Melbourne Victory put in a scintillating display to thrash rivals Melbourne City 6-0 in the first Melbourne Derby of the 2020/21 W-League season.

It was perhaps as dominant as the Victory has ever looked under Jeff Hopkins, with six different players finding the back of the net.

Lisa De Vanna scored the pick of the bunch midway through the second half which earned her a standing ovation as she left the field.

The first chance of the game fell the way of the reigning champions when a slip from Kayla Ann Morrison presented Harriet Withers with the ball in the box, but a sprawling Gabriela Garton diverted the shot wide.

Victory very quickly got on top and came close soon after with Catherine Zimmerman and Annalie Longo coming close in a goal-mouth scramble.

Lisa De Vanna looked dangerous on the left-hand side as she fired a shot wide in the 10th minute before setting up the opener five minutes later.

The 36-year-old threaded a neat through ball into Longo who finished face-to-face with Teagan Micah as City’s defence were all at sea after giving the ball away.

De Vanna was again involved as Victory added a second before the half hour. Her one-two with Angela Beard saw the left-backs shot saved, only for Melina Ayres to tap into an empty net.

Much of City’s best work came via Harriet Withers down the right hand side, but Victory’s defence stood tall and repelled any efforts from the hosts to get back into the contest.

City weren’t to be undone without a fight, though, and Garton was called upon again with a brilliant save and gather from Withers’ close-range effort in the 65th minute.

But at the end of the day, De Vanna and Victory had their say. The 150-times capped Matilda scored the third and the pick of the bunch in the 72nd minute, leaving Jenna McCormick for dead behind halfway before going all the way to score a brilliant solo goal – her 40th in the W-League

There was still time for more as Jackson combined beautifully with Ayres on the edge of the area before finishing delicately into the bottom corner in the 80th minute before Zimmerman added a fifth – and her first ever in the W-League – just ahead of injury time.

Salt was poured further into City’s wounds when Kyra Cooney-Cross added a sixth in the 92nd minute, sliding a shot underneath the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner.

The win is Victory’s first of the new season, celebrating head coach Jeff Hopkins’ 100th game in charge by sending an ominous warning to the league.

”The players worked really hard we wanted to be brave and press them high which we did really well,” Hopkins said.

”We didn’t let them settle. They were always under pressure playing out from the back and we forced them to turn the ball over a number of times.

”I thought at 2-0 the game was still in the balance and goals change games so if they had scored there it would have been different. I was really pleased with the way we finished and were clinical in front of goal.”

For Rado Vidosic’s side, back-to-back defeats mean they are winless after three games and are off to their worst-ever start to a season.

”We made too many mistakes in the first phase of attack, the first two goals were a result of our turnovers,” Vidosic said.

”There’s not a great deal in difference in quality. They’re more experienced in the middle and up front, while we’re experienced at the back.

”They capitalised on some of our mistakes but it is what it is and we need to re-group and see what we can do next Sunday.”

They will need to lick their wounds and get up for a return clash next Sunday at Epping Stadium.

One highlight for City was the emergence of Rhali Dobson off the bench. The 28-year-old played the last half hour, notching up 100 W-League appearances.

And she came close to getting on the scoresheet with 20 minutes to play as she got in behind Victory’s defence and saw her shot flash just wide of the left-hand post.


Nick Hughes