Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory are set to do battle in another instalment of one of the A-League’s greatest rivalries.

The two sides have created some memorable moments in their previous fixtures, here is a look at the five most memorable Big Blue derbies.

Welcome, Andrew Nabbout

The Victory were trailing 2-0 with 20 minutes to play when Ange Postecoglu turned to a 19-year-old Andrew Nabbout to try to turn the game around.

Within 10 minutes of coming on, Nabbout scored a wonderful left-footed strike that curled in off the post, and when Archie Thompson scored in the 86th minute it looked like the visitors had stolen just a point.

But Nabbout had something more to say about that as he rose to meet a Guilherme Finkler corner in added time to send the travelling supporters into raptures in one of the great comebacks this rivalry has seen.

Sydney lift the trophy in Melbourne

2010 brought the first meeting between the two sides in a Grand Final as Sydney travelled to Etihad Stadium looking to stop the Victory from becoming back-to-back champions.

Mark Bridge put Sydney in front just after the hour mark before a booming Adrian Leijer header took the game to extra-time.

A scoreless 30 minutes saw the Grand Final go to penalties for the first time ever in the A-League.

Sydney ultimately conquered the shootout that would be remembered for Victory captain Kevin Muscat – who had an almost perfect penalty record – hitting the post as the Sky Blues lifted their second A-League championship.

syd champ.jpg
Image: Hyundai A-League

 

A 5-0 drubbing each

In just the second month of the first season in the A-League, Victory and Sydney played out what would be one of the most memorable fixtures in Victory history.

Richard Kitzbichler opened the scoring before doubles from Thompson and Muscat secured a 5-0 thumping for Melbourne in their first taste of the Big Blue on home soil.

Victory would go on to pick up just 11 points from their final 13 games to miss the finals, while Sydney ended up lifting the inaugural A-League trophy.

Nine years in the making, Sydney got their revenge in arguably the most important Big Blue of every season; the Australia Day fixture in Melbourne.

Alessandro Del Piero netted twice on that day, with Ranko Despotovic, Nick Carle and former Victory man Sebastian Ryall adding a goal each to heap embarrassment on the home side.

Melbourne hit back when it came to the finals, however, eliminated Sydney in the opening round of the post-season.

Revenge for 2015

In one of the more dominant seasons the league has seen, the Victory conquered all comers in 2014-15 as they stormed to a third championship, brushing aside Sydney in the Grand Final with a 3-0 win.

A third Grand Final meeting between the two sides came just two years later, with Sydney playing the role of hosts for the first time against their arch rivals.

Graham Arnold had built a team that returned back to the top of the Australian game, but they were stunned as a fast Victory start saw Besart Berisha draw first blood inside 20 minutes.

Rhyan Grant equalised in the 70th minute and the game was forced to penalties again, where Alex Wilkinson missed for Sydney to give an early advantage to Muscat’s side.

Carl Valeri and Marco Rojas would fail to convert from 12 yards however, leaving Milos Ninkovic to stroke home the winning spot kick and celebrate Sydney’s second A-League crown at the Victory’s expense.

Terry the Redeemer

Melbourne got their own chance at revenge the season after, although not in the big dance as the two rivals faced off in a preliminary final at Allianz Stadium.

The record-breaking Sky Blues were heavily favoured, but goals from Kosta Barbarouses and James Troisi cancelled out a Stefan Nigro own goal to have the Victory in front.

In the dying seconds of the match, Terry Antonis sliced a ball into his own net at the front post before slumping to the floor in despair as he had gifted Arnold’s men a route back into the match.

But in a true story of ‘zero to hero,’ Antonis popped up in the 117th minute with a remarkable solo goal to send the Victory to the Grand Final where they would beat Newcastle Jets 1-0 and become the winningest team in A-League history to date.

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Nick Hughes
nick.hughesy6@gmail.com