the net.

Nani required treatment after a scything Tilio tackle in the 28th minute but played on.

In the 32nd minute, Brillante forced a good save from Glover in the 32nd but Ikonomidis couldn’t bury the rebound.

Three minutes later, Brillante inexplicably earned his second yellow card for a challenge on Aiden O’Neill, 10 minutes after his booking for a foul on Callum Talbot.

Shortly before half-time, Tilio dispossessed Stefan Nigro and forced a sharp save from Paul Izzo.

Victory didn’t fold despite their numbers disadvantage and in the 75th minute, Nick D’Agostino blasted a close-range chance over the bar.

Izzo denied Maclaren in the 85th and Tilio in injury time, but it proved little consolation as Victory sank to their second straight defeat.


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