Heart announce arrival

Midfielder Matt Thompson believes Melbourne's Heart's stirring 2-1 derby win over Victory at AAMI Park on Friday night will be remembered as a defining moment in the club's history.

Midfielder Matt Thompson believes Melbourne's Heart's stirring 2-1 derby win over Victory at AAMI Park on Friday night will be remembered as a defining moment in the club's history.

Heart defied most pundits to upstage Victory in the first-ever meeting between the clubs, despite having Aziz Behich sent off in the final 15 minutes. Thompson said afterwards that he felt the fledgling club had announced themselves to the A-League with the character they showed in Friday's success.

"We knew we had to put in a massive performance. It makes it a little bit more special to beat the Victory in front of a massive crowd," Thompson said.

"It was important for us being a new club. Melbourne have been around for five years [beforehand] and are arguably the top side in the A-League at the moment - over the past six years they've arguably been the most consistent - so to put ourselves in a position today where we dominated the majority of the game. We definitely deserved to win."

"I think they might say that we caught them on a bad day but I think we were fantastic in all areas. It's an unbelievable feeling. We just can't wait to go to training on Monday and start again."

While Thompson is confident that Friday's success can kick-start the team, he also believes it could prove a momentous event for the club's growth off the field, allowing them to emerge from the considerable shadow of their cross-town rivals.

"In the back of our minds we knew that a massive performance tonight was also going to get the fan-base on our side. For now we're going to be in the shadow of Melbourne Victory - and we want to change that quick smart, because we definitely back ourselves as a quality side," he said.

"We've got everything going for us off the pitch as well as on. It was a massive performance, not only for the boys but for the people supporting the Heart."

Coach John van 't Schip was delighted that his players had put together the quality of football he had been asking of them all season.

"We were confident, we trained well. We knew we had a bad game in Brisbane, that we could do a lot better, and I think especially the first half of this evening was very good with a lot of good football built up from behind and ending up with crosses with short-pass combinations in the final third - and a lot of aggressive forward defending. We kept that up in the second half," he said.

"We worked on it the past two weeks and this evening came onto the pitch in a good way."

"We want to play like this. It's not going to happen every time . . . it's not consistent enough yet. That will take a lot of time to get that in."

"All things fell together. We adapted our game, we had good combinations. At moments when we were pressing and we were tired we made it compact and we made the space small for them to play in, and later on we started to defend forward again."