Melbourne Victory laid down another symbolic marker of their revival by stunning Isuzu UTE A-League champions and leaders Melbourne City 3-0, exorcising the demons of their recent Derby past.
Running away with the game in the opening 30 minutes thanks to a goal from Jake Brimmer and a Marco Rojas brace, Saturday marked the first time Victory had tasted success in the derby since 2019.
In the intervening period, Victory sunk to the lowest of lows while City reached the highest of highs; supplanting their rivals at the Melbourne A-League Men summit and delivering 6-0 and 7-0 humblings in 2020-21.
These indignities, however, were nothing but a bad memory for the home fans that watched on with glee as Brimmer slotted a penalty to put their side ahead in just the fifth minute.
The rivals had already played two draws this season, but when Rojas sent Tom Glover’s attempt to clear a free-kick straight back over his head in the 14th minute, the sense of occasion became clear.
It was then 3-0 in the 27th when Rojas collected a Jason Davidson cross, knocked the ball across marker Scott Jamieson and laced an effort inside the far post.
City controlled possession throughout the game and improved in the second half but Victory consistently created better chances after carefully picking their moments to counter and press.
Tony Popovic’s side couldn’t find a fourth goal, but they did ease to three points that moved them four points back of second-placed Western United with a game in hand.
Victory, who enjoyed their biggest Derby win since 2015, host Brisbane Roar next Tuesday.
Though their 11-game unbeaten run has now ended, City remain eight points clear atop the table ahead of two weeks of AFC Champions League commitments.
But in a potentially major blow, midfielder Florin Berenguer was forced off in the first half with a suspected hamstring injury.