Merciless City show hunger and class in 6-0 Melbourne Derby mauling of Victory
Melbourne City dazzled in an unrelenting display of desire, skill and ruthless finishing to dismantle Melbourne Victory 6-0 in a Melbourne Derby masterclass at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.
Five second-half goals helped City clinch three points in style as Grant Brebner's Victory looked all at sea attempting to nullify an attack led by Jamie Maclaren, Andrew Nabbout and Craig Noone complimented by a support cast of goal-hungry midfielders.
City began the night in frustration when Maclaren sent a spot kick off the crossbar, but it wasn't long until the Socceroos forward found his way onto the scoresheet, helping City take a 1-0 lead to the break.
From the start of the second half it was all one-way traffic as City romped past the hapless Victory. Nabbout - who assisted Maclaren's opening goal - teed up Berenguer for the second goal of the night before Rostyn Griffiths powered home a cross from Noone to get City rolling with more than half an hour left on the clock.
Connor Metcalfe then came to the fore, scoring twice in two minutes from a pair of Maclaren assists to extend City's lead to five, rendering the Victory defence helpless to deal with his powerful running from midfield into attack in a showcase of individual brilliance.
Stefan Colakovski emerged from the bench in the dying embers of the game and the visitors refused to show any mercy as the substitute made it six deep into stoppage time. Atkinson - who impressed all night down the right flank - displayed no sign of fatigue as he galloped through midfield with the ball to slip Colakovski in to score the final goal of City's Melbourne Derby rout.
The emphatic win sent City into the top six after a third win on the bounce. Victory, meanwhile, remained planted to the bottom of the A-League table with a goal difference of -13, nine worse than any other side in the competition.
Melbourne City were on top throughout the opening 20 minutes which produced a yellow card to either side and multiple chances for the away team to go ahead.
Connor Metcalfe hit the side-netting from a tight angle after Jamie Maclaren's air-swing from Andrew Nabbout's pass into the box. Nabbout - the former Victory forward - was involved in a number of early tussles as his former teammates and fans showed no love to the Socceroos forward.
But the most telling challenge throughout the early proceedings led to a City penalty, when Dalibor Markovic collected Nathaniel Atkinson with a rash challenge in the box.
Maclaren had four goals in two games leading into the Melbourne Derby but the City spearhead couldn't make it five in three from the resulting penalty, hammering his attempt from the spot off the bar as Victory remained level in the goalless affair.
REPORT: Brisbane Roar 1-1 Sydney FC
But the City onslaught continued after Maclaren's penalty miss. Nabbout lashed a volley past the lop-left corner as he endeavoured to strike first against his old side, and when City pulled ahead on 34 minutes it was Nabbout who wheeled away in celebration, having gotten the first touch on Noone's cross into the box.
Nabbout's attempt on goal had fortuitously nicked the leg of Maclaren on its way into the back of the net. Nabbout looked back, noticed Maclaren celebrating himself, and happily settled for the assist as City gained a 1-0 lead held to the break.
City sparked back into life early in the second half, challenging Max Crocombe into a test of his credentials which he passed with an excellent stop to keep Noone's half-volley from spilling to Maclaren at the back post.
Robbie Kruse couldn't make his presence felt down the left flank in a number of nearly-moments created in a brief spell of attacking intent from the hosts, before City ramped up the pressure and broke the game apart in a four-minute spell which garnered two more goals.
Nabbout was at the heart of everything good for City as he tormented Markovic down the right wing, showing a powerful running display as he tore past the Victory full-back to the byline, finding Berenguer with a cut-back for the Frenchman to slide home with ease.
Four minutes after going two goals to the good, a corner presented to City which the visitors used to showcase Noone's expert delivery and Griffiths' powerful heading ability as City scored their third of the night.
Berenguer played it short to Noone - much like he did for City's opening goal - and the winger found Griffiths who rose high above Aaron Anderson caught flat-footed marking the imposing midfielder.
Griffiths still had a lot to do with the headed attempt but the effort was emphatic. Heading the ball back toward the far post, Griffiths left Crocombe to stand and watch as the ball lashed into the back of the net, sparking passionate scenes of celebration between the City players and the away fans.
City could sense a big win on the cards with a three-goal lead heading into the final half-hour of play, and with Victory's heads down the visitors set about compounding the misery of their bitter rivals.
Metcalfe proceeded to break forward from midfield and net twice in three minutes to turn City's convincing win into an all-out rout. The 21-year-old rattled his first goal off Crocombe's near post and into the back of the net with a thunderous left-footed shot on the end of a darting run down the left flank sparked by Maclaren's inventive through-ball on the halfway line.
Minutes later the pair were at it again, when Nabbout sliced Victory's defence apart to find Maclaren on the right side of the box, who cut the ball into Metcalfe's path to run in and slot past Crocombe with ease, taking City's advantage to five.
A raft of substitutions were to follow as Patrick Kisnorbo brought five players off his bench to replace Griffiths, Noone, Maclaren, Nabbout and Scott Jamieson.
The energy off the bench ultimately led to a sixth City goal. Stefan Colakovski entered the contest with 81 minutes on the clock, and deep into stoppage time he collected Atkinson's through pass after the right-back's ranging run through midfield to cut past Anderson onto his right boot and fire past Crocombe into the opposite corner.
The local City product ran to meet the away fans in a display of passion from the ecstatic 20-year-old who capped off his side's 6-0 win in style.
Melbourne City v Macarthur FC
Friday, March 12 2021
Kick-off: 7.05pm AEDT
Melbourne Victory v Adelaide United
Saturday, March 13 2021
Kick-off: 7.10pm AEDT
Featured NewsRead more
Reds' late show steals draw with Sydney FC in Leichhardt thriller
Two late goals in the space of three second-half minutes has seen Adelaide United snatch a 2-2 draw with Sydney FC at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday. The Sky Blues looked on course for three points and leap-frogging Adelaide on the ladder as a Bobo brace had them 2-0 up heading int
Victory parts ways with Brebner after Melbourne Derby drubbing
Melbourne Victory are on the lookout for a new coach after Grant Brebner was let go following Saturday night's Melbourne Derby hammering at the hands of Melbourne City. Victory were thumped 7-0 by their bitter rivals and it proved the last straw for the club's powerbrokers, op
Terrific Tilio making his impact felt in growing City role
Early in season 2020/21, it was Alou Kuol doing the business off the bench as Central Coast Mariners rose to the top. But along Melbourne City's recent rise, teenage talent Marco Tilio has emerged as the latest super-sub leaving his mark on the A-League after a series of impa