McGree heroics clinch electric derby win for City

Riley McGree came off the bench and scored the Melbourne Derby winner with his first touch as Melbourne City came from behind to beat Melbourne Victory 2-1.

A pulsating derby between the two bitter rivals exploded into life when Keisuke Honda headed Victory in front midway through the first half.

Ritchie De Laet followed up Lawrence Thomas’ sensational penalty save from Florin Berenguer to restore parity in a dramatic conclusion to the opening stanza.

But McGree stole the headlines yet again after firing the winning goal minutes after arriving into the fray, slotting away at the near post to seal a memorable comeback win for Warren Joyce’s men.

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De Laet

40,504 fans piled into Marvel Stadium to witness one of the biggest matches on the Hyundai A-League calendar, and the majority in navy blue were sent into raptures when Honda scampered into the penalty area and met Storm Roux’s delivery with a textbook glancing header in the first half.

City would then equalise in contentious fashion. Bruno Fornaroli was awarded a penalty upon Video Assistant Referee review and although Thomas tipped Berenguer’s effort onto the post, De Laet reacted quickest to fire in the rebound.

Both teams wrestled for control early in the second period as Honda continued to pull the strings. The Victory midfielder laid on chances for Kosta Barbarouses and James Troisi – who hit the inside of the post with a curler from outside the box.

But McGree continued his knack of producing the extraordinary by hitting the winner minutes after his 68th minute introduction, capping a rapid City transition with a smooth first-time finish.