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2019-20 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Besart Berisha (66' PEN)
  • Jamie Maclaren (32', 85')
  • Harrison Delbridge (64')

Melbourne City snatch A-League derby win with 10 men

A superb Jamie Maclaren double has handed 10-man Melbourne City a 2-1 victory over new rivals Western United, lifting them to outright second on the A-League table in a fiery inaugural derby at GMHBA Stadium.

City took the lead on Sunday evening in the 32nd minute through Maclaren, before former Melbourne Victory striker Besart Berisha equalised from the penalty spot in the 66th.

With City down to 10 men after Harrison Delbridge's red card, Maclaren scored in the 85th minute to hand United their first defeat and help his side to shake off their mid-week FFA Cup final drubbing.

"I'm very happy to see the character of our team today," coach Erick Mombaerts said.

"We were here to win and we showed the character to win."

Maclaren has scored 10 goals in his past seven games for City - six across the FFA Cup and four in the A-League.

City had the better of the first half, putting together a number of fluid attacks and keeping United goalkeeper Filip Kurto on his toes.

Just over half-an-hour in, the visitors capitalised on their good play.

Rostyn Griffiths forced United into a turnover and the ball fell to youngster Denis Genreau, who delivered a lovely chip over the defence to Maclaren, who chested it down past an onrushing Connor Chapman and finished cleanly with his left foot.

United's best early chance came in the 20th minute, when Alessandro Diamanti found Berisha from a corner, only for the striker to head the ball into the arms of City goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis.

The home side started to find their groove in the second half, with Berisha and Scott McDonald both having chances to equalise.

In the 64th minute, Berisha was taken down in a challenge by Delbridge, who received his second yellow card in 15 minutes - for a handball - and was marched.

The veteran striker took the penalty and buried it past Bouzanis to level the scores.

With City down to 10 men for close to 30 minutes, United had the impetus to kick on - but the visitors took the lead with five minutes remaining.

Josh Brillante found a surging Maclaren, the Socceroos' striker bursting forward and finishing neatly past Kurto for the match winner.

Berisha had a stoppage-time opportunity to equalise but headed a Diamanti free kick over the bar.

United coach Mark Rudan lamented his side's failure to capitalise on their numbers advantage after Delbridge's red card.

"Quite disappointed, obviously. You get a penalty against 10 men, you get yourself back into the game at 1-1 and it's not like we didn't have chances to finish them off," he said.