Melbourne City outlast Melbourne Victory as fans stay in the stands while derby game wraps up

Melbourne City showed why they are at the top of the league, Melbourne Victory showed why they are not and most importantly, fans stayed off the field as the two clubs wrapped up their 17 December game on Wednesday night.

Socceroos midfielder Aiden O’Neill added a second goal to his strike from last December to seal a 2-1 win for City in a game some thought would never be resumed after falling after a Pitch invasion was stopped, the Victory, the A league competition and crowd behavior under close observation.

Double the joy: Aiden O'Neill celebrates his remarkable brace.

Double the joy: Aiden O’Neill celebrates his remarkable brace.Credit:Getty Images

The impact of the invasion is still being felt with Victory, who are still counting the costs both at the box office and from sanctions they received from Football Australia following the invasion.

As of January 25, Victoria Police had identified 46 people linked to the pitch invasion and charged 35 of them, while the others face various penalties and fines.

Football Australia has imposed various bans on a number of these individuals, ranging from life imprisonment to several years, with more expected as the legal process for each individual is completed.

The atmosphere was far more subdued than at previous derbies and while the active groups sang as usual, most of the crowd watched, perhaps taking the unusual opportunity for a game to be restarted rather than begin.

December 17th was the feeling of anger on the ground, the sounds of firecrackers being fired and the glow of torches – that night was the opposite, coming closest early in the second half when someone dropped crockery in the corporate suites and it smashed on the cement floor.

The game went on 1-0 and in the 21st minute, amid a chorus of boos from the far-removed active supporters of the win who are now stationed at the back of the stands, their target was City keeper Tom Glover, who with a bucket of sand was thrown at his head at the beginning of the pitch invasion.

O’Neill was the only goalscorer in December and he was one of the players to stay on the field for Wednesday night’s restart despite receiving an early yellow card for a late tackle. Melbourne City outlast Melbourne Victory as fans stay in the stands while derby game wraps up

Ryan Sederquist

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