The Melbourne Derby: why it's huge in the Hyundai A-League
There’s nothing like a local derby to stoke the emotions of football fans and the Melbourne version in the Hyundai A-League is as intense and white-hot as they come.
From the very first moment Melbourne Heart [now City] were introduced into the Hyundai A-League ahead of the 2010/11 Season, a fierce rivalry was born.
And it’s been a must-watch fixture of every Hyundai A-League season. Why?
Because Victory were the original A-League team in Victoria and the Big V believe they rule Melbourne as the biggest and the best club in the state.
City for their part have ambition and a growing fanbase. Oh, and Timmy Cahill.
And you’re never quite sure what’s going to happen in a Melbourne Derby.
The new boys quickly showed they meant business, winning the very first Derby 2-1 in October 2010, with goals from Alex Terra and John Aloisi.
And since then it’s been a thrilling ride almost every battle.
From Archie Thompson’s stoppage-time winner in December 2012, to Harry Kewell getting on the scoresheet in Heart’s 4-0 win in 2014.
The rivalry and bitter feeling between the clubs has only intensified since Heart have been rebranded as Melbourne City.
There’s been 11 clashes between Victory and City, with the Big V winning six, with City four and one draw.
Victory star Besart Berisha scored a hat-trick in his first Derby against City a 5-2 win for Kevin Muscat’s side back in 2014.
City’s breakthrough Derby moment came last season in Tim Cahill’s Hyundai A-League debut for the club.
The Caltex Socceroos star scored with a spectacular half-volley from almost 40-yards out in City’s 4-1 demolition of their rivals.
While there’s generally very little between the sides whenever they meet, Victory does have bragging rights when it comes to silverware.
The Navy Blue side of Melbourne have three Hyundai A-League titles to their name, while Sky Blue City are still chasing their first crown.
But there’s more to this rivalry than just those numbers.
It’s about the classic matches, the stack of goals, bags of drama and massive crowds.
And we get the next chapter on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium in what should be another cracker confrontation between Victory and City.
It's Derby Day on Saturday, who will you choose?