Vicious Victory flatten City in 6-0 Melbourne Derby win
A relentless Melbourne Victory secured a stunning 6-0 win over Melbourne City on Sunday afternoon, producing a formidable display of attacking force to demolish the reigning Champions at CB Smith Reserve.
It was a bright start from Jeff Hopkins' side who seemed hungry to score their first goal of the 2020/21 campaign and 15 minutes into the contest they got their deserved opener through Annalie Longo, who split City's defence with a sharp run to slide in and bury her shot past Teagan Micah.
City midfielder Sarah Cain went close for the hosts with two quick-fire opportunities before the visitors a sharper clinical edge, doubling their advantage thanks to the quick reactions of Melina Ayres on hand to tap home a Micah save which spilled into her path.
Victory were superb in the opening half and should have had three goals for their troubles after Lisa De Vanna set up yet another chance for Ayres but the striker blew the chance high over the bar, ensuring her side took a 2-0 lead into the break.
Harriet Withers was a rare bright spark for City in the first half and an early sight on goal in the second stanza showed the City attacker was intent on leaving her mark on the contest, but as the hosts pushed for an opening goal Victory gunned for a third, with the woodwork denying Ayres a terrific goal on the hour mark.
Victory then turned on the style with 20 minutes to play in the contest, as De Vanna came to the fore to produce a masterful solo run and finish which was quickly followed by an Amy Jackson strike to suddenly hand the visitors an enormous four-goal lead.
When the visitors scored their fourth questions arose as to how many they would score by full-time, and with City heads dropping around them Victory's attack mounted a relentless assault which produced a further two goals to Catherine Zimmerman and Kyra Cooney-Cross to decide the contest 6-0 in Victory's favour, a simply remarkable scoreline to match Victory's ruthless approach to a memorable Melbourne Derby.
Withers can't capitalise on Morrison slip
A gift of an opportunity was presented to Withers just minutes into the contest when Kayla Ann Morrsion lost her footing tracking the ball back toward her defensive box.
Withers collected the ball and shot on the turn; her strike snuck under Victory 'keeper Garton and trickled toward goal before drifting wide of the left goalpost.
Longo finishes off sharp Victory move
An excellent piece of hold-up play from Victory striker Zimmerman invited the dangerous De Vanna onto the ball in the final third, where the veteran attacker produced an inch-perfect pass to play Longo in on goal.
City defender Jenna McCormick stepped up to pressure De Vanna but the 36-year-old quickly played her pass through the vacated space in City's defensive line, allowing Longo to streak through and bury her shot on the slide into the bottom right corner.
Ayres quickest to react in the box to tap Victory two goals ahead
Victory's pressure in their offensive half was telling in the opening half-hour of play, displayed perfectly through the hunger of Angela Beard to step into midfield and intercept an errant City pass to send De Vanna in on goal once again.
Beard continued her run into the box and De Vanna fed the ball into her path, setting up a shot on goal; Micah did well to parry the initial shot but Ayres sniffed an opportunity to gather the rebound, beating the City stopper to the ball to poke the ball home from close range.
Ayres lacks composure needed to secure her brace
De Vanna was at her energetic best in the opening half and could have had two assists at the break, if not for an over-hit strike from Ayres at the end of a promising attacking situation for the visitors.
Ayres received the ball from De Vanna after the latter caught Tori Tumeth napping on the ball in City's defensive third; Ayres took the ball toward the centre of the box and cut onto her right, but blasted her attempt on goal high over the bar.
Ayres smacks the crossbar from distance
Cooney-Cross impressed as a controlling presence in Victory's midfield throughout the contest, and the Young Westfield Matildas prospect displayed forward-thinking ambition when she found Ayres running in on goal with an inviting pass.
The resulting shot from Ayres was a good one, but not good enough as it beat the outstretched palm of Micah but rattled off the bar.
De Vanna does it all in magnificent solo goal
The body feint, the dribble, the burst of pace, the finish: De Vanna's goal in the second half displayed all of the above in what was a remarkable highlight to cap off a dominant display by the Westfield Matildas legend.
De Vanna's marvellous run began with a nutmeg on Jenna McCormick she pulled off without touching the ball, feinting to go one way before rolling to her right and collecting the ball past the City defender after it rolled between her legs.
The Victory attacker then sized up Tumeth, took a heavy touch to burn past her opponent, sized up the goal and buried a shot from the left of the box into the bottom right corner.
Jackson makes it four after neat one-two with Ayres
City were reeling after De Vanna's scintillating solo goal, but Victory were not yet finished dealing damage to their local rivals.
Jackson emerged from midfield and played the ball to the feet of Ayres and continued her run into the box; Ayres played a neat ball through to complete the one-two and Jackson buried the ball into the back of the net.
Zimmerman tap-in gives Victory a five-goal lead
Victory's lethal assault continued through the simplest of plays sparked by a marauding run from Mindi Barbieri down the right flank.
The substitute burned down the wing and behind City's defence, playing the ball across goal to the waiting Zimmerman who scored from a simple tap in at the back post.
Cooney-Cross gets forward to score crushing sixth goal for Victory
City were all at sea after Victory's barrage of offensive pressure and Cooney-Cross was aware of the opportunities that would come along with the defensive collapse.
The 18-year-old sniffed a chance for herself with a long through ball which wasn't dealt with effectively by the City defence; Cooney-Cross charged onto the ball and in on goal, sliding her shot into the back of the net to seal an emphatic win for her side.