Melbourne Victory kickstarted their A-League season and claimed Melbourne derby bragging rights with a 2-1 win over Melbourne City at AAMI Park.
In front of 18,038 fans, Victory skipper Ola Toivonen scored a first-half brace before Harrison Delbridge pulled back a goal for City in the 56th minute.
The first half was clearly Victory's best performance of the season. Marco Kurz's side had chemistry in attack, with Robbie Kruse on song and Elvis Kamsoba lively, while Migjen Basha provided a much-needed dose of aggression in midfield. Tim Hoogland and James Donachie led an organised defence that kept City star Jamie Maclaren quiet.
In the 10th minute, Victory spurned a golden opportunity to take the lead. Kamsoba forced a good save from Tom Glover and the rebound landed at the feet of Andrew Nabbout, who sizzled a shot on the half-volley wide. Five minutes later, Victory broke the deadlock. In the midst of congestion, Basha found Kruse, who flicked the ball to Kamsoba. The diminutive attacker did well to control the ball and keep it in play. He then spotted up Nabbout, who delivered a lethal ball across goal for Toivonen to power home a header. And the Sweden international made it 2-0 in the 41st minute.
Basha floated a delightful ball to Nabbout, whose volley across goal saw Curtis Good almost cut the ball into his own net, forcing Glover into a save. Unfortunately for the City goalkeeper, he could only parry it to Toivonen to head home the easiest of goals.
Nabbout scorned a golden opportunity to make it 3-0 in the 51st minute, firing wide after a clever release from Kamsoba. He would come to regret his miss -- just five minutes later, Delbridge pulled a goal back for City. Noone took a corner short to Javier Cabrera, whose ball picked out Delbridge, with the centre-back towering over the Victory defence and powering home a header.
Toivonen struggled after picking up a groin injury midway through the first half and made way in the 62nd minute.
Scott Galloway cleared a Basha header off the line in the 66th minute while Nabbout could have extended Victory's lead again in the 82nd when he headed Adama Traore's cross wide. Kamsoba caught Glover off his line in the 84th minute but his shot trickled wide.
Galloway put a long-range shot over the bar in the 90th minute, while Lawrence Thomas saved Nathaniel Atkinson's 92nd-minute effort as Victory held on for their third win of the season.